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Thread: Vivian Vance

  1. #151
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    RE: The Mike Douglas Show picture above....

    I know who everyone is except the gentleman on the end - is that Laurence Luckinbill? I know the face - I just can't place it.

    If it is LL that would be pretty coincidental that years later he married Lucy's daughter.

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    I'm pretty sure that's Neil Diamond and not Lawrence Luckinbill.

  3. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily View Post
    I'm pretty sure that's Neil Diamond and not Lawrence Luckinbill.

    Of course! Thanks Lily.

    But if you've ever seen a picture of Laurence Luckinbill when he was younger you'd understand why I thought it was him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sherry326 View Post
    This is my favorite picture of Vivian. She is so young and glamorous here. I remember as a very little kid always feeling so sorry for her because she was married to that crabby old Fred Mertz!
    What a gorgeous picture! This whole thread has some really beautiful pictures of Vivian. I'm another one who preferred Viv over Lucy. I think she was really pretty, not a frump.

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    must've been a horrible terrible death..breast AND bone cancer. I hope she went in peace.
    RIP Heath Ledger 1979-2008

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    Trying to get over this cold, and having a lot of rain here this weekend, I decided to watch some I love Lucy DVDs that the Mr gave me for Christmas. I couldn't help but think of VV's thread on here. She definitely didn't get enough credit, and her acting was far better than Lucille Ball, IMHO. When I was younger I always thought Lucy had the chops, I mean she is funny, but Vivian just gives it that added magic. You just can't help but just be mesmerized by her.
    must've been a horrible terrible death..breast AND bone cancer. I hope she went in peace.
    I know....such a tragic way to go, and I hoped the same, that she went peacefully too.

    When life hands you tequila, make a margarita.

  7. #157
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    What a cutie she was. The longer her hair the better she looked, I feel.

  8. #158
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    I have been watching old episodes of The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy.after watching every episode of I Love Lucy over and over I decided to check out DVDS of Lucy's later shows in the 60's and 70's. TLS wasn't the same after Vivian left. she did return for guest appearances on both shows Lucy Show and Here's Lucy. a tabloid said Vivian's last husband was gay and she knew it but married him anyway but they were still together when she died in 79. did Vivian regret not having kids?

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    For what its worth... I once worked with a guy that had lived out in Cali and cleaned pools for the rich and the famous.. anyway, he said he had cleaned her pool once and she was really sweet. He said she brought him some lemonade and actually talked to him unlike many other celebrities. I always think about that when I watch I Love Lucy.

  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT63 View Post
    I have been watching old episodes of The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy.after watching every episode of I Love Lucy over and over I decided to check out DVDS of Lucy's later shows in the 60's and 70's. TLS wasn't the same after Vivian left. she did return for guest appearances on both shows Lucy Show and Here's Lucy. a tabloid said Vivian's last husband was gay and she knew it but married him anyway but they were still together when she died in 79. did Vivian regret not having kids?

    John Dodds ( Vivian's last husband ) was indeed gay actually this bit of info was confirmed in some of those Lucy books that had came out over the years. I have wondered myself over the years whether or not she had regretted not having kids as well. My guess is no even though she was very nice to kids for example she loved her TV son Ralph Hart so much Vivian actually went to Ralph's mother and begged her to take him out of show business. She cared that much.

    Interesting enough Gale Gordon never had kids either. This one is a bit of a mystery as Gale was very nice to the kids on Dennis The Menace ( he and Jay North were friends for years ) BUT on the other hand for some unknown reason he was very cool towards the kids on the The Lucy Show. Candy Moore who had played "Chris" on TLS many years ago I heard an interview with her on Boston's WBZ saying how on the set Gale didn't want anything to do with her and even she had no idea as to why. Gale was nice towards Lucie and Desi Jr. though on Here's Lucy but they were hardly "kids" when they on the show though.
    Last edited by choff; 09-12-2012 at 12:38 PM.

  11. #161
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    What a gorgeous picture! This whole thread has some really beautiful pictures of Vivian. I think she was really pretty, not a frump.

