Los Angeles, CA - Yvonne De Carlo, the movie star who became television's Lilly Munster has died. De Carlo was 84.
Born Peggy Yvonne Middleton in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her father abandoned the family when she was very young, and in 1937, her mother took her to Hollywood to audition for the movie industry. When no jobs were offered, the 15 year old returned to Canada with her mother.
It was another trip in 1940, when De Carlo landed a contract with Paramount where she did minor roles for years. She was used by Paramount as a threat to then top billed Dorothy Lamour. After years of minor roles at Paramount, she landed her first major role in Universal's "Salome Where She Danced".
In the years that followed, De Carlo played foreign or exotic-looking women in international stories or westerns. Some of her biggest roles included "Song of Scheheradzade" 1947,"The Ten Commandments" 1956 with Charleton Heston , Band of Angels 1959 with Clark Gable.
She was married to the late stuntman Bob Morgan, who lost his legs in an accident on a film.
De Carlo took the television role of Lily on "The Munsters" reportedly to pay the medical expenses. De Carlo returned to the screen as Lily in two films based on that series. She also made guest appearances on television shows such as Bonanza.
In 1971, she came to New York to audition for the lead in Hal Prince/Stephen Sondheim musical "Follies". He role went to Alexis Smith, but they liked her so much they wrote a semi biographical role for her. As the faded movie star Carlotta in "Follies" she introduced the Sondheim classic "I'm Still Here".
In later years, De Carlo reprised Lily in a Munsters reunion film "The Munster's Revenge" 1981, and did smaller roles in films like McLintock! (1963), The Power (1968), The Seven Minutes (1971) and a horror film "American Gothic " 1988 co-starring Rod Steiger.
Yvonne's last big screen appearance was in 1993.
She is survived by two sons from her marriage to Bob Morgan 1955-1968.