Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Munsters Quiz


It's Halloween and what could be more appropriate than a quiz about The Munsters, a television series about a family of benign monsters?  How much do you know about this cult hit?  Test your knowledge by answering the 13 questions below.

1.  What was the name of Eddie Munsters' fire-breathing pet dinosaur?

A.  Fido

B.  Rover

C.  Drake

D. Spot

E.  Fluff

2.  Identify this character from The Munsters.

A.  Uncle Gilbert

B.  Cousin Drake

C.  Larry Lizard

D   Uncle Ralph

E.  Cousin Leonard

3.  For how many seasons did The Munsters run?

A.  Four

B.  Three

C.  Two

D.  Five

E.  Six

4.  What was Marilyn Munster's relationship to Herman and Lily Munster.

A.  She was the biological daughter of Herman and Lily Munster.

B.  She was their niece, the daughter of Lily's sister.

C.  Marilyn was an orphan and Lily and Herman adopted her.

D. She was the daughter of Herman's cousin, Boris.

E.  She was the daughter of a friend of the family.  Herman and Lily provided a home for her after her parents died in a car accident.

5.  What was Eddie Munster's full name?

Butch Patrick as Eddie Munster

A.  Edward Fang Munster

B.  Edgar Igor Munster

C.  Edwin Karloff Munster

D.  Edgar Hyde Munster

E.  Edward Wolfgang Munster.

6.  Where did the Munster's pet raven, Charlie, live?

A.  Charlie lived in a cage in the Munsters' kitchen.

B.  Charlie lived in the Munsters' cuckoo clock.

C.  Charlie was always perched in the Munsters' living room.

D.  Charlie lived in the Munsters' attic.

E.  Charlie lived in the Munsters' garage.

7.  There were two musical instruments in the Munsters' living room.  What were they?

A.  An accordion and a bongo drum

B.  A piano and a banjo

C.  An organ and a harp

D.  A saxophone and a guitar

E.  A xylophone and a harmonica

8.  Where did Herman Munster do for a living?

Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster

A.  He worked at a funeral home.

B.  He was employed as a grave digger.

C.  He worked at a morgue.

D.  He designed gravestones.

E.  He was a tombstone engraver.

9.  What was the name of Herman's boss?

A.  Mr. Garvey

B.  Mr.  Graves

C.  Mr. Ghostly

D.  Mr.  Gateman

E.  Mr. Greene

10.  Which legendary major league baseball manager appeared in a 1965 episode of The Munsters entitled "Herman the Rookie?"

A. Tommy Lasorda

B.  Leo Durocher

C.  Casey Stengel

D.  Sparky Anderson

E.  Yogi Berra

11.  What was the Munsters' address?

A.  13 Ghost Road

B.  1313 Grimly Crescent

C.  13 Thunder Lane

D.  13 Creepy Crescent

E.  1313 Mockingbird Lane

12.  Lily Munster wore a certain kind of jewellery.  What was it?

A.  It was a necklace shaped like a bat.

B.  I was a skull ring and it was her wedding ring.

C.  It was a a black brooch with her initials, "LM."

D.  A bracelet of skeleton bones.

E.  A Number 13 pendant.

13.  What was the name of the actor who portrayed Grandpa Munster?

Grandpa Munster

A.  Jackie Coogan

B.  Albert Crane

C.  Al Lewis

D.  John Meister

E.  Alexander Crane


1.  D


The name of Eddie Munsters' fire-breathing pet dinosaur was Spot.  Spot, a T-Rex, lived under a staircase in the Munster home.  Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster) and Al Lewis (Grandpa Munster) concocted Spot by modelling him after the Tyranosaurus Rex  from the film One Million B.C.

2.  A

This character with the hat and scarf is Uncle Gilbert.  Uncle Gilbert, portrayed by Richard Hale, was a favourite relative on the Munster side of the family.  He resembled Gill-man from the film The Creature from the Black Lagoon

3.  C

The Munsters was not a long-running series.  It ran for only two seasons on CBS, from 1964 until 1966.  It was also broadcast weekly on BBC One in the United Kingdom.  70 episodes of the series were produced, all in black and white.  The first version of the pilot episode, "My Fair Munster," was filmed in colour, but was never aired.  A second version of the pilot also never aired, but the pilot story became the second episode of the first season.  It aired on October 1, 1964 and was entitled "My Fair Munster."  The plot involved Grandpa Munster's concern over Marilyn's inability to keep boyfriends.  In an effort to help her, he concocts a love potion and puts it in her oatmeal.  Someone else, of course, ends up eating the oatmeal.