    You're right, to finally find fame at the age of 40 (middle-age in those days) as the wife of a "square-headed little Irishman" as she once described Frawley (26 years her senior) upset her, because the image the public had of her as "Ethel Mertz" was so different from the way she thought of herself, and of how she wanted her career to go. Lucy and Desi were supposed to be the glamorous, younger couple - but in reality Lucy and Vivian were almost the same age. It's almost as if the realization that the public was so quick and eager to accept her as a fat, frumpy older woman really bugged the sh*t out of her. At least as Vivian Bagley on TLS she got a better wardrobe than Ethel ever did. And somehow I'm sure she enjoyed her lovely turn-of-the-century costumes in The Great Race (designed by Edith Head, no less). Take THAT, Lucy !!!!

  12. #162
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    I'm sure Vivian must have been horrified that I Love Lucy turned out to be so successful, it branded her as everyone's fave frump! I can see, going into show-business that she would have preferred a more glamorous career, but from everything I've learned about her, something tells me she was grateful in the end. Kind of sad her and Frawley didn't get along, I've often wondered how the spin-off they we're offered would have turned out. You have to admit, they had great chemistry on-screen, that tells you the professionalism they both had.
    By my troth, I care not; a man can die but once; we owe God a death.... He that dies this year is quit for the next.
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    She had a small part in The Great Race with Natalie Wood & Tony Curtis

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    ethel mae potter........we never forgot her!
    pull the string!

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    I watch that show every morning on the Hallmark Channel before I go to work. Love that show!
    ​"I wish I could just hug you all, but I'm not gonna."

    ~Layne Staley


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    Quote Originally Posted by Wendy A. View Post
    I watch that show every morning on the Hallmark Channel before I go to work. Love that show!
    It just never get's old, does it?
    By my troth, I care not; a man can die but once; we owe God a death.... He that dies this year is quit for the next.
    --William Shakespeare!

  17. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangitbawb View Post
    It just never get's old, does it?
    Not at all! I love how its actually funny, and it didn't rely on sex for comedy.
    ​"I wish I could just hug you all, but I'm not gonna."

    ~Layne Staley


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    I am reading "The Other Side of Ethel Mertz: The life story of Vivian Vance" and on the FAD site it says that Lucy originally wanted Gale Gordon to play Ethel, but according to the book she wanted Barbra Pepper( Mrs. Ziffel on "Green Acres") for the role. Also, it wasn't far of a reach to believe that William Frawley was such a pain to work with often referring to Desi as a "Cuban Heel" and even called Vivan "a dried up old cunt" in response to her "old coot" statement. I'll admit before reading this book I didn't know much about Vivian, but I loved her in "I Love Lucy" and now that I know more about her and her career I can appreciate her even more. I think she deserves her own page on FAD She couldn't stand Bill Frawley and now she is stuck on the same page as he is, he he.

    And I seen someone say that in the contract Lucy had said Vivian had to weight 20lbs. more than she herself did. It's true Vivian put on weight but it was a natural occurrence over the years, and she dieted a lot trying to lose the excess weight. It's believed Lucy may have suggested Vivian keep the extra weight but it little evidence supports Lucy demanding it. To quote an excerpt from the book: "What fuels the rumors of Ball's supposed demands on Vivian stems from a fictitious contract written by Ball and given to Vivian at a part. In the bogus contract, Ball outlines certain requirements-that Vivian gain five pounds a week, that she not wear eye-lashes, that she not dye her hair within five shades of Ball's, and that Vivian never get more laughs than Lucy. These exaggerated conditions do bear some resemblance to the truth but by bringing these demands out in the open in the guise of a joke, Ball probably thought that everyone would have a hearty laugh and it would all be forgotten. However, the joke backfired. This mock contract took on a life of its own and through the years has become more fact than fiction." (The other side of Ethel Mertz, Chapter 7 "Ethel, I've got an Idea" p.182)
    Last edited by Bgeace; 10-04-2012 at 10:07 AM.



