Once upon a time, in a TV show far, far away, there lived a little werewolf boy named Eddie Munster. This wasn’t your average werewolf, oh no! This one wore a schoolboy outfit, had a widow’s peak hairline, and was part of a family that made the Addams Family look like the Brady Bunch.
The boy behind the fangs? None other than Butch Patrick, who, despite not being a real werewolf (we think), has led a life just as interesting and unique as his on-screen character.
So, buckle up, and let’s take a ride in the Munster Koach down memory lane, as we explore the life of Butch Patrick, the man who made being a little monster monstrously fun!
Butch Patrick was born as Patrick Alan Lilley on August 2, 1953 in in Inglewood, California.
He was spotted by a talent agent at the age of seven, which led to a series of appearances in television commercials and guest appearances on TV shows.
In 1961 he made 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, Gunsmoke, Mister Ed, and Rawhide and recurring roles on The Real McCoys and General Hospital.
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.
“The Munsters” is a comedy series that aired on CBS from 1964 to 1966. The show is centered around the Munsters, a family of lovable monsters who have a comically macabre yet wholesome lifestyle. The family includes the Frankenstein’s monster-like father, Herman, the vampire-like mother, Lily, the vampire Grandpa, and Eddie, along with Lily’s niece Marilyn, who is a regular human and considered to be the odd one by the rest of the family.
Butch Patrick played the character Eddie Munster on the show. Eddie is the only child of Herman and Lily Munster, and is depicted as a young werewolf. His character has a childish innocence and is generally unaware that his family is considered to be composed of monsters by the rest of the community.
Butch Patrick’s portrayal of Eddie Munster became iconic and is still remembered by fans of classic television.
Despite the show’s success, Patrick’s life off-screen was far from perfect. He was sent to live with his grandmother in Illinois after his parents’ divorce, and he struggled with the pressures of fame at a young age.
What did Butch Patrick do after The Munsters?
After “The Munsters” ended, Patrick continued to act in various roles but struggled to escape the shadow of Eddie Munster. He battled drug and alcohol addiction, which he attributes to the pressures of child stardom and the lack of a support system.
Despite these challenges, Patrick managed to maintain a steady acting career, continued to appear in numerous films and TV shows, 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.
In 1971, Patrick landed the starring role on Sid and Marty Krofft’s Saturday morning children’s program Lidsville, broadcast on ABC.
In 1975, at the age of 21 years old, he took a break from acting to pursue his interests in surfing and cars. He returned to the spotlight in the early 80s when he participated in a music video for MTV, which brought “The Munsters” back into his life after a 15-year hiatus.
In the 1980s, he had a brief career in music and was part of a band named Eddie and the Monsters, playing on his Munsters fame. This resurgence led to personal appearances with his co-stars Al Lewis and Pat Priest.
In 2010, Patrick publicly announced his battle with prostate cancer. He used his platform to raise awareness about the disease and the importance of early detection.
Patrick’s life took another turn in 2011 when he met his future wife, Leila Murray, at a “Munsters” convention. The couple married in 2016, and Patrick credits Murray with helping him maintain his sobriety and providing the support he lacked earlier in his life.
What is Butch Patrick doing now?
Today, Butch Patrick enjoys a lifestyle that combines his love for cars and his connection with fans of his past shows. He often made appearances at conventions, fan events, and car shows, usually accompanied by the Munster Koach and Drag-u-la, the two custom cars from “The Munsters.”
Patrick is also currently working with a theme park called Indiana Beach. He plans to bring in acts from the 60s and create a nostalgic experience for visitors. He also has a YouTube channel where he shares various aspects of his life and career.
Patrick is still active as an actor and has appeared in several small budget movies, including ‘Old Man Jackson’, ‘Quakeasaurus’ and he had a voice role in the 2022 ‘The Munster’ movie, which was directed by Rob Zombie.
He is still sober and has been for the last 12 years.