Yvonne De Carlo Poster


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Overview (5)

Date of Birth 1 September 1922Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Date of Death 8 January 2007Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameMargaret Yvonne Middleton
Nicknames Peggy
The Gothic Donna Reed
Technicolor Queen of Hollywood
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Yvonne De Carlo was born Margaret Yvonne Middleton on September 1, 1922 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was three when her father abandoned the family. Her mother turned to waitressing in a restaurant to make ends meet--a rough beginning for an actress who would, one day, be one of Hollywood's elite. Yvonne's mother wanted her to be in the entertainment field and enrolled her in a local dance school and also saw that she studied dramatics. Yvonne was not shy in the least. She was somewhat akin to Colleen Moore who, like herself, entertained the neighborhood with impromptu productions. In 1937, when Yvonne was 15, her mother took her to Hollywood to try for fame and fortune, but nothing came of it and they returned to Canada. They came back to Hollywood in 1940, where Yvonne would dance in chorus lines at night while she checked in at the studios by day in search of film work. After appearing in unbilled parts in three short films, she finally got a part in a feature.

Although the film Harvard, Here I Come! (1941) was quite lame, Yvonne shone in her brief appearance as a bathing beauty. The rest of 1942 and 1943 saw her in more uncredited roles in films that did not quite set Hollywood on fire. In The Deerslayer (1943), she played Wah-Tah. The role did not amount to much, but it was much better than the ones she had been handed previously. The next year was about the same as the previous two years. She played small parts as either secretaries, someone's girlfriend, native girls or office clerks. Most aspiring young actresses would have given up and gone home in defeat, but not Yvonne. She trudged on. The next year, started out the same, with mostly bit parts, but later that year, she landed the title role in Salome Where She Danced (1945) for Universal Pictures. While critics were less than thrilled with the film, it was at long last her big break, and the film was a success for Universal. Now she was rolling.

Her next film was the western comedy Frontier Gal (1945) as Lorena Dumont. After a year off the screen in 1946, she returned in 1947 as Cara de Talavera in Song of Scheherazade (1947), and many agreed that the only thing worth watching in the film was Yvonne. Her next film was the highly regarded Burt Lancaster prison film Brute Force (1947). Time after time, Yvonne continued to pick up leading roles, in such pictures as Slave Girl (1947), Black Bart (1948), Casbah (1948) and River Lady (1948). She had a meaty role in Criss Cross (1949), a gangster movie, as the ex-wife of a hoodlum. At the start of the 1950s, Yvonne enjoyed continued success in lead roles. Her talents were again showcased in movies such as The Desert Hawk (1950), Silver City (1951) and Scarlet Angel (1952). Her last film in 1952 was Hurricane Smith (1952), a picture most fans and critics agree is best forgotten.

In 1956, she appeared in the film that would immortalize her best, The Ten Commandments (1956). She played Sephora, the wife of Moses (Charlton Heston). The film was, unquestionably, a super smash, and is still shown on television today. Her performance served as a springboard to another fine role, this time as Amantha Starr in Band of Angels (1957). In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Yvonne appeared on such television series as Bonanza (1959) and The Virginian (1962). However, with film roles drying up, she took what turned out to be the role for which she will be best remembered--that of Lily Munster in the smash series The Munsters (1964). However, she still was not completely through with the big screen. Appearances in such films as McLintock! (1963), The Power (1968), The Seven Minutes (1971) and La casa de las sombras (1976) kept her before the eyes of the moviegoing public. Yvonne De Carlo died at age 84 of natural causes on January 8, 2007 in Woodland Hills, California.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson

Spouse (1)

Bob Morgan (21 November 1955 - 1974) (divorced) (2 children)

Trade Mark (5)

Her portrayals of affectionate, devoted housewives in The Ten Commandments (1956) and The Munsters (1964)
Long dark chestnut hair
Blue-gray eyes, which sparkle in her Technicolor films
Voluptuous figure
Deep sultry voice

Trivia (76)