  19. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wendy A. View Post
    For what its worth... I once worked with a guy that had lived out in Cali and cleaned pools for the rich and the famous.. anyway, he said he had cleaned her pool once and she was really sweet. He said she brought him some lemonade and actually talked to him unlike many other celebrities. I always think about that when I watch I Love Lucy.
    What a nice story, Wish I saw Vivian Vance in my lifetime.
    (she had to be the best)
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

  20. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bgeace View Post
    I am reading "The Other Side of Ethel Mertz: The life story of Vivian Vance" and on the FAD site it says that Lucy originally wanted Gale Gordon to play Ethel, but according to the book she wanted Barbra Pepper( Mrs. Ziffel on "Green Acres") for the role.
    I hate to nit-pick but Lucy originally wanted Gale Gordon to play Fred, not Ethel. Gale was a male actor who previously played the school principal in "Our Miss Brooks" but later played Mr. Mooney in The Lucy Show. Pepper being Lucy's first choice for Ethel is a news to me...not disputing the claim though.
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  21. #171
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    Actually, Bea Benederet was first choice. Gordon and Benederet were the co stars on Ball's successful radio show "my Favorite Husband". (Richard denning played the husband). The show was reworked significantly to fit in Desi, and both Gordon and Benederet were far too busy in Radio and other early tv ventures at the time to take the part.

    confirmable here: http://www.answers.com/topic/bea-benaderet

    as well as in John Dunnings Encyclopedia of old time radio, and most biographies of Ball, Vance, Gordon and Benederet.
    Last edited by radiojane; 08-20-2013 at 06:39 PM.
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  22. #172
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    Yeah, Jane, I recall hearing long ago that Benederet was first choice for Ethel. However Bea did pretty well for herself later on as Kate Bradley (Petticoat Junction) and as the first voice of Betty Rubble.
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-GmH8eFJFU

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  23. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by theotherlondon View Post
    What a nice story, Wish I saw Vivian Vance in my lifetime.
    (she had to be the best)
    I was lucky enough (and am old enough) to have seen her twice while I lived in NY. The first time was 1963 or 1964 when Carol Burnett was shooting a comedy special "Calamity Jane" for CBS. Vivian was in the audience. We were sitting about 3 rows behind her. At some point she was introduced to the audience and brought up on the stage. She apologized for not having her capped TV teeth on. She was also a little on the heavy side. If you see The Lucy Show from the 63-64 season, you'll understand what I am talking about and not think I am being mean. She was very charming. The second time I saw her was in 1969, when she was in a Broadway play, My Daughter Your Son, as the star. She had slimmed down and was very attractive at this point in her life. I believe it was before she became ill with cancer the first time. Of course it is her personality that made her a star, and this was a great performance. The audience loved it, and even though the NY Times Broadway critic did not give it a favorable review, he did acknowledge that the play was popular with the audience. Unfortunately the play had a modest run, although I believe that it deserved better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suzycreamcheese1 View Post
    must've been a horrible terrible death..breast AND bone cancer. I hope she went in peace.
    I hope so too.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

  25. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillySmartsC View Post
    What a cutie she was. The longer her hair the better she looked, I feel.
    I miss her everyday.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

  26. #176
    Wow, thanks to you guys that shared these photos. I never realized how pretty she really was. Most of these, I have never seen.

  27. #177
    Mysteries and Scandals episode on Vivian:


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    I loved E! Mysteries & Scandals!
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    Gosh, she was beautiful.

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    Vivian Vance was simply gorgeous!
    <img src=http://i42.tinypic.com/etsi8j.jpg border=0 alt= />

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    I love Lucy was my Grandmother and I's favorite show and I have seen every episode.

    My favorite Ethel bit was when Little Ricky got a drumset that he played nonstop and kept everyone up and when he started Ethel shouted "FRED!!! FRED!!! FRED!!! FRED!!! FRED!!!" with the beat.

    Ethel really made the show to me.

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    She did make the show ! I just loved everything about her.

