Yvonne De Carlo
Actress
Yvonne De Carlo
Yvonne De Carlo was a Canadian-born American actress-singer of film, television, and theatre. During her six-decade career, her most prominent roles were featured in the films Salome Where She Danced, Criss Cross, and Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments. De Carlo is also known for her portrayal of Lily Munster in the CBS television series The Munsters.
Biography
Yvonne De Carlo's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Yvonne De Carlo from around the web
Dressing the Universe: 'Star Wars' and the Power of the Costume Exhibition
Huffington Post - over 1 year
In May 1977, the first in the Star Wars film series was released and quickly became a global phenomenon. Described as an "epic space opera," the movie franchise became incredibly popular and has had an impact on modern popular culture with its storyline, filmmaking, famous lines, but also for all the costumes featured in the films. The Discovery Times Square recently opened Star Wars and the Power of Costume: The Exhibition in New York City. "Craftsmanship and artistry in costume design are valued creative components in the Star Wars saga," said George Lucas. "The detailed precision of a design can be as bold a measure of storytelling as words on a page, leading to the truths at the core of a character, situation or shared history" and showcases the unique costumes made for the movies. Presenting over 70 of the most iconic, hand-crafted costumes and dozens of artifacts from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the exhibition is a partnership between the museum, the Smithsonian ...
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Huffington Post article
Portia de Rossi To Play Lily Munster in Munsters Reboot!
US Magazine - almost 5 years
After three years of playing Lindsay Bluth on Arrested Development, Portia de Rossi knows how to hold her own amidst a dysfunctional, on-screen family. So it makes sense that NBC had their eye on the actress for the role of Lily Munster in their Munsters reboot, Mockingbird Lane. On Tuesday, TVGuide.com confirmed that de Rossi, 39, has signed on to star alongside Jerry O'Connell and Eddie Izzard in a reimagining of the beloved 60s sitcom. (O'Connell will take on the role of Herman Munster, while Izzard is set to play Grandpa.) PHOTOS: Portia and Ellen's road to romance Actress Yvonne De Carlo originally played the undead housewife over the course of the show's two year, 70 episode-run. (The comedy aired new episodes on CBS from 1964 to 1966). TVGuide reports that, unlike the original, Mockingbird Lane will experiment with a new format -- instead of a half-hour sitcom, the program will be extended into an hour-long drama. PHOTOS: More stars who've played vampires Te ...
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US Magazine article
Penelope Andrew: TCM Fest 2012:Liza Minnelli, Kim Novak, Robert Wagner, Debbie Reynolds Walk Red Carpet
Popeater - almost 5 years
The Fountainhead with Patricia Neal and Gary Cooper Photo: Courtesy of TCM Liza Minnelli, Kim Novak, Robert Wagner, Tippi Hedren and Debbie Reynolds in person. Black Narcissus, Vertigo, Cabaret, and The Fountainhead projected on gigantic screens at Grauman's Chinese and Egyptian Theatres. Could any classic film fan wish for more? You could. And, at this year's annual TCM Classic Film Festival, which takes place from April 12th through the 15th, you'd get more: Kirk Douglas, Stanley Donen, Angie Dickenson, Norman Lloyd, Rhonda Fleming, and Norman Jewison appearing at special events and screenings of Two for the Road, Chinatown, Casablanca, The Longest Day, and The Thomas Crown Affair. But before going on about this year's festival, a look back is essential. Chinatown's Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson Photo: Courtesy of TCM TCM 2010 & 2011 TCM's 2010 festival featured an opening night restoration of George Cukor's A Star Is Born (1954) starring Judy Garland ...
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Popeater article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Yvonne De Carlo
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2007
    Age 84
    She eventually died from heart failure on January 8, 2007, and was cremated.
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  • 1998
    Age 75
    De Carlo suffered a minor stroke in 1998.
    More Details Hide Details She later became a resident of the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, in Woodland Hills, where she spent her last years.
  • 1995
    Age 72
    Her final film appearance was in the 1995 television film The Barefoot Executive, a Disney Channel remake of the 1971 film of the same name.
