Pat Priest (actress)
- Pat Priest redirects here. For the Texas judge, see Pat Priest (judge).
|Born||Patricia Ann Priest
August 15, 1936
Bountiful, Utah, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Frederick Hansing (m. 1981)
Pierce Jensen Jr. (1955–1967, divorced, two sons)
Priest was born and raised in Bountiful, Utah. Her mother, Ivy Baker Priest, was the United States Treasurer from January 28, 1953 to January 29, 1961, whose signature appeared on currency printed during her tenure. Priest resided in Washington D.C. the with her mother, and was selected as one of Washington D.C.'s most beautiful women.
Show business career
Priest replaced actress Beverley Owen on the television sitcom, The Munsters; Owen quit the series after the first 13 episodes. The running gag of Marilyn's character was that this beautiful blonde woman was keenly aware that she was the "ugly" or "plain" one in a family composed of a Frankenstein's monster for an uncle, an undead vampire for an aunt, a vampire for a grandfather, a werewolf for a cousin, and other equally odd members. Another tongue-in-cheek gag was that the character's name recalled sex symbol Marilyn Monroe.
Her only film roles were in Looking for Love (1964), with Connie Francis, Easy Come, Easy Go (1967), with Elvis Presley, and the horror film The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant (1971), with Bruce Dern. In a move that angered many fans of the series, Universal Pictures decided to use starlet Debbie Watson (12 years Priest's junior) in the role of Marilyn Munster in the 1966 feature Munster, Go Home! (1966), instead of Priest, as Watson was under contract to the studio and it had plans to make her a film star.
She retired from acting in the 1980s, but continues to attend some of the nostalgia conventions and "Munster" revivals around the country. She was restoring and selling homes in Idaho, where she has lived for over two decades, but she is now retired. Married twice, she has two sons.
She has been treated for lymphoma in recent years; her exact condition remains undisclosed. In 2001, Priest was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. She finished maintenance treatments at St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute and is now in remission.