Thursday, January 11, 2007

 

Yvonne De Carlo (1922-2007)

First you're another
Sloe-eyed vamp,
Then someone's mother,
Then you're camp.
Then you career from career
To career.
I'm almost through my memoirs.
And I'm here.
I've gotten through "Hey, lady, aren't you whoozis?
Wow! What a looker you were."
Or, better yet, "Sorry, I thought you were whoozis.
Whatever happened to her?"
Good times and bum times,
I've seen 'em all and, my dear,
I'm still here.

"I'm Still Here" from Follies
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim


Yvonne De Carlo debuted the classic Stephen Sondheim song when she played Carlotta in the 1971 Broadway premiere of Follies. Sadly, De Carlo is here no longer. For the vast majority of people, she always will be known as Lily Munster on the 1960s' TV comedy The Munsters, but there was more to the actress than just that. She had a lengthy film career dating back to the 1940s, including a thankless girlfriend role in the underrated prison drama gem Brute Force starring Burt Lancaster and Hume Cronyn. She played one of Alec Guinness' two wives in the fun The Captain's Paradise. She also got to be Mrs. Moses in the 1956 version of The Ten Commandments. For most of the latter part of her career, she stayed in episodic television before and after her success on The Munsters and in awful exploitation films such as Blazing Stewardesses and Satan's Cheerleaders. In fact, her appearance in Broadway's Follies (her only Broadway credit that I can find) may have been the highlight of her post-Munsters career. Still, getting to be the one to debut that classic song of defiance and perseverance in show business might be enough to warrant a fond remembrance of anyone's career.


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