In an age when many former child stars spend more time in front of a judge than a camera, actor Butch Patrick has managed to keep his fangs relatively clean.
Butch Patrick has been in show business since the age of seven. While the actor is no doubt best known for playing Eddie Munster on the 1960s sitcom “The Munsters,” there is more to this TV vet’s career than a two-year stint as the boy vampire with a chirpy demeanor and perpetual devil lock. Biographer Helen Darras details Patrick’s lengthy career in her new book, Eddie Munster AKA Butch Patrick, chronicling the actor’s journey from ‘60s child star to ‘70s teen heartthrob to baby-boomer icon of television’s golden age.
I recently caught up with the 54-year-old Patrick, who was in New York to promote the first authorized biography of his life.
Show Business: You’ve been an actor for almost 50 years. I take it the business has changed a lot since you first started out?
Butch Patrick: Yes, it has changed. Now any city in the country has production facilities. In the old days, Hollywood and New York City were the only options to “break” into the business. Also video technology makes it much more affordable to finance productions. The money is much bigger now. However, so are the complications: multiple agents, managers, publicists, having an “entourage.”
SB: Tell me about your new book.
BP: My new authorized biography covers the first 25 years of my nearly 50-year career in Hollywood. While I am nationally and internationally known for playing Eddie Munster, the book reviews my career in detail, covering many of my television commercials, weekly shows, motion pictures, etc. It also describes my personal life in detail with never-before-published salacious facts and details.
SB: Where can we get a copy?
BP: The book is available online at the Web site TheMunsters.tv, or it can be obtained through our publisher’s Web site, BloomingTwigBooks.com. It will be available in stores soon.
SB: Do you have any advice for young people just starting out or parents of aspiring child actors — or should they just stay away altogether?
BP: No, they shouldn’t stay away. If you enjoy performing, go for it! Find reputable help and spend your money wisely.
SB: “The Munsters” still has a sizable fan base after all these years. Why do you suppose the show has endured?
BP: In 1964-66, TV only had about three channels to choose from. Baby Boomers grew up befriending families on TV. Those happy memories, along with fans of pop culture, have kept the 1960s alive today, in all factions.
SB: I have to ask: What do you say to people who insist “The Addams Family” was the better show?
BP: Well, we have a democracy in the United States. But the majority of the fans prefer “The Munsters,” as has been documented by Lisa Loring (Wednesday of “The Addams Family”) and myself. “The Munsters” was about a family who looked like monsters but were more like real people. “The Addams Family” was about a family who looked like real people but were more like monsters.
Originally published in Show Business Weekly, 2007