Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Place of Death
Woodland Hills, California
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Margaret Yvonne Middleton
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Marie De Carlo
Maria MOntez, Rhonda Fleming, Mara Corday, Tony Curtis, Dolores Moran, Robert Stack, Rosemarie Stack
Michael de Carlo (grandfather), Margaret Purvis (grandmother)
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Yvonne De Carlo (born Margaret Yvonne Middleton; September 1, 1922 – January 8, 2007) was a Canadian-American actress, singer, and dancer whose career in film, television, and musical theatre spanned six decades.
Actress, Singer, Dancer
Long dark hair
Anglican / Episcopalian
Michael (son), Bruce (son)
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Born Peggy Yvonne Middleton in Vancouver, British Columbia, on September 1, 1922, actress Yvonne De Carlo's father abandoned her family just a few years later. Working as a waitress to support the family, De Carlo's mother took great interest in her daughter's budding talents as a dancer. In the late 1930s, the family made its way to Hollywood. Soon, the beautiful young De Carlo found work as a chorus girl, and began making the rounds at casting calls, trying to get into the movies. By the time she celebrated her 19th birthday, she had begun landing small film roles, first at Columbia Studios and then Paramount. She appeared in about 20 films between 1941 and 1944, but only in small roles and bit parts. De Carlo had to wait four years for her breakthrough role in the Universal Technicolor film Salome, Where She Danced (1945), which was followed by Frontier Gal (also 1945). Finally, at Universal she found success and meaty film roles. Her next big role was in 1947's Song of Scheherazade. De Carlo's career picked up when Maria Montez left Hollywood behind, but she found herself typecast in costume epics and musicals, a genre that was quickly losing favor among movie-going audiences. Her starring role in the 1948 western Black Bart helped De Carlo bridge the gap between costume dramas and the western genre, although she portrays an exotic European beauty, much as she had in earlier roles.
De Carlo's success in Black Bart helped change her image, so much so that she soon became typecast in westerns. Throughout the 1950s, she made scores of westerns, including Tomahawk (1951), Silver City (1951), and Shotgun (1955). And she even appeared in the pilot episode of the TV series Bonanza in 1959. But her best remembered role in the 1950s was in The Ten Commandments (1956), in which she portrayed Sephora. In addition to her acting career, De Carlo released several albums in the 1950s, highlighting her pleasant singing voice which she had previously showcased in her 1940s musicals.
De Carlo married actor and noted stuntman Robert Morgan in 1955, and they appeared together in the RKO noir thriller Death of a Scoundrel (1956; with George Sanders and Zsa Zsa Gabor). With the birth of her two sons in the late 1950s, she took time off from acting, taking on only occasional guest roles on television shows such as Bonanza. However, while working as a stuntman on the set of How the West Was Won (1962; with Carroll Baker and Henry Fonda), Morgan was nearly killed when he was pinned underneath an avalanche of logs. DeCarlo had to return to work to support her family and pay her husband's mouting medical bills, as it took him several years to recover from his injuries. Once again active in Hollywood, De Carlo took roles in several films, including McLintock! (1963; with John Wayne) and Law of the Lawless (1964; with Dale Robertson and John Agar), before being cast as Lily Munster in the CBS-TV series The Munsters.
Her only TV series, The Munsters exposed Yvonne De Carlo to a new generation of fans. A total of 70 episodes were filmed, yet despite the show's popularity, it was canceled in 1966. Most of the cast members reunited for the theatrically released film Munster, Go Home! (1966; with Robert Pine and John Carradine). De Carlo then went back to westerns, acting in Hostile Guns (1967; with George Montgomery and Tab Hunter) and Arizona Bushwhackers (1968; with John Ireland and Scott Brady). After her divorce in 1968, she guest-starred on several popular television programs. In 1971, she was cast in the Broadway musical Follies with Alexis Smith and Gene Nelson. That same year, she returned to the big screen in two films, The Seven Minutes and The Delta Factor. From the 1970s onward, however, De Carlo's screen appearances became more sporadic in nature. Her last film appearance was in the 1993 film The Sorority House Murders, and her last TV appearance was in the made-for-TV film Here Come the Munsters in 1995. Sadly, Yvonne De Carlo passed away on January 8, 2007, at the age of 84. She was survived by her son, Bruce. Her son Michael passed away in 1997.
Profile Bio Text
Yvonne De Carlo (born Margaret Yvonne Middleton; September 1, 1922 – January 8, 2007) was a Canadian-American actress, dancer, and singer. A beautiful brunette with blue-gray eyes, she became an internationally famous Hollywood film star in the 1940s and 1950s, made several recordings, and later acted on television and stage.
