Biography

Yvonne DeCarlo: Gilded Lily (18 Jul. 2000)

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Title: Yvonne DeCarlo: Gilded Lily (18 Jul 2000)

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Episode credited cast:
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Herself (archive footage)
Bob Morgan ...
Himself (archive footage)
James Robert Parish ...
Himself (as James Parish)
Joyce Arthur ...
Herself
...
Himself
Bari Morgan Miller ...
Herself
...
Himself
Pat Priest ...
Herself
...
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Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Bruce ...
Cleve Blunt (archive footage)
...
Hamish Bond (archive footage)
...
Captain Henry St. James (archive footage)
...
Herman Munster (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
...
Steve Thompson (archive footage)
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18 July 2000 (USA)  »

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Peggy Middleton Determines to Overcome Obstacles
20 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Peter Graves narrates this account of the life and career of Vancouver, British Columbia native Peggy Middleton, who takes her middle name and her mother's maiden name to defy the odds to become the lovely actress, dancer, singer and author Yvonne DeCarlo.

While she remains an infant, Peggy's parents split, leaving her time to be spent between her free-spirited mother and staunch Presbyterian maternal grandparents, an experience which affords Margaret, or "Peggy," an opportunity to realize a range of discipline, as she hones her natural dancing talent, while maintaining her charming innocence.

As a teen, Peggy accompanies stage mother, Marie, to Hollywood with the aspiration to find a spot dancing in film, while studying to become a ballerina under the guide of Instructor June Roper, who suggests that Peggy turn her attention from Ballet unto other dance forms, as she enters and wins "Miss Venice" 1940 to compete in the state finals toward the Miss America pageant.

She dances at night-spots in the Los Angeles area, notably Florentine Gardens, as she goes on to accept film roles as exotic dancers, becoming Yvonne DeCarlo in the process. But the outbreak of U.S. involvement in WWII beckons, and Yvonne joins the U.S.O. to entertain troops, before settling into a film contract with Paramont, which lasts from 1942-44, before she is dropped.

It is Universal Studios which selects Yvonne for an option, as she now becomes noticed for her exotic beauty and capable dancing skills.

Yvonne would be romantically linked with actors Robert Stack and Jock Mahoney, plus millionaire Howard Hughes, Prince Aly Salomone Khan, and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, before marrying stuntman Robert Morgan, in 1955.

While her career was flourishing during the 1940's and 50's, Bob's would come to a sudden halt when run over by a train, while doing stunt work on "How the West Was Won" (1962). MGM accepted no liability for Bob's accident, and the debt of the resulting legal and medical bills severely burdened the family of five.

And so, with her film career in decline, and facing unbearable obstacles, Yvonne takes the advice of her agent to audition for a role in an forthcoming 1964 television series, which would cement her Hollywood fame for generations of fans.

Afterward, Yvonne would continue in television guest spots, record music albums, author her autobiography, and make her Broadway debut in the Follies of 1971, singing the appropriate "I'm Still Here," to highlight her six-decade career in entertainment.

Once, when son Bruce asks his mother about the secret of her success: "Is it luck? talent? determination?," Yvonne lowers her eyebrows, looking him in the eye, answering, "They're all the same."

Interview Guests for this episode include three of Yvonne's Co-stars, Robert Stack, Al Lewis and Pat Priest; her step-daughter, Bari Morgan Miller; her son Bruce Morgan; her fan club president, Joyce Arthur; and her Biographer, James Robert Parish.

Archive footage includes Yvonne with husband, Bob Morgan, Co-stars Maureen O'Hara and Alec Guiness, Talk show host Ross Shafer, and "Munsters" Co-stars Fred Gwynne, Beverley Owen and Butch Patrick.

Film clips include screen glimpses of Yvonne through the years, in scenes from "Salome Where She Danced" (1945), "Song of Scheherazade" (1947), "Criss Cross" (1949), "The Captain's Paradise" (1953), "The Ten Commandments" (1956), "Band of Angels" (1957), "McLintock!" (1963), and "The Seven Minutes" (1971), as well as television's "The Munsters" (1964-1966).


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