In the fall of 1964, Pat Priest immediately stepped into the role of Marilyn Munster and stepped into her permanent place in TV history. Born on August 15, 1936, Pat eventually got into show business by starting as a curtain act for road shows with the Mormon Church. Her mother, Ivy Baker Priest, became increasingly involved with politics, and became US Treasurer in 1953, moving the family to Washington, DC. She soon became known as one of the prettiest girls on the Washington scene. She was chosen queen of the President's Cup Regatta, a major annual Capital social event, and later was made queen of the Azalea Festival in Norfolk, Virginia. She made her debut at the International Debutantes' ball in New York and the Thanksgiving Day Cotillion in Washington, in addition to having her own coming-out party. She was selected by a national magazine as one of the Capitol's "Ten Most Beautiful Women." Still stage-struck, she made her first professional appearance on her own television program with Art Lamb in Washington, a show which she continued for about a year with leading entertainment stars as guests. She did numerous plays, modeling jobs and TV shows before finally becoming Marilyn in 1964.
After the show was canceled, the producers (Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher) decided to go through with the plan of a Munster movie for theatrical release, but there was one thing different; Pat was being replaced by eighteen year old Debbie Watson (a Universal Studios contract player). Pat was foolishly told she was too old, despite the fact that both she and Beverley Owen were about twenty-seven in the role. Other cast members tried to protest, but nothing came of it.
After "The Munsters," she guest starred on such TV shows as: "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (as Sue Anne Nivens's younger and more attractive sister Lila Nivens), "Bewitched", and "The Lucy Show". She also bought Elvis's car (a black Cadillac El Dorado) during her movie with him, Easy Come, Easy Go. Looking back, she wished she hadn't sold it for obvious reasons.
Currently, Pat is living in Idaho with her husband Fred Hansing. From her first marriage, she has two sons, Pierce and Lance. She sometimes does shows for her autograph signings and one can obtain her autograph by going to http://www.pscelebrities.com/pp.html, owned by her son Pierce. She has appeared many times on talk shows and other TV specials, including the many Munster programs of A&E's "Biography."
Pat Priest as Dr. Bombay's nurse in a 1969 episode of "Bewitched"
From an agent photo in the 1970's
Pat raised llamas in the 1980sSOURCES
Cox, Stephen. The Munsters Television's First Family of Fright. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1989.