Ratings for The Munsters plunged after Batman, starring Adam West,  premiered on the ABC network in January of 1966.  Batman was new and fresh and it was in full colour.  After its cancellation, The Munsters went into syndication and became a cult hit.

A full length Munster film, entitled Munster Go Home!, was released in 1966.  The plot revolved around Herman's discovery that he was the new lord of Munster Hall in England.  On October 26, 2012,  NBC broadcasted a modern version of The Munsters called Mockingbird Lane.as a Halloween special.  The network has the option of developing it into a full series.

4.  B

Beverley Owen as Marilyn Munster in 1964

Marilyn Munster was the nice of Lilly and Herman Munster, the daughter of Lily's sister.  Beverley Owen, who originated the role of Marilyn, left the show in late 1964 after only appearing in the first 13 episodes.  She left to marry her then-boyfriend. writer/producer/director Jon Stone who was living in New York.  They had two daughters, Polly and Kate, but divorced in 1974 after a decade together.  Stone directed Sesame Street form 1969 until 1994.  He died in New York of ALS on March 13, 1997.  As  for Owen, beginning in 1971, she had a two-year stint on the daytime drama Another World as Dr. Paula McCrea after which she left television to concentrate on live theatre.  She is now 75 years old.

After Beverley Owen's departure, Pat Priest assumed the role of Marilyn  for the remainder of the series.  Pat Priest, whose full name is Patricia Ann Priest, was born and raised in Bountiful, Utah.  she was born on August 15, 1936 and is now 76 years old.  Her mother, Ivy Baker Priest, was the United States Treasurer from 1953 to 1961.

Marilyn Munster, a beautiful young blonde, was the only member of the family who didn't have a ghoulish appearance.  The rest of the family considered her unattractive and she considered herself homely.  Potential boyfriends were frightened away by her family.  Although Marilyn was the daughter of Lilly's sister, she took on the name "Munster."

5.  E

Eddie and Wolf-Wolf doll

Eddie Munster's full name was Edward Wolfgang Munster. He resembled a werewolf and had a little werewolf doll called Wolf-Wolf.  Eddie was portrayed by former child actor Butch Patrick.  Born Patrick Alan Lilley in Los Angeles on August 2, 1953, he is now 59 years old.  In November of 2010, it was reported that Butch Patrick had entered a drug rehabilitation facility in New Jersey.  In 2011, he was diagnosed with prostrate cancer.

6.  B

Charlie the raven in cuckoo clock

The Munsters' pet raven, Charlie, lived in a cuckoo clock.  Charlie favourite expression was, "Never more"  as in the famous poem The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.  He had a habit of making sarcastic comments whenever one of the Munsters acted foolishly.  It is interesting to note that famed voice actor Mel Blanc (and
occasionally actor Bob Hastings) voiced Charlie.

7.  C

The two musical instruments in the Munsters' living room were an organ and a harp.  Herman played the organ in several episodes and Lily played the harp.

8.  A

Herman Munster was employed in a menial capacity at the funeral home.of Gateman, Goodbury & Graves but he was always searching for a better job.  Fred Gwynne, who portrayed, Herman, is also remembered for his role as Officer Francis Muldoon in Car 54, Where Are You? which ran from 1961 to 1963.  Gwynne had a baritone voice and he was 6 ft., 5 in.(1.96 m) tall.  Despite his height, he still wore elevator shoes when he played Herman Munster,  Fred Gwynne died of pancreatic cancer on July 2, 1993 at the age of 66.  He was survived by his second wife, Deborah Flater, whom he married in 1988, and his children from his first marriage to Jean "Foxy" Reynard.

9.  D

The name of Herman's boss at the funeral home was Mr. Gateman, whose first name was never given.  Although the name Gateman, Goodbury & Graves indicates three owners, Gateman appeared to be the sole proprietor of the company and he was never shocked by Herman's Frankenstein-like appearance.  John Carradine played the role of Mr. Gateman.

10.  B

Leo Durocher appeared as himself in "Herman the Rookie" (Season One, Episode 29, Air Date: April 8, 1965).  In the episode, Herman Munster hits a baseball with such force that it hits Durocher, manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, on the head from about seven blocks away.  Leo is so impressed by Herman's hitting power that he tracks him down and signs him up with the team.

