Fred Gwynne's Life Struggles Before, during & after 'The Munsters'

Fred Gwynne, best known for his role as Herman Munster in "The Munsters," was one of the greatest actors of all time. However, in real life, he had also faced severe trials.

Gwynne was in the sitcom "Car 54, Where Are You?" from 1961 to 1963 before he starred in "The Munsters," as reported by Closer Weekly.

During the run of that show, he received mortifying news one day — his child had drowned in the family pool, according to Munsters. 

Fred Gwynne in a publicity portrait issued for the television series, "The Munsters," circa 1965. | Photo: Getty Images

Fred Gwynne in a publicity portrait issued for the television series, "The Munsters," circa 1965. | Photo: Getty Images

In 1964, he was picked to star as Herman Munster in "The Munsters," a comedy series about a family of loving freaks in suburbia. 

Herman Munster was a character whose similarity to Frankenstein's monster was anything but unexpected. The show was a success, and Gwynne gained immediate popularity as a devil with an endearing personality. 

In a 1978 interview with The New York Times, Gwynne said that despite the fact he didn't get rich from the show, he made cash from it. 

Pat Priest, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick, Fred Gwynne, and Yvonne De Carlo in a publicity photograph from the television series "The Munsters," circa 1964. | Photo: Getty Images

Pat Priest, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick, Fred Gwynne, and Yvonne De Carlo in a publicity photograph from the television series "The Munsters," circa 1964. | Photo: Getty Images

"I was working for Universal under what they called a minimum residual deal," he explained. "That means I got paid for the first years of reruns, but that's all."

Notwithstanding, the acclaimed actor's role in "The Munsters" was not easy. He would constantly sweat with his costume on the set.

All through the '80s and '90s, Gwynne did commercial voice-overs and kept on doing motion pictures. 

Fred Gwynne appearing in the ABC television series "The Corner Bar" in 1973. | Photo: Getty Images

Fred Gwynne appearing in the ABC television series "The Corner Bar" in 1973. | Photo: Getty Images

Gwynne likewise endured a lot of back pain. Also, the make-up procedure took 3 hours consistently, according to Munsters.

"The Munsters" ran from 1964 to 1966. Gwynne then did a wide range of various things, ranging from writing and illustrating books to showing up in plays. 

Fred Gwynne in New York, circa 1970. | Photo: Getty Images

Fred Gwynne in New York, circa 1970. | Photo: Getty Images

Sadly, Gwynne had been typecast as a monster since then. He did the television film "Munsters' Revenge" in 1981.

All through the '80s and '90s, Gwynne did commercial voice-overs and kept on doing motion pictures like "The Mysterious Stranger," "The Boy Who Could Fly," "Disorganized Crime," and "Shadows and Fog."

Photo of Fred Gwynne and Joe E. Ross as Muldoon and Toody from "Car 54, Where Are You?," circa 1960s. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Fred Gwynne and Joe E. Ross as Muldoon and Toody from "Car 54, Where Are You?," circa 1960s. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Gwynne was born Frederick Hubbard Gwynne in New York City on July 10, 1926, as shown in his IMDB profile. His father was a rich stockbroker.

The legendary actor died of complications from pancreatic cancer in July 1993 at his home in Taneytown, Maryland. He was buried at Sandy Mount United Methodist Church Cemetery in Finksburg, Maryland.

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