Yvonne De Carlo
9/1/1922 to 1/8/2007
Born Peggy Yvonne Middleton, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was three when her father abandoned the family. Her mother turned to waitressing in a restaurant to make ends meet. Yvonnes mother wanted her to be in the entertainment field and enrolled her in a local dance school and also saw that she studied dramatics. In 1937, when Yvonne was 15, her mother took her to Hollywood to try for fame and fortune, but nothing came of it and they returned to Canada. They came back to Hollywood in 1940, where Yvonne would dance in chorus lines at night while she checked in at the studios by day in search of film work.
After appearing in unbilled parts in three short films, she won a part in a feature. Although the film, Here I Come (1941), was hardly note worthy, Yvonne shone in her brief appearance as a bathing beauty. The rest of 1942 and 1943 saw her in more uncredited roles in films. In The Deerslayer (1943) she played Wah-Tah. The next year was about the same as the previous two years. She played small parts as either secretaries, someone's girlfriend, native girls or office clerks. Most aspiring young actresses would have given up and gone home in defeat, but not Yvonne. She trudged on.
The next year started out the same, with mostly bit parts, but later that year she landed the title role in Salome Where She Danced (1945) for Universal Pictures. While critics were less than favourable, it was her big break, and the film was a success for Universal.
Her next film was the western comedy The Bride Wasn't Willing (1945), followed by Song of Scheherazade (1947). That same year she appeared in the highly regarded Burt Lancaster prison film Brute Force (1947). Many more leading roles followed, Slave Girl (1947), Black Bart, Highwayman (1948), Casbah (1948) and River Lady (1948) and others.
In 1956 she appeared in the film that would immortalise her best, The Ten Commandments. She played Sephora, the wife of Moses (Charlton Heston). The film was, unquestionably, a great successs, and is still shown on television today. Her performance served as a springboard to another fine role, this time as Amantha Starr in Band of Angels (1957). In the late 1950s and early 1960s Yvonne appeared on such TV programs as "Bonanza" (1959) and "The Virginian" (1962). However, with film roles drying up, she took what turned out to be the role for which she will be best remembered, that of Lily Munster in the popular series "The Munsters" (1964). Further film appearances included The Power (1968), The Seven Minutes (1971) and La casa de las sombras (1976).
Married Bob Morgan in 1955 and had 2 children, she was widowed in 1968 and her son Michael died in 1997. On January 8, 2007, Miss De Carlo died at the age of 84.