11.  E

The Munsters lived in a spooky mansion at 1313 Mockingbird Lane in the town of Mockingbird Heights.  The location of Mockingbird Heights was never specified.

12.  A.

Lily Munster always wore a necklace shaped like a bat.  Canadian-born actress Yvonne De Carlo (a native of Vancouver, British Columbia) portrayed Lily Munster. De Carlo's long film career included roles in Criss Cross (1949) and The Ten Commandments (1956)  She married stuntman Robert Morgan in 1955 and
they had two sons, Bruce (born 1956) and Michael (born 1957, died 1997).  The marriage ended in divorce in 1974.  Yvonne De Carlo died of natural causes on January 8, 2007. in Woodland Hills, California.  She was 84 years old.

13.  C

Al Lewis portrayed Grandpa Munster, a vampire-like mad scientist.  Al was born in New York and his  birthdate is thought to be April 30, 1923.  From 1961 to 1963, Lewis was Fred Gwynne's castmate on Car 54, Where Are You?"  He played Officer Leo Schnauser on the show.

Al was married twice.  He wed Marge Domowitz in 1956 and they had three sons, Dave, Ted and Paul.  Al and Marge divorced in 1977.  In 1984, he married actress Karen Imgenthron and they remained together until Al's death.

From 1987 to 1993, Al Lewis operated an Italian restaurant in Greenich Village called Grampa's Bella Gente.  He died in a New York hospital of natural causes on February 3, 2006.  At the time of his death, he was a resident of Roosevelt Island, a narrow island in New York's East River.

Note: Grandpa Munster was Lily's father, although he was referred to as a Munster.

- Josnne

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Peter Bergman: Smiling Jack Abbott

Peter Michael Bergman was born in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on June 11, 1953, the son of Walter Bergman, a United States Navy Officer.  He studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. His first notable television role was that of Dr. Cliff Warner on the daytime soap All My Children.  He portrayed Dr. Warner from 1979 until 1987 and from 1988 until 1989.

In 1986, Peter Bergman appeared in a Vicks Formula cough syrup commercial in which he declared, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV.  To watch Peter's Vicks commercial, click on the link below.


In 1989, Bergman joined the cast of The Young and the Restless as wealthy businessman Jack Abbott.  He replaced Terry Lester who originated the role of Jack Abbott back in 1980.  Lester had quit the show in frustration because he felt that his role was diminishing.  He died in 2003 at the age of 53 after suffering more than one heart attack.

Last Saturday, I saw Peter Bergman when he appeared at the National Women's Show here in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  I found him to be warm, personable and very funny. He has an excellent rapport with his fans.

It was one long, fast-paced question and answer session.  Peter said he likes Q & A sessions because they provide him with some input from the fans.  He is unhappy about Eileen Davidson's departure from The Young and the Restless and promised to do everything he can to bring her back to Geona City, the fictional town where The Young and the Restless takes place.  Eileen, who played Jack's sibling, Ashley Abbott, left because she was needed on Days of Our Lives (both soaps are produced by Sony Pictures).  Peter is also disappointed that Marcy Rylan, who portrays Jack Abbott's niece, Abby, has been cut from the show.

Peter joked about his highly publicized "feud" with Eric Braeden who plays his nemesis, Victor Newman, on the show.  In late December of 1991, Bergman and Braeden had a physical altercation backstage. They have since resolved their differences and learned to work together.  Peter, however, could not resist taking humorous potshots at Braeden's character, Victor Newman.  For instance, Newman has had a prominent portrait of himself on the wall in his office for many years.  Peter asked the audience, "What kind of person, does that?"

As for Jack Abbott's love life, Peter agreed that Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) is probably the best match for his character. He also doesn't like what the writers have done to the character of Jack's ex-wife, Sharon (Sharon Case).  He hopes that will be rectified soon.

Peter wants the show to return to its core families and storylines.  He opined that it was a mistake to have the character of John Abbott (Jack's father) die.  It may have been dramatic, but it removed the heart and soul of the Abbott family from the show.  Jerry Douglas, who played the Abbot patriarch, still appears on the show occasionally as the ghost of John Abbott or as Peter put it, "Jack's conscience."

The 59-year-old Bergman has been married twice.  He wed Tony Award-winning actress Christine Ebersole in 1976 and they divorced in 1981.  In 1985, he married Mariellen with whom he has two children, Clare and Connor. Peter proudly informed his audience at the National Women's Show that son Connor has just been called to the bar and will be an attorney.  His daughter Clare works for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association.

