Beverley Owen, the actress who portrayed Marilyn Munster on The Munsters has passed away at 81, as reported by People. The news was announced by Butch Patrick, who portrayed Eddie Munster on the same show.
Patrick shared the news in a sad Facebook post, revealing that he had a crush on the glamorous actress while working with her on the classic TV sitcom in 1964. The Munsters star, who played young Eddie Munster on the horror-themed CBS comedy, noted that Beverley Owen only played cousin Marilyn Munster for 13 episodes on the series, but was the originator of the role.
“Beautiful Beverly Owen has left us,” Patrick wrote. “What a sweet soul. I had the biggest crush on her. RIP Bev and thanks for your 13 memorable Marilyn Munster episodes.”
According to TMZ, Beverley Owen’s daughter shared that the beloved actress died surrounded family at her Vermont home on February 21 in after battling ovarian cancer, a diagnosis she received in 2017 but kept private from her fans.
According to her IMDB bio, Beverley Owen started off her acting career in 1956 on the soap opera As the World Turns. In the early 1960s, the actress also appeared in episodes of The Doctors, Wagon Train, The Virginian, and Another World before lacing the role of Marilyn, the pretty blonde niece of Herman and Lily Muster (Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo) on The Munsters. Beverly Owen reportedly donned a wig for the role of Marilyn on The Munsters.
Owen quit The Munsters after 13 episodes to marry and start a family with Emmy-winning writer/producer Jon Stone (Sesame Street). Beverley Owen and Jon Stone were married for seven years, from 1967 until 1974 and shared two daughters. After stepping away from her acting career, Owen also pursued a degree in Early American History.
Beverley Owen was replaced by lookalike actress Pat Priest for the remainder of The Munsters series, which aired on CBS for two seasons and 70 episodes, including a 1965 Easter special.
In addition to Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster; Yvonne De Carlo as his wife, Lily; and Butch Patrick as their son, Eddie, Beverley Owen’s co-stars included Al Lewis, who played the family’s potion-making Grandpa. The show featured the bizarre monster family in a typical 1960s neighborhood with Marilyn known as their “unattractive” niece. Several of the first episodes of The Munsters centered on Beverley Owen’s Marilyn character and her trouble keeping boyfriends who were ultimately scared off by her spooky family.
But in real life, Beverley Owen’s Musters co-star was smitten. In an interview with Parade, Butch Patrick talked about his massive crush on his TV cousin and revealed that she even took him to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to see Mary Poppins when it was released in 1964.
“I like to consider it my first date, but actually it was just a nice person taking me to a movie,” Patrick said of his movie outing with Owen.
You can see Beverley Owen in a 1964 Munsters scene with Al Lewis below.