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    She had a small cameo role in a television film remake of The Munsters, Here Come the Munsters in 1995.
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  • 1993
    Age 70
    DeCarlo's mother died in 1993 from a fall.
    More Details Hide Details Her younger son Michael died in 1997. De Carlo was a naturalized citizen of the United States. De Carlo was a Republican who campaigned for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1974
    Age 51
    They divorced in June 1974.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1971
    Age 48
    Her defining stage role was as "Carlotta Campion" in Stephen Sondheim's musical, Follies in 1971-1972.
    More Details Hide Details Playing a washed-up star at a reunion of old theater colleagues, she introduced the song "I'm Still Here," which would become well-known.
  • 1968
    Age 45
    In early 1968 she joined Donald O'Connor in a 15-week run of Little Me, staged between Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas.
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  • 1967
    Age 44
    After 1967, De Carlo became increasingly active in musicals, appearing in off-Broadway productions of Pal Joey and Catch Me If You Can.
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  • 1964
    Age 41
    De Carlo was in debt by 1964 when she signed a contract with Universal Studios to perform the female lead role in The Munsters opposite Fred Gwynne.
    More Details Hide Details She was also the producers' choice to play Lily Munster when Joan Marshall, who played the character (originally called "Phoebe"), was dropped from consideration for the role. When De Carlo was asked how a glamorous actress could succeed as a ghoulish matriarch of a haunted house, she replied simply, "I follow the directions I received on the first day of shooting: 'Play her just like Donna Reed.'" She sang and played the harp in at least one episode ("Far Out Munsters") of The Munsters. After the show's cancellation, De Carlo reprised the role as Lily Munster in the Technicolor film Munster, Go Home! (1966), partially in hopes of renewing interest in the sitcom. Despite the attempt, The Munsters was cancelled after 70 episodes. Of the sitcom and its cast and crew, she said: "It was a happy show with audience appeal for both children and adults. It was a happy show behind the scenes, too; we all enjoy working with each other." Years later, in 1987, she said: "I think Yvonne De Carlo was more famous than Lily, but I gained the younger audience through The Munsters. And it was a steady job."
  • THIRTIES
  • 1957
    Age 34
    De Carlo released an LP record of standards called Yvonne De Carlo Sings on Masterseal Records in 1957.
    More Details Hide Details This album was orchestrated by future film composer John Williams under the pseudonym "John Towner." Her last notable screen appearances were in the Civil War drama Band of Angels (1957), with Clark Gable and Sidney Poitier; the Italian biblical epic The Sword and the Cross (1958), with Jorge Mistral and Rossana Podestà; and the western comedy McLintock! (1963), with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.
  • 1955
    Age 32
    De Carlo married stuntman Robert Drew Morgan, whom she met on the set of Shotgun, on November 21, 1955.
    More Details Hide Details They had two sons, Bruce Ross (b. 1956) and Michael (1957-1997). Morgan had a daughter, Bari Lee (b. 1947), from a previous marriage. Morgan lost his left leg after being run over by a train while filming How the West Was Won (1962). However, his contract with MGM assumed no responsibility for the accident. De Carlo and Morgan filed a $1.4 million lawsuit against the studio, claiming her husband was permanently disabled.
  • 1954
    Age 31
    In September 1954, director Cecil B. DeMille cast her as Sephora, the wife of Moses (played by Charlton Heston), in his biblical epic The Ten Commandments (1956).
    More Details Hide Details She prepared extensively for the role, taking weaving lessons at the University of California, Los Angeles, and shepherding lessons in the San Fernando Valley. Months before filming began, she had worked on the part with a drama coach. Her performance was well received by film critics, described as "notably good" by Bosley Crowther. In his autobiography, DeMille explained why he decided to cast De Carlo as Moses' wife: "I cast Yvonne De Carlo as Sephora, the wife of Moses, after our casting director, Bert McKay, called my attention to one scene she played in Sombrero, which was a picture far removed in theme from The Ten Commandments, I sensed in her a depth, an emotional power, a womanly strength which the part of Sephora needed and which she gave it."