I had the final question of the session and I asked Peter if he had any big scoops for Y&R fans.  He thought for a moment and seemed genuinely disappointed that he did not have one.

Here are some photos I snapped at the National Women's Show in Toronto.

- Joanne

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lorne Greene: From Bonanza to Battlestar Galactica

For 14 seasons, Lorne Greene played all-American cowboy Ben Cartwright on the television Western, Bonanza.  Greene, however, was actually a Canadian boy.  He was born in Ottawa, Ontario, on February 12, 1915, the only child of Daniel and Doris Green, Russian Jewish immigrants whose original name was Grinovsky.  Lorne's birth name was Lyon Himan Green but his mother referred to him as "Chaim."  At some point, he began calling himself Lorne and added an "e" to his last name.  In her 2004 biography, My Father's Voice: The Biography of Lorne Greene, his daughter, Linda Greene Bennett,  wrote that it is not known when he changed his name.

Greene attended Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, originally intending to pursue a career in chemical engineering. His heart, however, was in acting.  According to daughter Linda, in order to participate in the university's drama guild, "he altered his course registration, deleting chemical engineering and adding modern languages instead." During his years at Queen's, he became active in amateur theatre and as Linda put it, "began the uncertain journey to follow his dream."

After graduation, Lorne spent two years in New York studying drama.  He then settled in Toronto and worked as a radio broadcaster.  Gifted with rich-sounding vocals, he was so successful that he became the chief news broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) from 1939 until 1942.  The CBC billed him as "The Voice of Canada" and listeners nicknamed him "The Voice of Doom" because of the deep intonation of his sonorous voice and because of the grim events he reported to Canadians during the darkest days of World War II.

Lorne Greene as a CBC radio news anchor n 1942

Lorne Greene left the CBC in 1942 to serve as a flying officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.  Following his service in the war, Greene returned to Toronto and pursued his interest  in radio broadcasting but did not resume his job as chief news announcer for the CBC.  Instead, he established the Toronto's Academy of Radio Arts and worked as an instructor there, teaching young people the fundamentals of radio broadcasting.  He also co-founded the Jupiter Theatre in Toronto.

In 1953, Lorne Greene headed to the United States where he performed on Broadway, in films and in the burgeoning new medium known as television.  During the 1950s he began appearing in various roles on live and filmed TV programs.  In 1953, he played Othello in a one-hour version of Shakespeare's classic.  In 1955, he was cast as Ludwig van Beethoven in an episode of You Are There, a CBS educational series hosted by Walter Cronkite.  The actor also appeared on the big screen.  He played the part of the prosecutor in the 1957 film Peyton Place and appeared as Mercier in The Buccaneers, a 1958 historical epic about the Battle of New Orleans directed by Anthony Quinn.

Lorne Greene's big break came in 1959 when an American producer, David Dortot, noticed him in a minor role on the television Western, Wagon Train. Dortot was impressed by the actor's performance and thought he would be perfect for the part of the father figure  in a new Western he was developing for NBC.   Greene then won his first continuing role on a television series when he was cast as Ben Cartwright, the family patriarch on Bonanza.  Greene's character, the thrice-widowed Ben, guided his three sons (each by a different wife) and defended the prosperous family's sprawling ranch, known as The Ponderosa.  Bonanza became a staple of NBC's Sunday night line-up for years and Greene's portrayal of the tough but wise "P:a" Cartwright made him a household name.

Lorne Greene based his portrayal of Ben Cartwright on his own father, Daniel, the Ottawa shoemaker,  That's the reason why he was able to play the play the part of the patriarch so well.  As a child, whenever he misbehaved, Daniel would give him "one of those looks."  On the Ponderosa, Lorne would give his television sons, Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker) and Little Joe (Michael Landon), "the same look" if they acted up.

After Bonanza went off the air in 1973, Lorne Greene starred in the  NBC crime drama, Griff.  The series was short-lived, but for Greene it was an attempt to replace his Pa Cartwright image with a more contemporary role.  In Griff, he played Wade Griffin, a veteran police captain who, after resigning from the force on a matter of principle, decided to start his own business as a private investigator.  Due to low ratings, the show was cancelled after a mere 13 episodes.

