Updated: February 15, 2014
IN MEMORY OF ACTOR - FRED GWYNNE #03
I remember waking up one morning in San Francisco (no comment), and hearing the news that Fred Gwynne was terminally ill. That was in May of 1993. Fred's agent made a statement to the press, "He's decided to retire from doing anything." She also said that Fred is healthy, happy and working his herd of Angus cattle on a Virginia farm. Virginia?
Well, Fred wasn't healthy at all. Within 2 months of that statement, he was dead. He was best known to all of us - as Herman Munster, head of the clan on that fantastic television show. He tried like hell to get away from the image, but it would never leave him. Rightfully so. Who cares about Car 54, Where Are You?, My Cousin Vinny, or even Pet Sematary (okay, we liked that one.)? The Munsters were it! Fred was asked in 1982 about his favourite roles. He mentioned a lot of plays and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, then he paused. "And I might as well tell you the truth, I love old Herman Munster. Much as I try not to, I can't stop liking that fellow." Great! So he died in peace.
He discovered he was ill in January of 93. A CAT scan on February 3 confirmed the illness, and he underwent surgery at the famed John Hopkins Medical Center, in Baltimore. They found that the cancer had spread to his liver, and the doctors were unable to get it all. He was put on a chemo program.
Not very long before he got the bad news, he and his wife Deborah bought a farm in a place called Taneytown, Maryland, about 40 miles Northeast of Baltimore.
The farm was located on Stone Road, near Bert Koontz (?) road, in Taneytown. Fred succumbed to the cancer at 8am, on Friday July 2nd, in this house. Here's the house from another angle. He was 66 years old.