Lily Munster last edited by jazz1987 on 09/30/18 01:12PM View full history

Lily Munster is the wife and mother in the television show The Munsters, a short-lived 1960s supernatural comedy that later became a cult hit in syndicated reruns alongside The Addams Family. In addition to appearing as a parody of the Universal Studios image of the female vampire, she somewhat resembles the Vampira character, and in the series her name has been given as both a shortened form of Lillian and a shortened form of Lilith who was one of the oldest known vampires in human folklore.

Much of the Munster series humor came from the contrast between the family's well-meaning nature and their cheerfully macabre lifestyle and horrific appearance (based upon Universal Studio's iconic black-and-white monster films of the 1940s and 1950s); for example, "Grandpa" Munster often played checkers with invisible ghosts, while son Eddie's pet Spot was a fire-breathing dragon that lived under the staircase, and one of their visiting relatives turned out to be the Creature from The Black Lagoon. Further humor came from the contrast between Lily's willowy figure and "old fashioned" housewife role and her superhuman strength and "mama bear" temper whenever anyone threatened her family -- and her mother like disappointment when Herman jeopardized the family with a particularly gullible stunt.

The character was originally portrayed by Yvonne De Carlo as sexy and sensible yet oblivious to the way ordinary humans react to her and her family. Lily manages to be a devoted albeit occasionally controlling wife to husband Herman, one of the two reanimated corpses created by Dr. Frankenstein, and a good influence on her son Eddie, a young werewolf, and on her niece Marilyn, a beautiful young woman considered ugly by the rest of the family and who, despite her ordinary human appearance, shares the family's supernatural invulnerability.

The Munsters all share a supernatural invulnerability, happily making meals of substances that would kill an ordinary human being and taking no damage from things that would wound an ordinary person, such as electrocution, being blown up, and drinking furiously boiling liquids. The adults of the family -- Lily Dracula-Munster, Herman Munster, and "Grandpa" a.k.a. Count Sam Dracula -- all appear to be immortal, and both Herman and Lily have demonstrated superhuman strength a number of times.

Backstory: Lily is an undead vampire related to the Dracula lineage though her father Sam Dracula aka "Grandpa Munster". She was eventually courted by Herman Munster, whom she later married, and eventually they had a son, Eddie. Looking for a better life, the couple emigrated along with "Grandpa" (Count Dracula), their werewolf son Eddie, and their beautiful niece Marilyn to the United States, where they try to fit into their new American culture while continuing to honor the ways of the Old Country.

Note: There have been a number of efforts to update (and exploit) the original Munsters series, including two films with the original cast, several uninspired TV-movies with a new cast, an odiously tepid sequel TV series plagued by "very special episode" moralizing, and a recent effort to revise the family as cheap knock-offs of The Addams Family.


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