Another of those familiar faces I grew up with, Yvonne DeCarlo of Munsters fame, died Monday, aged 84. Here is one of the more comprehensive obits for her.
The Munsters wasn't great television -- personally, I've always thought the show's contemporary rival The Addams Family was smarter, sexier, and funnier -- but it was reliably entertaining, making up for its pedestrian storylines with a charming cast and some fairly nifty production design. (I've always loved the staircase with the secret trapdoor leading down to the basement, and the two Munster cars custom-built by the legendary George Barris were the apotheosis of a 12-year-old boy's automotive fantasies.) As Lily Munster, the wife/mother character in what was really a basic family sitcom with a strange-looking family, DeCarlo mostly served as straight-woman to Fred Gwynne's Herman and Al Lewis as Grandpa. However, she occasionally got some good one-liners of her own, and while she didn't display the same dangerous brand of sexuality as Morticia Addams (played in her TV incarnation by Carolyn Jones), Lily was a beautiful woman. Er, vampire. Whatever.
Looking around the 'net, I see that Bijou Bob has a brief tribute to DeCarlo, which includes a sultry photo of her in one of her B-movie roles years before Lily Munster, and Jaime J. Weinman posts a YouTube clip of her with Burt Lancaster in Criss Cross, as well as an audio clip of her singing in Stephen Sondheim's Follies. And here is the famous opening title sequence for The Munsters, featuring Lily bidding farewell to her various family members as they head out for their day. Watch for that trapdoor I mentioned; someday, I will have one of those...