11 January 2007

Yvonne DeCarlo, 1922-2007

Yvonne DeCarlo, who starred on the television series, "The Munsters", playing Lilly Munster, the patient vampire wife to Fred Gwynne's Frankensteinish "Hermann", died last night at the age of 84.

Although her role on "The Munsters" was probably her most famous work, it wasn't (I think) her most important role. That, I believe, was when she played Moses' wife Zipporah, opposite Charlton Heston. Whereas "Lilly" required her to display a kind of high-wirish sense of humor, her portrayal of "Zipporah" was defined by a sense of quiet humility. Two secens were especially poignant: The first, when Moses asks her to marry him, and second, when Nephrateri (played by Anne Baxter) is speaking with her inside Moses' and Zipporah's house.

The following is from the L.A. Times:
After Cecil B. DeMille saw her portraying "a saintly type of woman" in "Sombrero," a 1953 musical melodrama, he was "very much impressed," De Carlo told The Times in 1956.

He "promptly said: 'You're it,' " and cast her as Moses' wife, Sephora, allowing her to break away from the screen-siren roles.

She held her own against some of the industry's top leading men, including Clark Gable in "Band of Angels" (1957) and Alec Guinness in "The Captain's Paradise" (1953).
Ms. DeCarlo's first role came in the 1941 movie "I Look At You", and her last, "The Barefoot Executive" in 1995. Throughout her career, she also starred opposite such screen legends as Jimmy Stewart, Burt Lancaster, And the aforementioned Charlton Heston. There is more at ABC Online, and imdb.com.

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