Pat Priest

Pat Priest as Marilyn Munster

When Pat Priest was a young girl, her family moved from Salt Lake City to Bountiful, Utah. Although her childhood was spent in a small town, she got quite a bit of exposure to entertainment work through her mother, Ivy Baker Priest, who often wrote, directed and produced road shows for the Mormon church. Ivy was increasingly active in politics and by the time Pat reached her junior year in high school, her mother was named United States Treasurer. (You might still see her signature on some old paper money!)

Relocating to Washington, D.C., Pat soon started taking the crown in beauty contests. Pat discovered, however, that she had inherited her mother’s interest in show business rather than politics, and after an appearance on “Art Lamb in Washington”, she left the Washington social scene and made her way to California. She got some experience under her belt working in community theater, including the Alameda Little Theatre, the London Circle Players in Oakland, and the Players of the Golden Hind in Berkeley. This led to a few local TV commercials and she soon began getting guest shots on TV shows.

In 1964, in the middle of the initial season of The Munsters TV show, Beverly Owen decided to leave the series, and the part of Marilyn Munster was up for grabs. Marilyn, of course, was the “plain one of the family”, the normal one in a family of “monsters”. Pat got the part, and made her initial appearance on the last episode of the first season. She remained in the role until the series ended in 1966. (The film, Munster Go Home, released that same year, featured Debbie Watson in the role.)

Her appearance with Elvis came a year later. In Easy Come, Easy Go, Pat plays Dina Bishop, the “bad girl” who gets in Elvis’ way while he and Dodie Marshall search for treasure. Pat’s memories of Elvis and that time were fond ones, although she regrets one thing: She bought Elvis’ Cadillac (a 1967 El Dorado), and later traded it for a Pontiac! “If I had it today, I could retire!”, she says. Although not fully retired yet, (she occasionally makes TV appearances) Pat and her second husband, Fred Hansing, are settled in Haley, Idaho. Pat still keeps in touch with Butch Patrick from The Munsters, and with the series running regularly now on Nick at Nite, they make more frequent public appearances at conventions and autograph shows.