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Updated: February 04, 2024

Patricia Ann Priest ( born August 15, 1936 ), mainly credited as Pat Priest, is an American actress who is best known for portraying Marilyn Munster on the television show, The Munsters ( 19641966 ).

Early life:

Priest was born and raised in Bountiful, Utah. Her mother was Ivy Baker Priest, the United States Treasurer from January 28, 1953 to January 29, 1961, whose signature appeared on currency printed during her tenure. Priest was once selected as one of Washington, D.C.'s most beautiful women, when she resided there with her mother.

Show business career:

Priest replaced actress Beverley Owen on the television sitcom, The Munsters, who 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.

After the series ended, Priest appeared on episodes of TV programs such as Bewitched, Perry Mason, and Mary Tyler Moore, ( in which she played Betty White's character's unappreciated younger sister ). 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 1980's, 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.

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