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Beverly Owen, The Munsters' original Marilyn, dies at 81
The news was confirmed by Owen's daughter, Polly, who said that her mother died on Feb. 21 after a battle with ovarian cancer.
Actor Butch Patrick, who played Marilyn's cousin, little Eddie Munster the werewolf, posted a tribute to Owen on Facebook, writing:
"Beautiful Beverly 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."
Similar to and released around the same time as The Addams Family, The Munsters was a comedy about a family of monsters (modeled after Frankenstein, the Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolf Man) getting into all kinds of hijinks with "normal" people who are often spooked by them.
The character of cousin Marilyn was the only "regular" person in this family of misfits. After 13 episodes (aired in 1964), Owen left the series to get married and was replaced by Pat Priest. Before parting ways with her macabre brood (played by Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, and Al Lewis) Owen had to wear a blonde wig for the role.
The show's theme song remains an iconic piece of television history and was sampled in Fall Out Boy's 2015 hit single, "Uma Thurman."
Born in Ottumwa, Iowa, in the late 1930s, Owen was originally named Beverley Ogg. Always having a passion for the performing arts, she moved to New York after attending the University of Michigan. While in the Big Apple, she worked as a typist for The Ed Sullivan Show and Captain Kangaroo. After playing bit roles here and there, she briefly landed the part of Marilyn.
After that, she made appearances on As the World Turns, Kraft Mystery Theater, Another World, and Bullet for a Badman.
In the 1980s, Owen returned to school to get her master's in Early American History. By 2001, she was officially retired from the acting business. Nevertheless, she reprised the role of Marilyn for two LEGO-based shorts inspired by The Munsters in 2010 and 2011.
Owen married Jon Stone, a Sesame Street producer. The two eventually divorced, but not until having two daughters together: Polly and Kate.
(Certain biographical info via IMDb)