1/7 Fred Gwynne – Herman Munster
Six foot-five and gravel-voiced, Harvard-educated Gwynne played the family’s patriarch, who worked at a funeral home. Making his debut uncredited in ‘On The Waterfront’, the actor was an excellent singer and artist who illustrated children’s books. His final, brilliant performance was as the irascible judge in ‘My Cousin Vinny’. He died in 1993 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 66.
2/7 Yvonne De Carlo – Lily Munster
De Carlo took over the role after the initial actress was fired for looking too much like Morticia Addams. A great dancer, trained opera singer and famous Hollywood beauty, De Carlo was a studio contract player and appeared as Moses’s wife in ‘The Ten Commandments’. She later appeared in musicals and was thought to have had an affair with Howard Hughes. She died of heart failure in 2007 aged 84.
3/7 Al Lewis – Grandpa Munster
Born Albert Meister, Lewis was a successful vaudevillian and TV guest star. In 1987 he became a restauranteur after opening Grampa’s Belle Gente in New York. He was also a political activist and ran unsuccessfully to be the Governor of New York, standing as a Green party candidate. Complications from heart surgery resulted in the amputation of his right leg below the knee and all the toes on his left foot. He died in 2006 aged 82.
4/7 Butch Patrick – Eddie Munster
Patrick was 11 when he took over the role of werewolf Eddie from original star Nate Derman, having made his acting debut three years earlier. He found acting hard to come by as he got older and instead went to work for his father, as well as making comedy cameos and appearing on the convention circuit. Now 63, he’s struggled with substance abuse, going into rehab in 2010 and in 2011 was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
5/7 Beverley Owen – Marilyn Munster
The ‘plain-looking’ relative in the show, at the time Owen was contractually bound to Universal which is why she did the series. However, she hated it and was homesick, leading her to be released after 13 episodes. Despite appearing in soap opera ‘Another World’, she left TV to work in theatre, had two kids and earned a Masters degree in Early American History.
6/7 Pat Priest – Marilyn Munster #2
Having taken over from Owen for the remainder of the series, Utah-born Priest did only a little acting after the show finished, starring opposite Elvis Presley in 1967’s ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’. She quit the business and worked in real estate in Idaho, as well as appearing at fan conventions. Now 80, she’s retired.
7/7 The Raven – Mel Blanc
Purely a voice role, in a nod to Edgar Allen Poe, ‘Charlie’ appeared in the family’s cuckoo clock. He wouldn’t be significant were he not voiced by perhaps the greatest voiceover artist in history, known for playing Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam and Barney Rubble amongst thousands others.
This comedy series about a family of monsters ran for 70 episodes from 1964 to 1966 (as well as various TV movies and reunion specials) and was actually a bigger hit at the time than its rival ‘The Addams Family’. But what happened to the actors beneath the make-up?
8 films that lost their stars a fortune - 17 most popular Disney songs Image credits: Getty, Rex_Shutterstock