in , ,

Why Yvonne De Carlo’s Co-Stars Confirm HATED Her

Yvonne De Carlo was a beloved Canadian-American actress, dancer, and singer. She was born on September 1, 1922 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and passed away on January 8, 2007 in Woodland Hills, California. She began her career as a dancer and went on to become a popular Hollywood actress in the 1940s and 1950s.

De Carlo appeared in over 80 films, including 1956s “The Ten Commandments”, 1957s “Band of Angels”, and 1963s “McLintock!”. She was also a regular cast member in the television series “The Munsters” which ran from 1964 to 1966, where she played Lily Munster. For that role, she is best remembered by most modern audiences.

In addition to her prolific acting career, De Carlo was also a successful singer and released several albums. She was known for her beauty and talent, and was considered to be one of the most popular actresses of her time.

Throughout her career, De Carlo received recognition for her work and was honored with various awards and nominations. She remains a beloved figure in the entertainment industry and is remembered for her many contributions to film and television.

While the public may remember De Carlo fondly, some of her former co-stars didn’t quite have the most glowing opinion of her at first. While on the set of The Munsters, she managed to ruffle a few feathers, to say the least. And on top of that, she didn’t exactly have the nicest things to share about some of her experiences with the show either.

Stay tuned to find out why Yvonne De Carlo wasn’t initially warmly received by her Munsters’ co-stars and why she couldn’t stand having to get into makeup every day.

Facts Verse Presents: Co-Stars Confirm Why Yvonne De Carlo was Hated on Set

The Cast Wasn’t Sure She Was The Right Fit

Although The Munsters only lasted two years before getting the ax, the series has gone on to be considered a cult classic. Fans of the series loved the story of a family of off-beat monsters who attempted to fit in with ordinary people.

Lily Munster, played by Yvonne De Carlo, was the matriarch of the Munster family, and she often had to deal with the chaos conjured up by her husband Herman Munster, played by the late Fred Gwynne. Although De Carlo was beloved by her fans, we’ve come to learn that she wasn’t exactly welcomed with open arms by her former co-stars

For starters, Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis, the actor who portrayed Grandpa Munster, weren’t sure about how they felt about De Carlo in the role of Lily Munster. When casting for The Munsters, the show’s producers chose Gwynne and Lewis as they seemed to be shoe-ins for their respective roles.

Behind the scenes, Gwynne and Lewis were close friends who had previously worked alongside each other on the series Car 54, Where Are You? However, when it came to these two established star’s relationship with De Carlo, they were far less friendly toward her.

It’s been reported that the primary reason for this had to do with De Carlo’s status as a film star. Gwynne and Lewis firmly believed that she wouldn’t be the right fit for a role in a television comedy. That being said, De Carlo proved them wrong, and fortunately all three actors eventually ended up becoming lifelong friends.

De Carlo’s Film Career Before The Munsters

Throughout the ‘40s and ‘50s, De Carlo was a regular fixture in films put out by Hollywood. Her early film work consisted of roles in films such as Hurricane Smith, Calamity Jane, Hotel Sahara, and Sam Bass.

Her most prominent film credit, however, came when she shared the screen with one of Tinsel Town’s most sought-after leads, Charlton Heston, in the 1956 classic epic biblical flick The Ten Commandments.

Though De Carlo was a famed and celebrated movie star, like so many other actors of her day, she ended up falling on hard times. By the ’60s, movie roles had all but dried up, and she was drowning in debt.

In 1964, however, the fates handed her a change of luck when she was offered the role of Lily Munster. According to reports, De Carlo was thrilled to portray the now-iconic character. Her role on The Munsters ended up doing wonders for her once-struggling career, effectively giving her a second wind.

De Carlo told Fox News a few years before her passing that the role provided her with a new, younger audience that she wouldn’t have had otherwise. After a long stint of basically falling to the wayside and being forgotten by Hollywood, it made her ‘hot again’, which is something that she desperately wanted.

Lily Munster Ended Up Becoming Her Most Famous Role

While De Carlo had oodles of film credits to her name, her role as Lily Munster wound up becoming her most famous. De Carlo would spend hours in hair and makeup every day to transform her appearance into that of the Munster matriarch. We’ll touch on that in a bit more detail in just a moment – so stick with us.

