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vallo13

Yvonne De Carlo dies @ 84

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From yahoo.com

By BOB THOMAS, Associated Press Writer

9 minutes ago

 

 

 

LOS ANGELES - Yvonne De Carlo, the beautiful star who played Moses' wife in "The Ten Commandments" but achieved her greatest popularity on TV's "The Munsters," has died. She was 84.

 

De Carlo died of natural causes Monday at the Motion Picture & Television facility in suburban Los Angeles, longtime friend and television producer Kevin Burns said Wednesday.

 

De Carlo, whose shapely figure helped launch her career in B-movie desert adventures and Westerns, rose to more important roles in the 1950s. Later, she had a key role in a landmark Broadway musical, Stephen Sondheim's "Follies."

 

But for TV viewers, she will always be known as Lily Munster in the 1964-1966 slapstick horror-movie spoof "The Munsters." The series (the name allegedly derived from "fun-monsters") offered a gallery of Universal Pictures grotesques, including Dracula and Frankenstein's monster, in a cobwebbed gothic setting.

 

Lily, vampire-like in a black gown, presided over the faux scary household and was a rock for her gentle but often bumbling husband, Herman, played by 6-foot-5-inch character actor Fred Gwynne (decked out as the Frankenstein monster).

 

While it lasted only two years, the series had a long life in syndication and resulted in two feature movies, "Munster Go Home!" (1966) and "The Munsters' Revenge." (1981, for TV).

 

At the series' end, De Carlo commented: "It meant security. It gave me a new, young audience I wouldn't have had otherwise. It made me `hot' again, which I wasn't for a while."

 

"I think she will best remembered as the definitive Lily Munster. She was the vampire mom to millions of baby boomers. In that sense, she's iconic," Burns said Wednesday.

 

"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."

 

De Carlo was able to sustain a long career by repeatedly reinventing herself. A longtime student of voice, she sang opera at the Hollywood Bowl. When movie roles became scarce, she ventured into stage musicals.

 

Her greatest stage triumph came on Broadway in 1971 with "Follies," which won the 1972 Tony award for best original musical score. She belted out Sondheim's showstopping number, "I'm Still Here," a former star's defiant recounting of the highs and lows of her life and career.

 

Over the years, De Carlo augmented her stardom by shrewd use of publicity. Gossip columnists reported her dates with famous men. In her 1987 book, "Yvonne: An Autobiography," she listed 22 of her lovers, who included Howard Hughes, Burt Lancaster, Robert Stack, Robert Taylor, Billy Wilder, Aly Khan and an Iranian prince.

 

The Canadian-born De Carlo began her career with a parade of bit parts in films of the early 1940s, then emerged as a star in 1945 with "Salome ? Where She Danced," a routine movie about a dancer from Vienna who becomes a spy in the wild West.

 

She recalled her entrance in the film: "I came through these beaded curtains, wearing a Japanese kimono and a Japanese headpiece, and then performed a Siamese dance. Nobody seemed to know quite why."

 

Universal Pictures exploited her slightly exotic looks and a shape that looked ideal in a harem dress in such "sex-and-sand" programmers as "Song of Scheherazade," "Slave Girl," "Casbah" and "Desert Hawk."

 

The studio also employed her to add zest to Westerns, usually as a dance-hall girl or a gun-toting sharpshooter. Among the titles: "Frontier Gal," "Black Bart" (as Lola Montez), "River Lady," "Calamity Jane and Sam Bass" (as Calamity Jane) and "The Gal Who Took the West."

 

In 1956 she veered from her former image when Cecil B. DeMille chose her to play Sephora, wife to Charlton Heston's Moses in "The Ten Commandments." The following year she co-starred with Clark Gable and Sidney Poitier in "Band of Angels" as Gable's upper-class sweetheart who learns of her black forebears.

 

Among her later films: "McClintock" (starring John Wayne), "A Global Affair" (Bob Hope), "Hostile Guns" (George Montgomery), "The Power" (George Hamilton), "American Gothic" (Rod Steiger) and "Oscar" ( Sylvester Stallone).

 

De Carlo was born Peggy Yvonne Middleton in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Sept. 1, 1922, (some sources say 1924). Abandoned by her father, she was raised by her mother in poor circumstances. The girl took dancing lessons and dropped out of high school to work in night clubs and local theaters. She continued dancing in clubs when she and her mother moved to Los Angeles.

 

Paramount Pictures signed her to a contract in 1942, and she adopted her middle name and her mother's middle name. Dropped by Paramount after 20 minor roles, she landed at Universal, which cast her as the B-picture version of the studio's sultry star Maria Montez.