Duing the 1970s, Lorne Greene appeared in three popular television mini-series: The Moneychangers (1976), Roots (1977) and The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald (1977)  In The Moneychangers, based on Arthur Hailey's novel about the politics and greed inside a major American Bank, Greene played the part of George Quartermain.  In Roots, he appeared as John Reynolds, the first master of Kunta Kinte.  In The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald, an alternate history of what might have happened if Lee Harvery Oswald had gone on trial for the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he starred as Matthew Arnold Watson.alongside Ben Gazzara as Anson "Kip" Roberts and John Pleshette as Oswald.

For many years, Lorne Greene was the chief spokesman for Alpo, a beef-flavoured dog food, on its television commercials.  When he died, Alpo's ad agency announced that he would not be replaced by another celebrity spokesman for its product.

Click below to watch some of Lorne Greene's Alpo ads.



Click below to view a 1979 Alpo ad with Lorne Green and Victoia Principal.


In 1978, Lorne Greene took the lead role in a much-hyped ABC science fiction series Battlestar Galactica.  The series centred on some human refugees Greene portrayed Adama, the silver-haired commander of the Galactica.  The show was full of costly special effects and laser battles.  It was so similar to Star Wars that the producers of Star Wars sued ABC for "stealing' their film.  Despite the initial hype, rating for the show declined and it was cancelled after a single season.  It returned, however, in early 1980 in a revamped form and with a new title, Galactica 1980.  Lorne Greene was the only remaining member of the original cast.

From 1981 until 1982, Greene starred in yet another short-lived television series. The series, entitled Code Red, was produced by Irwin Allen and it aired on ABC on Sunday evenings.  This time Greene played Joe Rorchek, a 30-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department.  Rorchek, an arson investigator, was the patriarch of a family of firefighters and Julie Adams portrayed his wife, Ann.   The show was instructional and provided lessons in fire safety.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Lone Greene devoted much of his time to ecological and wildlife issues.  From 1974 to 1975, he hosted a syndicated nature series entitled "Last of the Wild."  ,From 1982 until 1986, he hosted  Lorne Greene's New Wilderness, a Canadian nature documentary series that promoted environmental awareness.  It was a half-hour compilation of footage showing wildlife for which Greene provided on-camera and voice-over narration. The CTV series garnered high ratings in Canada  and  it also enjoyed success when it was syndicated in the United States and in other countries.

Lorne Greene was married twice. His first wife was Rita Hands of Toronto.  Lorne and Rita wed in 1938 (some sources say they were married in 1940) and divorced in 1960.  They  were the parents of twins, Belinda Susan and Charles, born in 1945. Belinda (now known as Linda Greene Bennett) became the author of the aforementioned biography of her father. Charles Grreene was co-producer, along with documentary producer/writer Stephen Dewar, of Lorne Greene's New Wilderness.

Lorne Greene's second spouse was Nancy Deale, whom he wed on December 17. 1961.  They remained together until Lorne's death and they raised a daughter, Gillian Dania,.who was born in Los Angeles on January 6, 1968.  Nancy Deale Greene died of cancer in Marina del Rey, California on March 2, 2004.  Gillian Greene married film producer, director and actor Sam Raimi in 1993.  Raimi is best known for directing cult horror/ comedy films.  They have five children.

Lorne Greene died of complications from pneumonia in Santa Monica, California on September 11, 1987.  His death occurred after he had undergone surgery for a perforated ulcer.  The 72-year-old had been scheduled to reprise his role as Ben Cartwright in Bonanza: The Next Generation, a syndicated television movie.  Due to Lorne's  health problems, the script had already been altered so that his part would be less physically taxing.  He was eventually replaced by veteran actor John Ireland who played Ben's brother, Aaron Cartwright.

Bonanza: The Next Generation aired in 1988 and featured Lorne's own daughter, Gillian Greene, in the role of Jennifer Sills and Michael Landon, Jr. as Benjamin "Benji" Cartwright.


* During his radio days, Lorne Green invented a stopwatch that ran backwards.  It was designed to help radio announcers determine how much time they had available while they were broadcasting.

* In 1964, Lorne Greene had a Number #1 hit in the United States with his recording of "Ringo," a spoken-word song about a real-life Old West Outlaw.named Johnny Ringo.

* Lorne Greene appeared in a 1985 episode of Michael Landon's series Highway to Heaven (Season 2, Episode 8, Air Date: November 20, 1985).  Greene played a character named Fred Fusco in this episode about the lead actor in a Broadway play who insists that God is attending the show's performances in an orchestra seat.

* Lorne Greene has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada on October 28, 1969.

To watch a television news report of Lorne Greene's death, click on the link below.


- Joanne