Miss Venice Beach 1938.
Took the role of Lily Munster on The Munsters (1964) to help pay husband Bob Morgan's medical bills. Morgan, an actor/stuntman, had suffered near-fatal injuries while filming How the West Was Won (1962). By her own admission, Ms. De Carlo never imagined, at the time, that Lily Munster would become her most famous role.
Her maternal grandfather, Michael De Carlo, was Sicilian, and her maternal grandmother, Margaret Purvis, was Scottish. She drew her stage name from her grandfather.
She chose her own stage name by using her middle name and her mother's maiden name of De Carlo.
Guest-starred on the pilot episode of Bonanza (1959) as gold rush entertainer Lotta Crabtree.
Had two sons: Bruce (born 1956) and Michael (1957-1999); and one stepdaughter: Bari (born 1947).
She was the producers' second choice to play Lily Munster, after Joan Marshall was dropped from consideration for the role of Phoebe Marshall.
Became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Was trained in opera and was a former chorister at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, when she was a little girl.
Before she starred on The Munsters (1964) that same year, she was deeply in debt, her film career was over and was suffering from depression.
She had six hobbies: spending time with her family, golfing, dancing, drinking wine, listening to music, singing.
Began her career as a contract player for Paramount Pictures in 1942.
Before she was a successful actress, she was a dancer and had worked at various nightclubs in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Dropped out of King Edward High School at age 15 (which was her sophomore year), to focus more on her dance studies, hence, she attended B.C. School of Dancing.
Attended King Edward High School in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Attended Le Conte Middle School in Los Angeles, California.
Was a heavy smoker for many years and suffered a stroke in 1998.
Resided at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital from 1998 to 2007, where she died.
Was only three years old when her father and mother separated; acting ran in her family.
While working at Vancouver's Palomar, at age 16, she was allegedly pressured to expose her breasts. In response to the incident, she and her mother left the nightclub.
While working as a dancer for showman Nils Granlund at the Florentine Gardens, she was once arrested by immigration officials and deported to Canada. In 1941, Granlund sent a telegram to Canadian immigration officials pledging his sponsorship of her in the United States, and affirmed his offer of steady employment, both requirements to reenter the country.
Remained good friends with Butch Patrick, during and after The Munsters (1964).
Yvonne and Virginia Mayo toured together, signing and dancing in their later years.
Future comedienne Vicki Lawrence said DeCarlo was her childhood television heroine.
Throughout 1937, Yvonne's mother took her to Hollywood to try to be a star, but did not succeed and returned to Canada.
She was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Motion Pictures at 6124 Hollywood Boulevard; and for Television at 6715 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Her mother, Marie DeCarlo Middleton, died from a fall on December 19, 1993.
An accomplished singer, since a little girl, she sang and played the harp on an episode of The Munsters (1964).
Established her movie career and worked as a contract player for Universal Pictures in 1945.
Her parents were William Middleton, a salesman, and Marie De Carlo, an aspiring actress.
When her son, Michael Morgan died in 1997, the causes were unknown, although a Santa Barbara Police report contains concerns about possible foul play.
While Margaret lived with her mother in Hollywood, her mother worked as a waitress.
Her future The Munsters (1964) co-star, Butch Patrick, said in an interview, his mother was a huge fan of her movies, long before he co-starred with De Carlo in the series.
By the time little Margaret entered into grade school, her voice was really strong.
When she was only three years old, her father abandoned the family, hence, she lived with her grandparents.
After she was born, her mother ran away from home, when Marie was age 16 to become a ballerina, after two years working as a shop girl, she was finally married in 1924.
Her mother was fascinated with actress Baby Peggy, and wanted to have a baby of her own, of the same name.
Was briefly engaged to Jock Mahoney in 1949, but she broke off the engagement following a miscarriage.