 

In 1955, De Carlo married Bob Morgan, a topflight stunt man, and the marriage produced two sons, Bruce and Michael, as well as much-publicized separations and reconciliations.

 

During a stunt aboard a moving log train for "How the West Was Won," Morgan was thrown underneath the wheels. The accident cost him a leg, and for a time De Carlo abandoned her career to care for him. They later divorced.

 

In her late years, De Carlo lived in semiretirement near Solvang, north of Santa Barbara. Her son Michael died in 1997, and she suffered a stroke the following year.

 

I was just talking about her and Burt lancaster on another thread.

 

vallo

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She was at her best dramatically and as an object of sexual obsession in " Criss Cross " a great noir directed by Robert Siodmak. Lancaster, Duryea, and Stephen McNally were all terrific in this splendid film.

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Dang, I just posted this over at the Hot Topics.

 

Such a shame, though I'm sure not unexpected.

 

Truly a talented and let's face it - lushly gorgeous women. I loved her in almost every role she played, The Ten Commandments, Criss Cross, Death of a Scoundrel, McLintock!, and so many others.

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Hello Everyone,

 

What sad news. Another beauty gone from the world.

 

I had heard that she was at Woodland Hills but didn't know what dire circumstances she was suffering.

The Iranian prince, who was besotted with her, was the Shah's younger brother, Prince Ali Reza. He supposedly proposed to her and sent her a trunk full of jewels to keep no matter what the answer. She declined and Ali Reza died a few months later (suicide??). I wonder what happened to the jewels?

 

She was gorgeous and talented and apparently had a sense of humour. And, she stuck by her husband, nursing him and paying all the bills. A real outstanding lady....

 

R.I.P. Yvonne.....

 

Larry

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A very beautiful woman with a great sense of humor. I really liked her in BAND OF ANGELS, which is actually coming out on dvd soon.

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How sad, but from the list of names among her past inamoratos, there's a fine reunion party in the next world this evening. I admired her sultry beauty, vividly evident in such movies as Criss Cross (1949), but respected her even more for her graceful behavior when caring for her husband, Bob Morgan, for many years,supporting him and her children throughout the years. The game spirit that she showed regarding the eminently silly but fun Munsters show was a hoot. I hope that her surviving son and stepdaughter are comforted to know that she is at peace. My heart goes out to them.

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Sorry to hear of her passing. Enjoyed her in Mcclintock woth John Wayne and Maureen O' Hara. Most for her performance as Lily Munster.

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Hi,

 

Well, the Canadian news service didn't carry anything about Miss De Carlo's death tonight, even though she was a Canadian, born in Vancouver. Typical......

 

The American news did manage a short obituary, even though their whole news flow tonight is about Bush's new invation force for Iraq.

 

All I can say is, these celebrities today better lap up their fame and notoriety now, because in 50 years when they die, nobody will remember them......

If we can't even honour the "GREATS", then these poor saps haven't a chance......

 

Larry

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"Well, the Canadian news service didn't carry anything about Miss De Carlo's death tonight, even though she was a Canadian, born in Vancouver."

 

That's surprising. You'd think this is something they'd cover.

 

It's mentioned at CTV and CBC's websites, anyway.

 

Message was edited by:

LeopoldPlumtree

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> Hi,

>

> Well, the Canadian news service didn't carry anything

> about Miss De Carlo's death tonight, even though she

> was a Canadian, born in Vancouver. Typical......

>

> The American news did manage a short obituary, even

> though their whole news flow tonight is about Bush's

> new invation force for Iraq.

>

> All I can say is, these celebrities today better lap

> up their fame and notoriety now, because in 50 years

> when they die, nobody will remember them......

> If we can't even honour the "GREATS", then these poor

> saps haven't a chance......

>

> Larry

 

How true. I wanted to catch Entertainment tonight, figuring that even though they would skimp on her film career, they would at least talk about her for awhile because of the Munsters. No dice. A single still photo, and the male host talked about her for about 20 seconds. WOW! Then Leonard Maltin comes on to do a preview of the latest Will Ferrell film. Sigh..... I know he would much rather talk about Yvonne, but he isn't in charge of the show.

Rest in Peace Yvonne......

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Hi Ziggyelman,

 

Oh, that's absolutely unconscionable......

Poor Leonard Malton - I know he'd want to honour her, as you said. I think if it was me, I'd have quit the show and told them that they don't know squat about entertainment.

