I’d like to dedicate this day and post to the vintage queen of Halloween, Yvonne De Carlo.
Born Margaret Yvonne Middleton in Canada, De Carlo assumed her estranged father’s last name when she started her showgirl career to create a more sophisticated image.
Her career started on the stage in the late 1930s. Her mother was a ballerina and raised her to be a dancer, but she was most interested in being a singer. She even released an album in the ’50s called Yvonne De Carlo Sings.
She was a Paramount starlet early on, hired for her resemblance to Dorothy Lamour. Studios often hired look-alike actresses to keep their bigger stars in check by reminding them how replaceable they were. She also appeared as a B-movie version of Maria Montez for Universal.
She had a career that spanned 7 decades which included both movie and television. She appeared in numerous western and adventure films, including The Ten Commandments.
But it seems she may have been destined for the role that our generation most knows her for, Lily Munster. Her son Bruce recalls that, years before her role on The Munsters, her rehearsal space in the basement at home had stacks of books about horror and gothic fantasy like novels about vampires. Destiny? I think so.
She appeared in and made cameos in many B-horror movies toward the end of her career, appearing in films into the ’90s. She had a small part in Mirror, Mirror, which I both loved and was terrified by when I was in junior high.
I am not really sure when this will happen, but apparently, her son, who runs her official website, is putting together a book that will include her handwritten recipes for stews and cocktail appetizers. If it is ever released, I will be sure to tell you ladies about it. That would be the best cookbook ever!