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, De Carlo was raised in the home of her Presbyterian maternal grandparents. Her mother enrolled her in a local dance school when she was three. By the early 1940s, she and her mother had moved to Hollywood, where De Carlo participated in beauty contests and worked as a dancer in nightclubs. In 1942, she signed a three-year contract with Paramount Pictures, where she was given uncredited bit parts in important films and was intended to replace Dorothy Lamour. Paramount loaned her out to Republic Pictures for her first credited role in a feature film, Wah-Tah in the independent production Deerslayer (1943).
She obtained her breakthrough role in Salome, Where She Danced (1945), a Universal-International release produced by Walter Wanger, who described her as "the most beautiful girl in the world." The film's publicity and success turned her into a star, and she signed a five-year contract with Universal. From then on, Universal starred her in B movies, usually westerns, adventures, or musicals in Technicolor. Cameramen voted her "Queen of Technicolor" three years in a row. Tired of being typecast as exotic women, her first efforts to become a serious dramatic actress came with her performances in two film noirs, Brute Force (1947) and Criss Cross (1949).
She received further recognition as an actress when she starred in the British comedies Hotel Sahara (1951) and The Captain's Paradise (1953). Her film career reached its peak when eminent producer-director Cecil B. DeMille cast her as Moses' Midianite wife, Sephora, her most prominent role, in his biblical epic The Ten Commandments (1956), which was immensely successful at the box office.
Her last notable leading roles were Rosalind Dee in Flame of the Islands (1956), Bridget Kelly in Death of a Scoundrel (1956), Amantha Starr in Band of Angels (1957), and Mary Magdalene in the Italian biblical epic The Sword and the Cross (1958). As her film career went into decline, she accepted supporting roles in McLintock! (1963), with John Wayne, and A Global Affair (1964), with Bob Hope. She played Lily Munster, the wife of Herman Munster, in the CBS sitcom The Munsters (1964–1966) and reprised the role in a Technicolor feature film, Munster, Go Home!, and a television film, The Munsters' Revenge (1981).
De Carlo died of heart failure in 2007. For her contributions to motion pictures and television, she was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
De Carlo was born Margaret Yvonne Middleton on September 1, 1922, in West Point Grey (also known as Point Grey and now a part of Vancouver), British Columbia, Canada. She was the only child of William Middleton, a New Zealand salesman of English descent, and Marie De Carlo (August 28, 1903 – December 19, 1993 a French-born "frustrated performer and dancer" of Sicilian and Scottish parentage.
She was generally known as "Peggy" because her mother named her after the silent film star Baby Peggy. Peggy was three years old when her father abandoned the family. According to De Carlo's firstborn son, she "only remembered crawling towards his [William's] feet and she never saw him again after he left." Peggy and Marie then lived with Marie's Presbyterian parents, Michele "Michael" de Carlo (born c. 1873 in Messina, Sicily, – July 1, 1954), and Margaret Purvis (born in Scotland, December 30, 1874 – October 26, 1949), at 1728 Comox Street in Vancouver's West End.
When De Carlo was ten (or three, according to a 1982 interview) her mother enrolled her in the June Roper School of the Dance in Vancouver. De Carlo attended Lord Roberts Elementary School, located a block away from her grandparents' home.
De Carlo's name was linked with a number of famous men through her career, including Howard Hughes and Robert Stack. In 1947, she announced her engagement to Howard Duff, but it did not last. In 1954, she told a journalist: "I think it is wonderful to work. I dedicate more time now than ever to study. I really like to delve deeply into the characters and the stories in order to make the most of each part I play. It seems best to remain free of any serious romantic attachments under these circumstances. I will have to meet an exceptional and understanding person, indeed, before I think of marriage. I haven't met such a person yet."
De Carlo met stuntman Robert Drew "Bob" Morgan (1915–1999) on the set of Shotgun in 1955, but he was married and had a child, daughter Bari Lee (b. 1947), and De Carlo had "no intention of causing that marriage to break up." However, they met again, after the death of Morgan's wife, on the set of The Ten Commandments in Egypt, where they "seemed immediately attracted to each other." They were married on November 21, 1955, at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Reno, Nevada. De Carlo raised Bari as her own and had two sons with Morgan, Bruce Ross (b. 1956), whose godfather was Cecil B. DeMille, and Michael (1957–1997).
Morgan lost his left leg after being run over by a train while filming How the West Was Won (1962). However, his contract with MGM assumed no responsibility for the accident. De Carlo and Morgan filed a $1.4 million lawsuit against the studio, claiming her husband was permanently disabled. They divorced in July 1973.
De Carlo, a naturalized citizen of the United States, was an active Republican who campaigned for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford. A conservative, she stated in a 1976 television interview: "I'm all for men and I think they ought to stay up there and be the bosses and have women wait on them hand and foot and put their slippers on and hand them the pipe and serve seven course meals, as long as they open the door, support the woman, and do their duty in the bedroom, etcetera."