Personally, I don't watch those shows. They're loud and too flashy and I get a headache. Plus they don't educate you about anything important.

 

Thanks for telling us about this abomination; I know what you mean......

 

Larry

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Hi Ziggyelman,

 

Oh, how unconscionable.

Poor Leonard malton and poor Yvonne De Carlo. I know he'd want to report on her big time. He's one of the only one's left who cares about the real stars, the yesteryear stars....

 

Thanks for telling us about this latest abomination of loud flash news shows. They're s-h-i-t!!!!!!! I never watch them as they give me a headache and don't report anything important anyway!!!

 

Larry

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She was very good in "Criss Cross." She was a far more realistic "femme fatale" than, say, Ava Gardner, in "The Killers." She was attractive (and her dance with the yet unknown Tony Curtis is tremendous) but seemed like someone you might actually run into, not someone who screamed "I am a movie star!" with each pose.

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Larry, I was myself ruminating yesterday on the gorgeousness of Ms. DeCarlo in mongo's photo (thank you mongo) in that to die for crushed velvet dress (extraordinary dress!) and bemoaning the fact that all the online news sites had her in Lily Munster makeup and fantasizing that they COULD have shown her in that dress and said: "if you want to see more, come to TCM". But that would take an amendment to the Constitution to bring intelligence and class to the American population.

 

Then I read the way her obit was handled by those who should know better, and you're right, Maltin was probably dictated to by the same corporate a**holes who are running the rest of media corporate America. It's hopeless, Ziggyelman, it really is.

 

But finally, to add insult to injury, I saw THIS today on the television website TWoP, and you'll see just how hopeless is the quest to bring classic movies, intelligence, and class to current day America:

 

Okay, who else upon seeing the original FRANKENSTEIN movie for the first time (the one with Boris Karloff) thought to themselves "But isn't that Herman Munster?"

 

And they weren't being facetious.

 

How pathetic.

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Larry, Stoney, and Ziggyelman. I saw the Entertainment Tonight as they breezed over Yvonne's passing. They talked more about Tori Spelling (who really cares) and they gave more time to their commercials breaks. What a shame!! No Mention of a film career, Just The Munsters (That's what Fred Gwenn was afraid of just being type casted or remembered only as Herman)

 

I guess no one cares if your NOT in the 18 to 49 yr. old demographic.

 

 

vallo

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In addition when any photo I saw of her it was only "Lily Munster." I know that is how most of the public knows her but they should have showed a regular photo so all would know what a lovely woman she was. (Thanks for the photo Mongo.)

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There are more (non-Lily) photos on IMBd; I'd never seen her w/o the Munster make-up (although I always loved the vampiress-dress); beautiful woman and obviously a great sense of humor in that role; didn't know she sang and danced, too, but should have -- didn't ALL the stars back then??? I agree about "loud, flashy, and obnoxious"; that about describes most TV today; thank you, TCM.

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Don't forget- she was Sephora (Moses' "wife") in "The Ten Commandments." Also enjoyed her in "Band Of Angels" (with Clark Gable.) And the kitschy '70's disco vampire flic, "Nocturna-"with John Carradine...

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Jeff,

 

Thanks for that marvellous, beautiful photo of the fabulous Miss De Carlo.

 

At a breakfast meeting this morning, I brought up the fact that she had died and everybody said, in unison, "Oh yes, Lily Munster"..... Well, I nearly lost it but good manners prevailed and I stated that she had far outacted Anne Baxter in "The Ten Commandments" and was the best thing in "Band of Angels"......

I was shocked to see a "duh look" on all their faces. I just wished I'd had that picture to throw at them.

At the end of the meeting, I told them all that they needed a broader education in entertainment than 'Fitty Cent' and 'Justin Timberlake'...

Oh, they were all 20 and 30 somethings from our Orchestra........

 

Larry

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Re: The Ten Commandments (1956)

Frankly, I never understood why in the world Moses (Charlton Heston) wanted that schemer, the pharaoh's queen (Anne Baxter), when he had the bighearted beauty of Ms. De Carlo to keep him warm. Such foolishness!

 

I just remembered a forgotten gem that displayed the sophisticated side of the comedic charm of Yvonne De Carlo. It was Captain's Paradise (1953) with Alec Guinness as a sea captain married to the English Celia Johnson and Mediterranean beauty Yvonne. Ms. De Carlo taught Guinness to tango for the role and the unlikely pair got along like a house afire during the making of this movie, which may be among her very best. The movie's a great deal of fun fluff and is out on dvd, but I'd rather TCM introduced a new audience to this hidden jewel.

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