Sweet Lily Munster is prepared to look up with love at her Herman, cook dinner for Grandpa, hand son Eddie his lunchbox, and play the noble retiring housewife on CBS’ “The Munsters” next season.
As Lily, Yvonne De Carlo doesn’t expect bigger parts on the monster series. “There will be no changes or additions as far as I know. You don’t fool with success,” said the actress who used to be known for seductive parts in pictures like “Captain’s Paradise,” “Tomahawk” and pirate epics.
Now she’s more popular as the crazy lady, flouncing about in strange flowing garments called dresses, ladling out soup among the spider webs to those smiling weirdos, the Munster men.
Last season, Yvonne only had one real meaty story, in which heroine Lily went out looking for a job, and surprisingly landed one as a way-out model to a very peculiar dress designer.
Morbid shows preferred
“That was my best show,” said Miss De Carlo, “but I got home late from work and never saw it.
“My favorites are the morbid ones. I liked the episode where Grandpa turned into a wolf out in the country. And the story about Herman slipping into the Egyptian museum and getting caught in a coffin pleased me.”
Like Al Lewis (Grandpa), Yvonne wonders how many more stories can be built completely around the marvelous Herman. “I think we’re going to run out of sport stories for my husband,” Yvonne continued. “He’s played golf, baseball, basketball, tried scuba diving, fished. I don’t know what’s left.”
She also wonders how many times Herman can stomp on the floor and break things when he’s angry. The kids laughed the first year, but will they the second?
The Munsters: Transylvania locum urged
Both Yvonne and Lewis think more shows should be built around the family to take the heat off star Fred Gwynne, so his character of Herman won’t become overly-familiar, Miss De Carlo has suggested the family return to their original hunting ground, Transylvania, for a few stories. “We could sleep in the castle,” Yvonne offered, “and be on display snoring happily away for the group tours.”
The idea has been received with silence.
However, Miss De Carlo is on the best of terms with producers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, and she isn’t hurt if her suggestions fall by the wayside.
“I like my producers,” she said. “And, if I want to change a line in the script, I’ll pick up the phone first and ask their permission.”
There’s also a good rapport between Al Lewis, Fred Gwynne and myself. The men, being New Yorkers, kid me a lot about the picture business, the industry. Fred is always bringing up Van Heflin. He saw me in a picture with Vanl and apparently can’t forget it.
“I tell those two I’ve worked with the best — Heflin, Alec Guinness and others — and I know how to handle myself. If I find anyone upstaging mel I simply embarrass them right in front of the crew.”
Patience, stamina needed for The Munsters
It’s a good thing the Munster grownups get along, because stepped-on nerves could ruin the series. Great patience is needed, and stamina, too, to survive the long hours, the waiting for special effect sight gags to work and the costume irritations.
The three often arrive at 5:30am, and take two hours to put on all their blue-grey makeup. “I can shorten my makeup time,” said Lily, “but I like to take time with my nails and my wig, and I put on all the body makeup myself.
“You should have seen me in a bathing suit sequence, which will be shown in the fall,” she continued. “With my grey-blue skin and my same color suit, I looked all of one piece. It was spectacular.
“But the costumes remain a problem. On hot days, Fred has Al spray his middle with an air hose for tickling relief. And Al has problems in that full-dress coat, which is very stiff, old-fashioned and uncomfortable.
“When I look back on the past year, I wonder how we got through it. Fred had a pinched nerve for a while, Al caught the flu, and I came down with nervous exhaustion this spring during our last two months of shooting. I tell you — it’s murder to be a Munster!”