While starring in The Gal Who Took the West (1949), she was not only walking away in the movie, she was actually walking off with Jock Mahoney, who was her boyfriend at the time.
Best remembered by the public for her starring role as Lily Munster on The Munsters (1964).
After her role in The Barefoot Executive (1995), she retired from acting at age 72.
Acting mentor and friends with Butch Patrick.
She was a staunch Republican and conservative who was active in the campaigns of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Was the Honorary Mayor of North Hollywood.
Her favorite actress was Vicki Lawrence.
In the 1970s, she was the celebrity spokesperson for Bank of America.
In 1951, RKO Radio Pictures tried to compose a film noir entitled "The Sins of Sarah Ferry". The story was about a courthouse clerk in Binghamton, New York who finds herself falling in love with a beautiful liar whose accused of armed robbery as well as a hit run charge involving a death. The cast would have starred Laraine Day, Fred MacMurray, Yvonne De Carlo, Hugh Beaumont, Glenn Ford, Howard Duff and Evelyn Keyes, with the studio wanting to shoot on location in Binghamton and neighboring Johnson City. This project never materialized because the plot was considered to close of a generic step-up of Double Indemnity (1944) and the studio never received a reply via phone call or standard mail from the Binghamton Courthouse or then Mayor Donald Kramer granting them permission to film on location in the area and negotiate a fair range of payment. Based on that neglect, the studio immediately canceled this project and moved on.
In 1963 and 1964, De Carlo joined fellow actresses Joan Caulfield, Ruth Hussey, Marie Windsor, Laraine Day, Virginia Mayo and Maidie Norman, in making appearances on behalf of U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater, the Republican nominee in the campaign against U.S. President Lyndon Johnson.
The film noir Criss Cross (1949) was the first dramatic movie of her career.
Her mother, Marie DeCarlo Middleton, had Yvonne, when she was age 19.
(December 7, 1941) During World War II, she joined Hollywood's Biggest Performed in Morales Booking Social.
Met Bob Morgan on the set of Shotgun (1955). They were married for 19 years, until their divorce in 1973.
Her ex-husband Bob Morgan was an alcoholic.
Created the role of Lily Munster on The Munsters (1964).
Had mixed emotions when she auditioned for Lily Munster, she accepted the role because she was flat broke.
After Bob Morgan's untimely accident, De Carlo was dismissed from her contract at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1960.
Though Al Lewis played De Carlo's father on The Munsters (1964), in real-life Lewis was one year her junior.
Yvonne DeCarlo passed away on January 8, 2007. Her ex-The Munsters (1964) co-star, Al Lewis, passed away one year before her, in April 2006.
Left work temporarily to take care of her ex-husband's Bob Morgan's disability.
Could not withhold the rigors of ballet, but was much relieved when she turned to a Canadian dance instructor, June Ropers.
Though her education was erratic, her dancing training continued.
Began singing at an early age.
Died on Elvis Presley's birthday.
She played Carlotta in the original Broadway cast of Sondheim's "Follies" and introduced the song "I'm Still Here" [1971].
She was greatly admired by Italian actress Sophia Loren, who grew up watching De Carlo's early films. In 1965, Loren stated: "Particularly I loved Yvonne De Carlo - she was my favorite [actress]. Others too, like Rita Hayworth, but I used to dream I was Yvonne De Carlo. And I liked that little one - what was her name? - June Allyson, too. But for me there was only one Yvonne De Carlo".
She appeared with John Carradine in six films: The Ten Commandments (1956), Munster, Go Home! (1966), The Seven Minutes (1971), Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976), Satan's Cheerleaders (1977) and Nocturna (1979).
She was known to be a very private and shy lady.
The July 22, 1970, issue of Variety, in the Hollywood Production Pulse column, lists the movie "The Low Price of Fame" had started filming May 18 in Iowa, starring Rory Calhoun, Gardner McKay, and Yvonne DeCarlo. Producer and director Jerry Schafer, executive producer Donald B. Running, for Carvel Prods. No evidence the film was completed or released.
Considered The Ten Commandments (1956) as her best film.
Played Mexican women in Sombrero (1953), Border River (1954), and Passion (1954).
Played twins in Passion (1954).
Began her show The Munsters (1964) when she was 42.
Her paternal grandfather was from Messina, a city in northeastern Sicily.
Portrayed biblical women in The Ten Commandments (1956) and La spada e la croce (1958).

