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Monday, February 1, 2010

Yvonne DeCarlo Lilly Munster and One Sweet Barris Ride

Yvonne DeCarlo became famous from her role as Lilly Munster in the TV series, The Munsters. The series only ran for two years and spawned two movies, but the role of the sweet, yet sensible vampiress Lily introduced Yvonne to a new, younger audience and reignited her career.
Not entirely unrecognizable from her full-tilt glam studio days, Yvonne wore green makeup and a long, black fright wig with a silver streak as the wife of Frankenstein's monster-esque Herman Munster.  In a way, (along with Carolyn Jones as Morticia on 'The Addams Family,' which also ran from 1964-66) Yvonne De Carlo's Lily may have helped to spawn early goth chic, introducing long black hair, flowing empire-waisted gowns, and bat necklaces to the mainstream public.
De Carlo's Killer Ride
De Carlo relished the role, going so far as to have her black 1966 Jaguar sedan tricked out by Hollywood customizer George Barris with spiderweb hubcaps, gold coffin rails in place of a luggage rack, and coffin-shaped door handles.  The piece de resistance?  The traditional Jaguar hood ornament was replaced with a brass wolf's head with gleaming ruby eyes.
During the later years of her career, Yvonne used her Scream Queen status granted by The Munsters to propel her career towards a second wind in B-horror movies to help pay the bills.  Quite often, she was cast in the role of a seemingly innocuous housewife. Lurking beneath the surface of her famous, sparkling gray eyes, Yvonne's characters harbored a startlingly evil nature, capable of killing someone in cold blood.

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