ARTICLES
PAT PRIEST
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MUNSTER
(C) DAVID PRIOL 2003
FIRST PUBLISHED PEN & QUILL
Vol XXXVI #3 MAY-JUNE 2003

It was a trip to Bountiful, Utah that began the career of Pat Priest. This beautiful and talented actress came from an accomplished family headed by Ivy Baker Priest. Pat's mother not only wrote, directed and produced local plays, but she also became the head of US Treasury: banknote collectors can still view her signatures on early banknotes.

While working her way through local theatre and beauty pageants after moving to Washington DC, Pat soon bewitched her audiences and was promptly signed to make TV commercials as well as her film debut in the James Dean classic, East of Eden. Pat also made early appearances on television shows like Perry Mason, Bewitched and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Inevitably, the big break came to co-star in the cult classic, The Munsters, and the rest as they say, is history. Whereas Ivy once signed the nation's greenbacks, Pat now signs glossy 10x8s...

Pat also went on to star opposite the legendary Elvis Presley in Easy Come, Easy Go. One of Pat's earliest cars was Elvis' own 1967 Eldorado convertible, and she still kicks herself for not hanging onto this classic collectible.

As you will see in the following interview, this lovely lady retains all the great inner beauty that made her the most beautiful Munster of them all. And here's hoping that her inner light shines for many years to come.

David: G'day, Miss Priest. Could you relate to me, and your legions of fans, your first experience of being asked to provide an autograph? What was your reaction?

Pat: I was really taken by surprise! I couldn't understand why anyone would want my autograph. I was only doing a TV show and I felt I wasn't very important. I was very pleased, but also a little embarrassed by the moment.

David. What was the funniest and/or best experience you've had when someone has asked you for an autograph?

Pat: I think the most gratifying thing has been the many stories people tell me about watching The Munsters as a family and what these times have meant to them. When you work on a show, you never really know the impact you've had on people, until you do an autograph show, where they get to tell you how they feel.

David: Alternatively, what was the most unpleasant experience that you've faced dealing with an autograph seeking fan? And how did you handle this encounter?

Pat: I find it very awkward when a fan wants me to sign something rather personal or sexual in nature. I refuse to sign anything I regard as offensive. I will happily personalize a photo to the person and also add a greeting, but that is about all.

David: What are your feelings regarding professional autograph seekers, and can you relate any other personal experiences you've had with them, either good or bad, which you would like to share with your readers?

Pat: I have had very good feelings, and dealings with professional collectors. They are some of my best customers. I think they provide a wonderful service to fans and memorabilia collectors because a lot of the time these people would not be able to find out about or get in touch with those stars whose autographs they would love to possess.

David: So Miss Priest, have you had any particularly poignant moments relating to say an ill child, in your travels and/or in giving your autograph; and how did this situation turn out?

Pat: I have given out many autographs to sick, disabled and handicapped children and adults over the years. These people spend a great deal of time watching television, and sometimes it is the only joy in their lives. It's so heart-warming to hear their stories and to know that I have contributed  a little bit of happiness to their lives.

David: Have you, yourself ever been in a position where you’ve met someone and asked (or wanted to ask) them for an autograph? Who were they, and why did they impress you?

Pat: Every time I participate in a memorabilia and autograph show. I try to exchange photos and autographs with as many celebrities as I can. I have them autograph their photos to my lovely granddaughter Ashley, as she is a keen collector.

David: Taking the last question to its logical conclusion, who in history would you most like to meet, and what would you ask them to write for you in their dedication?
Pat: Looking back, I'd have to say that I would have liked to have met Marilyn Monroe and gotten her autograph because Marilyn's autograph would be worth a lot of money now. It would be my retirement fund. Seriously though, I think it would really have to be Doris Day because I always went on interviews for a "Doris Day" type of character. And, although it may seem a little strange, I would actually like to meet Oprah Winfrey. I have a great deal of admiration for her and what she has accomplished in her life. She is a great role model for all people. I would simply love to do her show and dedicate the episode to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, and be able to discuss non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a disease that I am dealing with at this time. I am very pleased to say that I have been in remission for one whole year now.
David: It has been an absolute pleasure to share a dew moments with one of TV's great survivors Miss Priest, and I know that your many fans across the globe wish you the best for the future whenever they see you on the small screen as the most beautiful Munster of them all.

As of December 2008 Miss Priest is still continuing in good health and hapiness.
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