    In 1954, after the success of The Captain's Paradise, she expressed a desire to do more comedy:
    More Details Hide Details "I've had my share of sirens and am happy to get away from them, no matter what the part. Just to look pretty on the screen as a romantic lead is probably all right, but – so what? I'd much rather do something in a good Western provided there's plenty of action. Action is what I like."
  • TWENTIES
  • 1952
    Age 29
    De Carlo was also a successful character actress on television. She made her debut on a 1952 episode of Lights Out.
    More Details Hide Details The part led to other roles in The Ford Television Theatre, Shower of Stars, Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, Bonanza, Screen Directors Playhouse, Burke's Law, Follow the Sun (2 episodes), Adventures in Paradise, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The Name of the Game and The Virginian, among others. She starred in the British comedy The Captain's Paradise (1953), as one of two wives a ship captain (played by Alec Guinness) keeps in separate ports. Crowther described her in the film as "wonderfully candid and suggestive of the hausfrau in every dame."
  • 1951
    Age 28
    In 1951, she was cast in the role of Prince Orlovsky in a production of the opera Die Fledermaus at the Hollywood Bowl.
    More Details Hide Details A number of western films cast her in starring roles, among them Tomahawk (1951), Silver City (1951), Border River (1954), Passion (1954) and Raw Edge (1956).
    De Carlo travelled extensively to promote her films, and her appearances were widely publicised. In 1951 she became the first American star to visit Israel.
    More Details Hide Details Trained in opera and a former chorister at St Paul's Anglican Church, Vancouver, when she was a child, De Carlo possessed a powerful contralto voice. In order to expand her appeal she began frequently singing on television and trained in opera.
    While in England making Hotel Sahara in early 1951, she asked Universal for a release of her contract although she still had three months to go; the studio agreed.
    More Details Hide Details After that, she signed to make one film a year for Universal for three years, but actually did not return to the studio until 1955.
  • 1949
    Age 26
    She made three movies in 1949 and 1950, The Gal Who Took the West, Buccaneer's Girl and The Desert Hawk, all directed by Frederick de Cordova.
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  • 1947
    Age 24
    De Carlo's name was linked with a number of people through her career, including Howard Hughes and Robert Stack. In 1947 she announced her engagement to Howard Duff, but it did not last.
    More Details Hide Details In 1954 she told a journalist: "I think it is wonderful to work. I dedicate more time now than ever to study. I really like to delve deeply into the characters and the stories in order to make the most of each part I play. It seems best to remain free of any serious romantic attachments under these circumstances. I will have to meet an exceptional and understanding person, indeed, before I think of marriage. I haven't met such a person yet."
  • 1946
    Age 23
    In 1946, exhibitors voted her the ninth-most promising "star of tomorrow."
    More Details Hide Details She followed this up with Song of Scheherazade (1947) and Slave Girl, which, like her previous two movies for Universal, was in Technicolor. These two were box office disappointments. De Carlo wanted to act in different types of movies and was given a small role in Brute Force. She was then cast in her first important role opposite Burt Lancaster in the film noir Criss Cross (1949). Bosley Crowther noted that De Carlo is "trying something different as Anna. The change is welcome, even though Miss de Carlo's performance is uneven. In that respect, she is right in step with most everything else about Criss Cross." De Carlo reportedly considered the role the highlight of her career to date. However, Universal preferred to cast De Carlo in more conventional fare – Black Bart (1948), Casbah (1948) and River Lady (1948).
  • 1944
    Age 21
    De Carlo received her big break in September 1944 when she was chosen over a reported 20,000 girls to play the lead role in Salome, Where She Danced (1945), a Walter Wanger production in Technicolor.
    More Details Hide Details Wanger would later claim he discovered De Carlo when looking at footage for another actor in which De Carlo also happened to appear. Another source says 21 Royal Canadian Air Force bombardier students who loved her as a pinup star campaigned to get her the role. De Carlo later said this was done at her behest; she took several pictures of herself in a revealing costume and got two childhood friends from Vancouver, Reginald Reid and Kenneth Ross McKenzie, who had become pilots, to arrange their friends to lobby on her behalf. Though not a critical success, it was a box office favorite, and the heavily-promoted De Carlo was hailed as an up-and-coming star. In his review for the film, Bosley Crowther of the The New York Times wrote: "Miss De Carlo has an agreeable mezzo-soprano singing voice, all the 'looks' one girl could ask for, and, moreover, she dances with a sensuousness which must have caused the Hays office some anguish. The script, however, does not give her much chance to prove her acting talents."