Personal Quotes (26)

I was on cloud nine all the time. After I made my hit in Salome Where She Danced (1945), Universal sent me to New York so I could learn to be a proper movie star.
I was named Margaret Yvonne. Margaret because my mother was very fond of one of the derivatives of the name. She was fascinated at the time by the movie star Baby Peggy and I suppose she wanted a Baby Peggy of her own.
[on The Munsters (1964)] 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.
[on Howard Hughes's romance, after watching Salome Where She Danced (1945)] A man came over... he said "Mr. Hughes would like to meet you.". Well, I was not too much aware of Mr. Hughes at the time... who he was or anything. So I said, "Oh, yes, fine!". And so, I looked and thought, "Wow, this would be a terrific boyfriend for my aunt.".
[upon her entrance in Salome Where She Danced (1945), where she danced] 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.
[in 1965] I guess I lead a double life, and I must admit I'm happy with both.
[on writing her own autobiography] If I could, I'd change a lot of things because I'm not proud of everything I've done in my life. But to those people who helped me, and there were a lot, I say, thank you. They're the reason I wrote this book.
Men, no matter what their promises, rarely leave their spouses... the louses.
[when worried if The Munsters (1964) was ever going to be a success] I had moments of terror and fear that my public would not understand the makeup and all that. I really wondered if it was the right thing to do.
[who said in 1963 about doing guest shots] Everybody has just been marvelous. Particularly because no one has suggested they were helping, but that I was right for the parts.
[who said in 1964 about playing the second vampire mother on television] They told me to play her just like Donna Reed. That sounded strange to me until I tried it. Now it works. She acts just like any housewife. The difference is in her approach to things, as when she tells her little child to go to bed, "And don't forget to close your lid." The makeup turned out to her satisfaction. She wears floor-length black hair - gray-streaked with a widow's peak, of course. Her complexion is a faint green, but it shows up as dead white on the screen. She was pleased when some young visitors to the set commented how glamorous she looked.
[when she befell for the character Lily Munster she named because she slept with arms folded coffin-style, and a lily on her chest] I had misgivings when I was told about the role. After all, I didn't want to destroy whatever image I had established. So I asked the makeup man what the makeup was supposed to be.
I wear a tight, fitting gray dress. The kind of thing it would be nice to be buried in. A long train and long, bat - like things banging from the sleeves. And low cut.
[who told the media in 1971 about her stars, if she was really nervous about residing in New York City] I'm from Hollywood, I'm too dumb to be nervous about New York.
[when asked in 1972 about her affair with Howard Hughes, before he turned into a legendary recluse] Howard taught me how to land a plane and how to take off. But he never taught me anything about flying in between. He thought that I had learned the difficult parts, and that was enough.
[who wasn't very fond of Arabian Nights-type of movies, the ones she appeared in] But I was amazed at how much the people over there like those pictures. I talked to many natives, cab drivers, hairdressers, hotel clerks, who said they had seen Song of Scheherazade (1947) four and five times. And they seemed to have liked Casbah (1948), too, although I don't know why. Everytime I play a concert, someone would yell, "Sing something from Casbah."
[when she was playing several concerts in the United States, including the singing and dancing] It would have happened to any film performer playing there. At every performance, there were between 150 and 200 civilian and military policemen to hold back the crowds. The hall would hold 1,500 people, but always the side doors would be pushed open and many more would stand in the aisles.
[when asked in 1949 about Jock Mahoney's fame] What fame is he talking about? The only fame he has had is what he got by being seen with me!
[on how Cecil B. DeMille picked her for the role of Sephora in The Ten Commandments (1956)] I had done a picture at Metro titled Sombrero (1953) which wasn't too much of a hit. But I had portrayed a saintly type of woman similar to what DeMille had in mind for Sephora. He saw the picture, was very much impressed, and promptly said: "You're it.".
[at the premiere of The Ten Commandments (1956)] Thanks to Mr. DeMille, I can get in some Class A pictures.
[when asked in 1945, "Who else is beautiful, like you, in Hollywood? Really stunning?"] That's a heck of a question to ask a lady! But if you insist - Merle Oberon and Hedy Lamarr.
[at the premiere of The Ten Commandments (1956)] There were a lot of old, old opinions against me in Hollywood which Mr. DeMille has changed.
I'd always wanted to work in a DeMille picture. I set my mind once on getting a part in The Story of Dr. Wassell (1944), but Carol Thurston beat me out. My heart was broken, but in the light of events, it was just as well. The part didn't do very much for Carol and it probably wouldn't have done any more for me. It also taught me not to try too hard for any definite role! It's better to take things as they come. The role of Sephora fell into my lap. I guess that's the best way for things to happen.
Perhaps the actor is not the best judge of what he should do. He only knows what he wants to do, or likes to do. I feel the role of Sephora will do a lot for me. It is far different from anything I've ever played. It runs all through the picture, and at the end of it I am an old, old woman.
I look terrible as a blonde. I once put on a Brunhilde wig at the studio and not one cameraman gave me a second look. I was terribly offended.
Yvonne is my middle name, and De Carlo was my mother's maiden name. I changed it because, well, I just wasn't the June Allyson type. It's not Spanish, it's Sicilian, honey.

Salary (2)

Harvard, Here I Come! (1941) $35
The Ten Commandments (1956) $25,000

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