Yvonne De Carlo, who played Lily Munster on the TV series The Munsters, died Monday of natural causes in Woodland Hills. She was 84.
De Carlo was born in Vancouver, B.C., and was raised by her mother. As a child, she took dancing lessons, and as an adult, she began to get roles in Hollywood B-movies in the 1940s and 1950s. She also appeared in the Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical Follies.
She became known primarily for her role as the matriarch of the Munster clan in the TV series The Munsters. The Munsters were a typical suburban family, except for the fact they were monsters--Lily was a vampire who wore a drapey black gown and was married to the Frankenstein-like Herman (Fred Gwynne).
While The Munsters had a short run--two years, from 1964 to 1966--it became a staple in syndication. Two follow-up movies were made, 1966's Munster Go Home! and The Munsters' Revenge, a 1981 TV movie.
"I think she will best be remembered as the definitive Lily Munster. She was the vampire mom to millions of baby boomers. In that sense, she's iconic," De Carlo's friend Kevin Burns told the Associated Press. "But it would be a shame if that's the only way she is remembered. She was also one of the biggest beauty queens of the '40s and '50s, one of the most beautiful women in the world. This was one of the great glamour queens of Hollywood, one of the last ones."
In addition to The Munsters and Follies, she starred in the 1956 Cecile B. DeMille classic The Ten Commandments, opposite Charlton Heston's Moses. De Carlo made waves with her 1987 book Yvonne: An Autobiography, in which she listed as former lovers Howard Hughes, Burt Lancaster, Robert Stack, director Billy Wilder, and an Iranian prince.