  • 1943
    Age 20
    She also appeared as a Native American "princess" in an independently produced version of The Deerslayer released in 1943 by Republic Pictures.
    More Details Hide Details De Carlo was spotted dancing at a Hollywood nightclub by a Paramount talent scout, who signed her to the studio as a back up Dorothy Lamour – what the New York Times later dubbed a "threat girl... for when Dotty wanted to break away from saronging." She was kept busy in small roles and helping other actors shoot tests. "I was the test queen at Paramount," she said later. But De Carlo was ambitious and wanted more. "I'm not going to be just one of the girls," she would say. Cecil B. DeMille saw de Carlo in So Proudly We Hail!, and arranged for her to be screen-tested and interviewed for the role of Tremartini in Cecil B. DeMille's The Story of Dr. Wassell (1943); it was announced she would play a key role. She wasn't cast in the end, but DeMille promised to "make it up" to her on another film "in the future."
  • TEENAGE
  • 1941
    Age 18
    In December 1941, she was dancing in the revue "Glamour Over Hollywood" at Florentine Gardens.
    More Details Hide Details Being a skilled horserider, she also appeared in a number of West Coast rodeos. De Carlo's earliest screen appearances were in Columbia Pictures, including the feature Harvard, Here I Come! (1941) and the two-reeler comedy Kink of the Campus (1942). She sang and danced in a three-minute Soundies musical, The Lamp of Memory (1942), shown in coin-operated movie jukeboxes, and later released for 16mm home movie showings and television by Official Films.
    In May 1941, she appeared in a revue, Hollywood Revels.
    More Details Hide Details A critic from the Los Angeles Times reviewed it saying that the "dancing of Yvonne de Carlo is especially notable."
    Seeking contract work in the movies, she abruptly quit the Florentine Gardens after less than a year, landing a role as a bathing beauty in the 1941 Harvard, Here I Come.
    More Details Hide Details Other roles were slow to follow, and De Carlo took a job in the chorus line of Earl Carroll. During World War II she performed for U.S. servicemen, and received many letters from GIs.
    She was hired by showman Nils Granlund as a dancer at the Florentine Gardens. She had been dancing for Granlund only a short time when she was arrested by immigration officials and deported to Canada, but in January 1941, Granlund sent a telegram to immigration officials pledging his sponsorship of De Carlo in the U.S., and affirmed his offer of steady employment, both requirements to reenter the country.
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  • 1940
    Age 17
    De Carlo and her mother made several trips to Los Angeles until 1940, when she was first runner-up to "Miss Venice Beach."
    More Details Hide Details She also came in fifth in a 1940s Miss California competition.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1922
    Born
    Yvonne De Carlo was born on September 1, 1922, in West Point Grey (now part of Vancouver), British Columbia, as Margaret Yvonne Middleton.
    More Details Hide Details She was generally known as "Peggy". She was the only child of William Middleton, an Australian-born salesman, and Marie DeCarlo (August 28, 1903 – December 19, 1993), a French-born aspiring actress of Sicilian and Scottish origin. Her mother had run away from home at 16 to become a ballerina. After several years of working as a shop girl, she married. Peggy Yvonne was three years old when her father abandoned the family. She then lived with her grandparents, Michele "Michael" de Carlo (c. 1873 – July 1, 1954), who was born in Messina, Sicily, and Margaret Purvis (December 30, 1874 – October 26, 1949), who was born in Scotland. When De Carlo was ten her mother enrolled her in the Jean Roper School of the Dance in Vancouver. By the time she entered grade school she found her strong singing voice brought her the attention she longed for. De Carlo was taken to Hollywood, where her mother enrolled her in dancing school. Mother and daughter were uprooted when their visas expired, and ultimately they returned to Vancouver.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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