How much did you know about our star attraction, Yvonne DeCarlo?
She’s pictured above in virtuous mode in her personal favorite outing as Mrs. Moses (Charlton Heston) in the 1956 Cecil B. DeMille biblical epic, The Ten Commandments.
She and DeMille, who was a big DeCarlo fan, became fast friends. The director had much admired her performance in a 1953 MGM outing, Sombrero, as what she called a saintly type of woman similar to what DeMille had in mind for Sephora (in The Ten Commandments).
We prefer DeCarlo in tougher and lustier settings, particularly in the terrific 1949 film noir Criss Cross, featuring Burt Lancaster and ever reliable Dan Duryea. It was the first dramatic movie of DeCarlo’s long career.
Another favorite is the 1953 British-made romantic comedy, The Captain’s Paradise, about a ship captain (Alec Guinness) with two wives — one a proper British woman (Celia Johnson) and the other a warm-blooded Moroccan mistress, sexily played by DeCarlo. Catch it if you haven’t seen it.
Ok, on to the answers to our Yvonne DeCarlo Quiz:
1) Question: DeCarlo always pr0jected a kind of exotic beauty onscreen. She was born in which one of the following foreign countries? a) France; b) Spain; c) the Dominican Republic; or d) Canada.
Answer: d) DeCarlo was born Margaret Yvonne Middleton in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1922. (She died at age 84 in 2007.) She was incapacitated in her last years after suffering what was described as a minor stroke.
2) Question: is remembered today for her role in which one of the following tv series? a) Murder, She Wrote; b) The Muppet Show; c) I Love Lucy; or d) The Munsters.
Answer: d) Of course, The Munsters, a fantasy situation comedy about a family of monsters living ordinary domestic lives. Produced by Universal, the series ran on CBS in the mid-Sixties. Yvonne played the role of Lily Munster, a part she didn’t especially like but took because she needed the money. In one episode, she actually sang and played the harp. Actor Al Lewis played DeCarlo’s father although he was a year younger than she was.
3) Question: Which one of the following was NOT a leading man in a DeCarlo picture? a) Charlton Heston; b ) Alex Guinness; c) Peter Lawford; or d) John Carradine.
Answer: c) Peter Lawford.
4) Question: Yvonne was much admired by which one of the following European-born actresses? a) Brigitte Bardot; b) Anna Magnani; c) Ursula Andress; or d) Sophia Loren.
Answer: d) Sophia Loren. The Italian actress said she grew up watching DeCarlo films. Yvonne was her favorite. It figures given the voluptuousness of both.
5) Question: DeCarlo was known as “the technicolor queen of Hollywood.” Which of the following actresses competed for that informal monicker? a) Maria Montez; b) Rhonda Fleming; c) Lana Turner; or d) Maureen O’Hara.
Answer: All except (c) rivalled Yvonne for the title.