Yvonne de Carlo: She was born Peggy Yvonne Middleton in Vancouver, B.C., on Sept. 1, 1922. Abandoned by her father, she was raised by her mother in poor circumstances. She took dancing lessons and dropped out of high school to work in nightclubs and theaters. She continued dancing in clubs when she and her mother moved to Los Angeles.
She emerged as a star in 1945 with “Salome — Where She Danced,” a routine movie about a dancer from Vienna who becomes a spy in the Wild West. She recalled her entrance in the film: "I came through these beaded curtains, wearing a Japanese kimono and a Japanese headpiece, and then performed a Siamese dance. Nobody seemed to know quite why."
Universal Pictures exploited her slightly exotic looks and a shape that looked ideal in a harem dress in such “sex-and-sand” films as “Song of Scheherazade,” “Slave Girl” and “Casbah.” In 1956, she veered from her former image when Cecil B. DeMille chose her to play Sephora, wife to Charlton Heston’s Moses in “The Ten Commandments.”
For TV viewers, Ms. De Carlo will always be known as Lily Munster in the 1964-66 slapstick horror-movie spoof “The Munsters.” Lily, vampire-like in a filmy gown, presided over the faux-scary household and was a rock for her gentle, often bumbling husband, Herman, played by 6-foot-5 character actor Fred Gwynne. Although it lasted only two years, the series had a long life in syndication and resulted in two movies.
At the series’s end, Ms. De Carlo said: "It meant security. It gave me a new, young audience I wouldn’t have had otherwise. It made me ‘hot’ again, which I wasn’t for a while."