Beverley Owen was the first actress to play Marilyn Munster, and she oddly enough wasn't even a blonde. Born in Ottumwa, Iowa on May 13, 1937 as Beverley Ogg, she was actually rather unwillingly made to play Marilyn in the pilot of "The Munsters." After signing a seven year contract in 1963, there was nothing she could do to not appear in the show. After the thirteenth episode ("Family Portrait") she was finally able to leave the series because she was so terribly unhappy with the show. She went to New York to marry her boyfriend, Jon Stone (who was later a producer of "Sesame Street" and friends with Jim Henson).
Before "The Munsters," she had been in small one time rolls on TV shows, including "The Virginian," and "Wagon Train." Even before that she was a secretary at a CBS casting office, but was fired for lack of typing skills. She was fired yet again from Ed Sullivan for lack of short hand skills. She finally took some classes, eventually becoming senior typist on "The Captain Kangaroo Show." Her only movie was Bullet for a Badman, with Audie Murphy, released in 1964. During the 1971-72 season of the soap opera "Another World," she played Dr. Paula McCrea (right).
Nowadays, she is single, but has two wonderful daughters named Polly and Kate. She was friends with Fred Gwynne until the end and continues to occasionally visit his family. She is very seldom interviewed about "The Munsters", liking to keep to herself, but did appear in Gwynne's A&E "Biography" and subsequently in the "Biography" program for the Munsters using the same footage. Once said Beverley, "I'll know I've made it when I'm the subject of a Trivial Pursuit question."
Beverley Owen in Bullet for a Badman in 1964
Another Badman photo
Cox, Stephen. The Munsters Television's First Family of Fright. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1989.
Quote from The Munsters Television's First Family of Fright