Beverley Owen, the original Marilyn on ‘The Munsters,’ died at 81

Remember the classic television series “The Munsters”? Though the show only ran from 1964 to 1966, it continued to live on in reruns (and in our memories) for decades afterward.

Among the quirky family members, you may remember Marilyn, a stunning blonde knockout who happened to be the niece of Lily and Herman. Originally played by Beverley Owen, Marilyn lit up every room she entered in the spooky Munster mansion. In fact, the role came to define Owen’s brief acting career.

On Feb. 21, it was reported that Owen had passed away at the age of 81. She had been battling ovarian cancer since receiving a diagnosis in January 2017. Butch Patrick, who played Owen’s young cousin Eddie on the show, confirmed the news in a Facebook post, calling her a “sweet soul.”

In addition to “The Munsters,” Owen also appeared in other shows, including “As the World Turns” (her first TV appearance), “Wagon Train,” and “The Virginian.” But none of these shows earned her the recognition she received on “The Munsters.”

Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Unfortunately, when she took on the role of Marilyn, Owen was forced to move to California, where she found herself heartbroken over the fact that her role kept her away from her boyfriend, Jon Stone, who lived in New York. Her ongoing depression eventually prompted her co-stars, Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis, to talk Universal Studios into letting her go after just 13 episodes, at which point, actress Patricia Ann Priest took over the role.

Upon being released from her contract, Owen returned to New York, where she married Stone, who eventually went on to become a director on “Sesame Street.” Though the marriage ended in divorce after 10 years, Owen leaves behind two daughters from their union, Polly and Kate.

Our condolences to Owen’s family.