1st Marilyn of TV’s ‘The Munsters,’ Beverley Owen, Dies

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The Munsters original cast (L-R): Yvonne De Carlo, Fred Gwynne, Beverley Owen, Al Lewis and Butch Patrick (Photo via Patrick’s Facebook page)

An original member of The Munsters TV series cast, Beverley Owen, who played Marilyn Munster, the teenaged niece of the family matriarch, Lily Munster, died February 21, 2019.

The news of her death was shared by fellow cast member, Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster, in a Facebook post on February 24. “What a sweet soul,” he wrote. (See his complete statement below.) Owen was 81.

The Munsters originally aired on CBS from 1964 to 1966. While the series was not a ratings hit during its first run, it has lived on in syndication for decades.

The Munsters also starred Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster; Yvonne De Carlo as his wife, Lily; Butch Patrick as their son, Eddie; and Al Lewis, as Lily’s father, Grandpa.

Beverley Owen (Photo via Butch Patrick’s Facebook page)

Owen appeared in the program’s first 13 episodes, replaced midway through the first season by Pat Priest, who appeared in the rest of the series’ 57 episodes.

In both cases, the character of Marilyn was played by a stunning actress, juxtaposed by the ghoulish appearance of the rest of the family, who often referred to her, ironically, as “the plain one.” Both Marilyns were blondes; Owen donned a wig for the role.

The sitcom ran concurrently with The Addams Family, another series about a bizarre American family displaying their unique habits and interests while living next door to more traditional neighbors.

The program ranked #18 for the 1964-1965 season. Ratings fell precipitously in January 1966 when ABC counter-programmed it with the live action series, BatmanThe Munsters was cancelled after its 1965-1966 season.

In a brief statement on his Facebook page, Patrick wrote on Feb. 24: “Beautiful Beverly (sic) Owen has left us. What a sweet soul. I had the biggest crush on her. RIP Bev and thanks for your 13 memorable Marilyn Munster episodes.”

Watch the series’ original opening

Owen was born May 13, 1937 in Ottumwa, Iowa. She was 27 when she left The Munsters cast to marry Jon Stone, an original crew member on Sesame Street. The two were divorced in 1974. She leaves two daughters, Polly and Kate.

Patrick and Priest are the series’ only survivors. Gwynne died in 1993 at age 66. Lewis died in 2006 at 82. De Carlo died in 2007 at 84.

Related: Gwynne appeared in a movie comedy favorite, My Cousin Vinny

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3 Comments so far

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  1. Crablegs
    #1 Crablegs 25 February, 2019, 05:30

    Grandpa was younger than lily? Weird

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  2. Loon64
    #2 Loon64 27 February, 2019, 19:09

    Remember watching the Munsters in the early 70’s Herman was dimwitted in a harmless sort of way.

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