As far as her character’s personality went, De Carlo later admitted that it had been challenging to get into the groove of things. Producers instructed her to play Lily as a sort of ‘mixed up’ take on

Donna Reed without overdoing it.

De Carlo ended up playing Lily for two seasons before the show was canceled in 1966. Later on, she would reprise her role in the spin-off films The Munsters Revenge and Munster, Go Home! And thanks to re-runs, millions of younger viewers have been introduced to her performance as Lily, leading to many longtime fans that otherwise likely wouldn’t even know her name.

She Hated Getting Into Makeup

Goth might be a popular aesthetic today, but it wasn’t really a thing back in the 60s. For sure, if you looked hard enough, you could find people that loved the macabre style, but the subculture as it exists today really didn’t end up finding it’s footing in pop culture until the 1980s or so.

There is far more appreciation for Yvonne De Carlo’s makeup and wardrobe as Lily Munster with contemporary audiences than when the TV series was first airing. Because of this, De Carlo naturally felt a little uncomfortable when slipping into character every day – especially the first time that she saw herself in the mirror after getting all done up as the dark, seductive vampiress.

The 2017 book You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet, written by former TV columnist for the Toronto Star, James Bawden, recounts the author’s numerous interviews with some of the top stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

In 1975, Bawden got a chance to interview De Carlo when he traveled to LA to preview the fall television season. According to the book, it didn’t take long for Yvonne to open up about her time on The Munsters.

When describing her hair and makeup routine, De Carlo said that the very first time that she was put in her signature green makeup, she ended up bursting into tears. She couldn’t believe that after spending decades as a respected and established actress, what she would ultimately end up becoming most famous for was playing a gaudy monster on a low-brow television series.

After The Munsters ended up becoming a smash hit, De Carlo said that everywhere she went, children would point at her and ask if she was the real Lily Munster.

De Carlo went on to tell Bawden that in Hollywood, you need to learn how to roll with the punches if you want to keep working and that, unfortunately, for older women, that often means that they have to resort to monster movies. At least in her case, she got to play a funny monster!

Still, she cringed when she saw the first pilot. It took her nearly two hours every day sitting in makeup to get done up like Lily Munster, and every moment of that time, she no doubt spent second-guessing herself.

De Carlo told Bawden that she wouldn’t have used the word ‘ugly’ to describe Lily’s look, but even so, at the time there was an established set of beauty standards in Hollywood that she frankly didn’t fit in with. This became especially obvious when the show went from black and white to color for the later two Munster films. At that point, the camera showed off all of the green and red that covered her face and made her look all the more so like the monstrosity that she was intended to be seen as.

When the show was airing in black and white, the bright green and red makeup enhanced the intense contouring and contrast. It really made the clothing and everyone’s prosthetics and winged eyebrows pop. But De Carlo was right on the money when she mentioned that the reds and greens seen in the Film Munster, Go Home weren’t very flattering. The makeup choice ultimately made Lily, Grandpa, and Eddie Munster look fairly hideous.

In black and white, red would have shown up as black. Grease paint and a heavy foundation of green makeup would be used to cover up any reddish hues on the skin. Gold lipstick was likewise used to simulate the color of natural lips. Finally, blue would be used for shadow and contour, getting a liberal spreading across the actor’s faces. In grayscale, all of this looked just fine, but after making the leap to color, these decisions made the cast look like a band of clowns.

De Carlo’s Post-Munsters Career

After “The Munsters” ended, Yvonne De Carlo continued to act in television and film. Some of her notable works include “The Love Boat”, “Bonanza”, and “McClintock!”. She also continued to perform in theater productions, both on and off Broadway, until her retirement in the late 1980s.

In 1998, Yvonne suffered a minor stroke. She later took up residency at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, where she spent the remainder of her years.

De Carlo passed away on January 8, 2007, at the age of 84. The cause of her death was reported to be heart failure. She is survived by her two sons Bruce Ross and Michael.

With that, we’ll go ahead and wrap things up. But before you move on to watching another one of our facts-packed videos, take a moment to hop down in the comments and share your thoughts on Yvonne De Carlo’s life and career.

Did you know that she hated getting into makeup when playing Lily Munster and that her Munster’s co-stars were at first uncertain that she was the right fit for the role? Let us know, and as always, thanks for watching.

Two and a Half Men Cast Then and Now (2003 to 2023)

Remember Her? Take a Deep Breath Before You See What She Looks Like Now