Butch Patrick (far left) as Eddie Munster with the Munsters cast in 1964.
|Born||Patrick Alan Lilley
August 2, 1953
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Butch Patrick (born Patrick Alan Caples; August 2, 1953) is an American former child actor. Beginning his professional acting career at the age of eight, Patrick is perhaps best known for his role as child werewolf Eddie Munster on the CBS comedy television series The Munsters from 1964 to 1966 and in the 1966 feature film Munster, Go Home, and as Mark on the ABC Saturday morning series, Lidsville from 1971 to 1973.
Life and career
Patrick began his acting career in 1961, making his feature film debut in the 20th Century Fox comedy-fantasy The Two Little Bears. Over the next two years, Patrick went on to appear in guest-starring roles on numerous television series, including Ben Casey, Alcoa Premiere, Bonanza, My Favorite Martian, Mister Ed and Rawhide as well as recurring roles on The Real McCoys and General Hospital. When recounting how he began his acting career, Patrick explained "I owe my career to my sister. She was the one who got me started and gave me all the encouragement. She always wanted to be an actress and was on the casting call sheet one day. She was asked if there were any other children at home. She told them about me, and I got some small roles, then some bigger ones..."
In 1964, Patrick landed the role of child werewolf Eddie Munster, starring alongside Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster, Yvonne De Carlo as Lily Munster and Al Lewis as Grandpa, on the CBS television series, The Munsters, a fantasy situation comedy loosely based on Universal's movie monsters. The role of Eddie was originally portrayed by child actor Happy Derman in the pilot episode before Patrick was ultimately selected out of 500 boys for the role.
When asked how he landed the role of Eddie, Patrick recalled "I had a lot of experience. But maybe it was because my fangs were my own teeth. My teeth were so bad, that even when I closed my mouth they stuck out. I was about a head smaller than the other kids, and they liked that because it played off Herman's height." Living on the East Coast at the time, Patrick commuted to Los Angeles every week during filming of the series, appearing in 70 episodes during The Munsters two-season run from 1964 to 1966.
After The Munsters ended, Patrick continued to appear in guest-starring roles on various popular television series of the 1960s, including I Dream of Jeannie, Death Valley Days, Gunsmoke, The Monkees, Daniel Boone and Adam-12, as well as a recurring role as Gordon Dearing on the CBS family comedy series My Three Sons. During this time, Patrick also appeared in several Walt Disney films, including Way Down Cellar, The Young Loner and The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, as well as portraying the role of Milo in the 1970 MGM live-action/animated film The Phantom Tollbooth.
In 1971, Patrick landed the starring role on Sid and Marty Krofft's Saturday morning children's program Lidsville, broadcast on ABC. In the psychedelic fantasy series, Patrick portrayed Mark, a boy lost in a strange land of walking, talking, singing hats, opposite veteran character actors Charles Nelson Reilly and Billie Hayes. The show was in production for one season.
In 1975, Patrick left acting to work for his father and began to learn to play the bass. In 1983, he recorded the song, "Whatever Happened To Eddie?" (b/w "Little Monsters"), with several instrumentalists and backup singers under the group name "Eddie and the Monsters." Set to the tune of the Munsters theme, the song details his life as a Munster. ("You might wonder why I have a dragon for a pet – Well he's just there to keep me company on the set.") He recorded a second single, "It's Only Halloween", which was released on Park Lane Drive Records in 2007.[self-published source]
In addition to his music, Patrick returned to occasional film and television work, including making cameo appearances as "Himself" on episodes of the Fox animated television series The Simpsons and the 2003 comedy film Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, as well as appearing as a grown-up Eddie Munster in a Little Caesars Pizza commercial.
From 2002 to 2012, Patrick co-hosted Macabre Theatre with Natalie Popovich aka “Ivonna Cadaver.”
Patrick made a cameo appearance in the 2005 retro-horror film Frankenstein vs. the Creature from Blood Cove directed by William Winckler playing a man who had become a werewolf, speaking a line of dialog in comical reference to The Munsters.
On July 26, 2010, Patrick rode his motorcycle in Carthage, New York to benefit the blind community.
On July 30, 2010, it was announced that Patrick would marry long-time Munsters fan Donna McCall. Patrick and McCall began corresponding while Patrick appeared on The Munsters. The two fell out of touch as the years passed but were then reunited via the Internet. They met in person for the first time at DraculaCon in Windber, Pennsylvania. McCall was a cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles (under her former name Donna Auerbach) from 1976 to 1979.
Patrick moved to Philadelphia for McCall, but the pair broke up just after Halloween in 2010, according to Patrick's agent. The following week, on November 11, 2010, People and E! Online reported that Patrick had entered a drug rehabilitation facility in New Jersey.
In May 2011 Patrick announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He said that the disease was detected early and he claimed to be positive about the prognosis — "If you catch it early, there's a good chance of survival. I'm told I have a 90 percent chance of recovery and of living another 20 years." In an interview with US celebrity tabloid magazine Star, he said "I went 41 years trying to kill myself. And then finally got to the point when I want to live I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My first thought when I was told this was 'Isn't this a kicker?' I get clean, my life is together, and now God is going to punch my ticket."
- "Munster actor involved in crash". Portsmouth Daily Times. July 4, 1996.
- "Today's birthdays". Youngstown Vindicator. August 2, 2008.
- "California Births, 1905–1995 – Patrick Alan Lilley". Family Tree Legends.
- "Sunday Matinee – The Two Little Bears". The Hinton News. December 21, 1961.
- Howard Pearson (February 24, 1968). "Butch Patrick Owes Career To Sister". The Deseret News.
- Kathy Naab (February 26, 1989). "You Asked… Tell Me…". The Milwaukee Journal.
- "Janice Rule stars with Butch Patrick". The Evening Independent. March 28, 1963.
- Jerry Resler (October 28, 1983). "Being a little 'Munster' wasn't so horrible". The Milwaukee Sentinel.
- Mark Rahner (August 31, 2004). ""Eddie Munster" looks back". The Seattle Times.
- "Eddie cashes in on the Munsters". The Calgary Herald. July 5, 2008.
- "Was With Spooks – Butch Patrick". Lewiston Morning Tribune. September 19, 1971.
- Dave Itzkoff (February 27, 2005). "How Do You Top 'H.R. Pufnstuf?'". The New York Times.
- Divina Infusino (October 28, 1983). "A Munster turns to rock". The Milwaukee Journal.
- Bullock, Darryl (19 April 2009). "The World's Worst Records: Whatever Happened to Eddie?". Worldsworstrecords.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- Kelley, Amanda (25 July 2010). "Bikers support visually impaired". YNN. New York: TWEAN. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Krumboltz, Mike (30 July 2010). "Butch Patrick of 'The Munsters' Set to Marry Big Fan". Yahoo! TV Blog. Sunnyvale, CA: Yahoo!. OCLC 32496806. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Gross, Dan (22 July 2010). "Eddie Munster finds love with former Eagles Cheerleader". Philadelphia Daily News. Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia Media Network. OCLC 12904443. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Grossberg, Josh (11 November 2010). "Child Star Curse Strikes Again? Eddie Munster in Rehab". E! Online. New York: NBCUniversal. OCLC 44322021. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Hammel, Sara (11 November 2010). "Eddie Munster Actor Butch Patrick Goes to Rehab". People. New York: Time. ISSN 0093-7673. OCLC 60623645. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
- Daily Mail reporter (12 May 2011). "Former Munsters star Butch Patrick, 57, reveals he is battling prostate cancer". Daily Mail. London: Associated Newspapers. ISSN 0307-7578. OCLC 16310567. Retrieved 16 July 2012.