While Halloween may now be just a recent ghoulish memory for many, Butch Patrick’s spooky connection to monsters stretches throughout the year due to his role in the popular 60s CBS sitcom, “The Munsters.”
“I just did about 35 events leading up to Halloween, sometimes two or three a day,” said Patrick, who played Eddie, the werewolf son of a Frankenstein-like father (Herman) and vampire mother (Lily).
Patrick hits the road again soon, traveling to Oregon for the Eugene Comic Con on November 11 before heading to the Daytona Turkey Run in Florida for Thanksgiving.
“I attend events year round that are related to cars or classic TV, as well as tattoo cons, comic cons, collectible shows, and toy shows,” he said. “I’m a car guy, so it’s great to meet other car enthusiasts as well as Munster fans.”
Though he spends considerable time crisscrossing the country, the classic TV legend now calls the Midwest home where he lives in Macon, Missouri, in an 1875 Victorian mansion that once belonged to his grandmother.
“I lived with her for about 6 months in 1967,” he recalled. “I kept an eye on the house over the years and when I saw it was basically foreclosed and going to be demolished, I decided to save it.”
A year ago he purchased the house which he claims is benignly haunted, and this led to planning a paranormal TV show “Property Horrors” due for release next year.
“Basically I take medium and ghost-hunter extraordinaire Shavaum Avila – and her little ghost-hunting dog Tiger – to homes that have supernatural issues and need help,” he said.
Although Patrick needed help with personal and health issues himself during his post-Munster days, the 63-year-old actor is now healthy and enjoying life.
“Over a period of 18 months, I bought the house and a new Munster car, got married for the first time, and moved to a town of 5,000 people. It’s not as though I like change!”
His vehicle collection includes replicas of the Munster Koach and Drag-u-la, seen in the series, which he frequently displays at shows. But he says by far the most common Munster props question he’s asked is “What happened to Woof-Woof?” – the werewolf doll young Eddie often clutched in episodes.
“My makeup man, Mike Westmore, went into the lab and created the one seen in the show. It was based on a miniature of Lon Chaney Jr.’s Wolfman character. It was actually given to me 5 years after the show ended, but deteriorated over the years.”
Patrick will be releasing a reproduction Woof-Woof doll in January.
“These will have a rubber face with Bigfoot-like scruffy hair similar to the original,” he said (see www.munsters.com).
Though Patrick now embraces his Eddie Munster character, that wasn’t always the case.
“I kind of shied away from The Munsters as a teenager and wanted to be known for other things. But when I was 30, I recorded a song ‘Whatever Happened to Eddie?’ and came back to The Munsters.”
Patrick’s first film was “The Two Little Bears” in 1961 and he went on to appear in numerous TV shows including “The Real McCoys” and “Lidsville,” an early 70s children’s program. But it’s The Munsters that continues to bring him attention.
“In fact, I just filled the car up with gas and was recognized by a man and his daughter and friend who love The Munsters. Everywhere I go there’s a multigenerational fan base.”
Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery, Ala., and has written features, columns and interviews for over 600 magazines and newspapers. See www.tinseltowntalks.com.
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