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10 Things you Didn't Know about the Munsters*

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*If you did you may be our biggest Fan.

1.Did you know that Butch Patrick was not the first choice to play Eddie Munster? 

Could we imagine anyone but Butch playing this iconic wolf boy? It was actually Bill Mumy who was originally offered the role but he turned it down. Rumor has it it had something to do with all the make up. Bill made up for that with his later role on Babylon 5. 

When Bill didn't take the role Butch's agent immediately called the studio and said "the boy you are looking for is Butch Patrick. They flew him in for a screen test and the rest is television history. The two child stars remained friends as seen in this episode where Eddie plays with his friend "Googie."  

You can watch this episode here: 

2. Did you know that the character of Lily Munster was called Phoebe in the pilot for the television series? 

In the pilot episode Herman's wife was named "Phoebe" and she was played by actress Joan Marshall.

The iconic Eddie Munster was played by an actor named Happy Derman.

Here is the pilot episode: 



3.Did you know that the Munsters was the original idea of Bob Clampett an animator as far back as the 1940s?

Bob Clampett, the animator of Beanie and Cecil among other cartoons, had the idea for a monsters cartoon series. This is what eventually became the Munsters. 


4.Do you know the real reason the original Marilyn, Beverly Owens, left the show?

It wasn't because like her character she was unlucky in love. On the contrary, Beverly Owen was in love with Captain Kangaroo's producer. No, not Mr. Greenjeans! When Beverly Owens was in the pilot for the series she never thought it would be picked up. She was in love with the man she eventually married and did not want to be stuck out in Los Angeles. She became miserable with each day she was away from her love so Pat Priest was brought in to replace her. 

Beverly Owen on the left and Pat Priest looked similar enough that audiences accepted the change.


5.Did you know that Al Lewis (Grandpa) was on several NBA payrolls?

 Al was a basketball scout and very knowledgeable about the game. In fact Al Lewis and Fred Gwynne took Butch Patrick to his first Hockey Game with the LA Blades. Al and Fred were both huge sports fans. With Fred Gwynne emphasis on the huge. 


6. Did you know that Yvonne De Carlo was a famous pin up girl like Rita Hayworth?

You've probably seem photo-shopped  images of the Munster mom, but they are not far from the truth. Yvonne De Carlo was a movie star who in the Ten Commandments even married Charlton Heston, better known as Moses. She was truly a pioneer and one of the first movie stars to ever do television. At the time many of the stars believed it was beneath them. As we all know,. Lily Munster still lives on in the hearts of fans throughout the world. 



7.Did you know that the famous head of the Carradine acting dynasty, John Carradine, had a recurring role as Herman's boss at the Parlor?

 

There were many notable guest appearances from such people as Paul Lynde as Dr. Dudley, Harvey Korman did a few episodes before he was on Carol Burnett and Don Rickles was also a welcome guest. 


8. Did you know that eleven- year-old Butch Patrick had his first date with Beverly Owen?

At least he thought of it as a date. Butch had a pretty big crush on pretty Beverly who was 21 at the time and as we now know smitten with Captain Kangaroo's producer. The "date" was to see "Mary Poppins" at Grauman's Chinese theater. That was a very big deal for 1964. 

9.Did you know that Frank Westmore of the famous Westmore family was in charge of doing Butch Patrick's make up for the television series?

Frank was part of the family who were credited with introducing the art of make-up to the Hollywood movie industry. Frank went on to win an Oscar for his work on the movie "Mask." In addition, Mackenzie Westmore, the current host of the show "Face-off" is Frank's great niece.

 

10. Did you know that Bud Abbott, one half of the famous Abbott and Costello comedy team had a nephew who directed many of the Munster episodes? 

There was a very impressive list of directors for this show that still plays in syndication all over the world. In addition to Abbott there was Ezra Stone and Lawrence Dobkin. Dobkin also directed the pilot episode of Star Trek. 

For more things you didn't know about the Munsters check out Butch Patrick's book proudly published by MPM through our imprint TV Classics Press:: 

Munster Memories: a mini Coffin Table book by Butch Patrick.. 

Let us know if you can add to our list or if you have any questions. 

We are planning a live chat with Butch Patrick after his favorite holiday of Halloween. Make sure to sign up for our email list so you can be one of the first to know about this great event. 

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