Back when TV sitcoms were obsessed with detailing domestic life, The Munsters offered a very different take on the American family. Its characters were modeled after classic Universal Studio monsters, and they took trying to fit in to a whole new level. The ’60s show was a syndication hit — even though it only lasted two seasons. And we bet you’re wondering what happened to Herman, Lily, Marilyn, Eddie, and Grandpa. Here are their stories after the cameras stopped rolling.
Al Lewis (Grandpa)
It goes without saying that The Munsters had a cast of peculiar characters. But none of these fantastical creations were ever as unconventional as Grandpa actor Al Lewis. From working in a circus to becoming a war hero during World War II, Lewis experienced a life few writers could ever dream up.
Becoming a Munster
Lewis’ way into The Munsters began on the show Car 54, Where Are You? There, the vaudevillian actor — who played the cop Leo Schnauser — bonded with co-star Fred Gwynne. And the pair’s connection on-screen and off would make CBS nab them both for their new sitcom.
Good vibes on set
Cast alongside his pal, Lewis had no trouble slipping into the cape of The Munsters’ wacky grandpa Sam Dracula. And soon enough, the actor settled into a rich and rewarding workplace. In conversation with the Archive of American Television in 2002, Lewis recalled how, “We all helped each other, and we did it on camera with that passion and enthusiasm.”
When The Munsters ended in 1966, Lewis rode his wave of fame into other projects such as 1969’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Yet tragedy meant the star would have to put his career momentarily on hold. Following his wife’s injury in a car accident, Lewis devoted himself fully to being her carer.