‘The Munsters’: Why Lee Meriwether Visited the Munster Family Home Long Before Playing Lily Munster

by Samantha Whidden

She was cast as Lily Munster on “The Munsters Today” from 1988 to 1991, but before taking on the role, Lee Meriwether actually visited the Munster family home.  

According to MeTV, Meriwether made an appearance on the classic TV show “Leave It to Beaver” and her character was going door-to-door asking for donations. At the time, the Cleavers had moved to 211 Pine Street, which was a suburban set on the Universal backlot. During Meriwether’s appearance, Beaver must return to her character’s porch after he loses some of the donation money. The house – was the Munster family house. It was three years prior to “The Munsters” first premiering in 1964.

Three decades after living down the street on “Leave It to Beaver,” Meriwether returned to the Universal backlot’s Mockingbird Lane” as Lily Munster on “The Munsters Today.”

“The Munsters Today” follows America’s “First Family of Fright” as they wake up after an accidental 22-year nap. They then have to adjust to life in the 1980s. John Schuck, Howard Morton, Jason Marsden, Hill Van Dyke, and Mary Cadorette starred in the series along with Meriwether. The show ran from 1987 to 1991. 

Lee Meriwether Shared Details About Her ‘The Munsters Today’ Character Lily Munster

During a July 1990 interview with Desert News, Lee Meriwether spoke about her “The Munsters Today” character, Lily Munster, and why she stands out. “Lily is basically your everyday mother in a sitcom. She adores her children. She just looks different.”

Meriwether also stated that “The Munsters Today” is an updated version of the 1960s series. “The show has been brought up to date. The children have changed the most. Eddie no longer dresses in the Little Lord Fauntleroy clothes. He dresses as other teens do today. We no longer worry about Marilyn’s looks… There was some talk that I would get a job.”

Although the show was successful, Meriwether admitted she didn’t give “The Munsters Today” a chance at the beginning. “I thought it would be just a pilot. I never thought it would become a series. Then I didn’t think it would go beyond the first year.” 

Lee Meriwether Once Revealed Who She Wants to Work With 

Meanwhile, Lee Meriwether opened up in 2012 about who she actually wants to work with. “I wanted to work with Richard Wood Martin more than anything. I did pick up his keys when he dropped them at Universal once. I was walking towards him and he dropped his keys and was preoccupied with something else in his hands and I just jumped at the chance to pick them up and handed them to him. He said, ‘You’re very kind.’ And that’s as far as that went, never a chance to work together though.”

Meriwether also shared that she wants to work with Spencer Tracy. He actually told the actress that he actually wanted to play her father at some point. “I met Spencer Tracy when they brought me through the Stork Club and out, but he grabbed a hold of me as I was leaving and he said to me ‘Come out to Hollywood and I’ll be your father on or off the screen.’”