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    if it had been someone else that played Ethel Mertz, it just simply would not be right.... would not work. I have a lot of Ethel favorites




    I wish I could post more than one video.... I love when they paint the bedroom & Ricky... LOL... Desi was just as funny as both Ethel & Lucy
    <img src=http://i42.tinypic.com/etsi8j.jpg border=0 alt= />

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    sweet

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    Quote Originally Posted by JacksTiger View Post
    I was lucky enough (and am old enough) to have seen her twice while I lived in NY. The first time was 1963 or 1964 when Carol Burnett was shooting a comedy special "Calamity Jane" for CBS. Vivian was in the audience. We were sitting about 3 rows behind her. At some point she was introduced to the audience and brought up on the stage. She apologized for not having her capped TV teeth on. She was also a little on the heavy side. If you see The Lucy Show from the 63-64 season, you'll understand what I am talking about and not think I am being mean. She was very charming. The second time I saw her was in 1969, when she was in a Broadway play, My Daughter Your Son, as the star. She had slimmed down and was very attractive at this point in her life. I believe it was before she became ill with cancer the first time. Of course it is her personality that made her a star, and this was a great performance. The audience loved it, and even though the NY Times Broadway critic did not give it a favorable review, he did acknowledge that the play was popular with the audience. Unfortunately the play had a modest run, although I believe that it deserved better.
    Thank You for posting that nice story and history about Vivian Vance.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

  36. #186
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    I miss the tv show Mysteries and Scandals. I enjoyed them. I never realized how similar Vivian's sister looked like her. I always thought that Vivian was very pretty and I thought that she got prettier as she got older. I'm not sure about the weight thing with Lucy, though. I heard that it was just a joke between the two. I remember hearing the news when Vivian passed away. Desi and Lucy took it hard.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

  37. #187
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    I loved the one on Viv. Lucy and the rest of the gang too. You can find many of em on YouTube.
    .

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    http://blog.sfgate.com/collectivemin...ive-uncovered/
    Here is the excerpt from Vivian’s manuscript:
    By Vivian Vance
    Lucille Ball and I were just like sisters. We adored each other’s company. She and I had so many laughs on “I Love Lucy” that we could hardly get through filming without cracking up. Then I began hearing that Lucille and I were too close. My first husband disapproved of my closeness with Lucille. “People are talking about you two,” he’d say. “You ought to be careful about the hugging and kissing you do on the show.”

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    oh geez. People talking as if they were lovers. Geez. well, perhaps that is why sometime during the show, rumors were Lucy & Ethel kind of became less close as friends as they were.. became distant.
    <img src=http://i42.tinypic.com/etsi8j.jpg border=0 alt= />

  40. #190
    Vivian Vance made Lucille Ball look better than her off-hand comedic style could carry her. Lucy could get the laugh because she had a perfected straight-man(woman) to put her in the lime light. Lucille ball was an egocentric actress, recipient of face lifts, control freak. Parts of her real life were out of control, so as far as professional life went, she used her "public face" to brutally twist arms.
    Vivian Vance had a small part in the film version of "The Music Man", she also co-starred with Lucille Ball in a week Broadway show called "Wildcat!" Guess who was the love interest? Guess who was he prop up straight gal?
    And by the by, if you get a look of Lucy without make up at the end of her life, you see what 60 years of heavy smoking will do to a woman.

  41. #191
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    Yeah, Jane, I recall hearing long ago that Benederet was first choice for Ethel. However Bea did pretty well for herself later on as Kate Bradley (Petticoat Junction) and as the first voice of Betty Rubble.

    I know this I Vivian's thread, but don't forget Bea was also "Cousin Pearl" on the Beverly Hillbillies. She was supposed to play Granny, but once Irene Ryan was hired they specifically added the Pearl character because they knew what a talented person Bea was and they really wanted to work with her. I'll never forget Pearl's first scene when she squeals "MILLION Dollars ?"

  42. #192
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    I think that Vivian had more of a natural beauty, kind of like Doris Day. In my opinion, she actually stayed pretty when she got older. One quick little thing about a Lucille Ball roast that Dean Martin hosted and Vivian Vance was at. Dean talked about Lucy's marriage to Gary Morton. He said, "Lucy now experienced something that she had never experienced before in her life - boredom!"
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

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    Vivian Vance had a small part in The Great Race
    <img src=http://i42.tinypic.com/etsi8j.jpg border=0 alt= />

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    Did anyone watch that remastered I love Lucy episode the other night? It was amazing to see such an early episode of the show done up so nicely and in color too.

    The actors were all in color but the background was still black and white.

  45. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffany View Post
    if it had been someone else that played Ethel Mertz, it just simply would not be right.... would not work. I have a lot of Ethel favorites




    I wish I could post more than one video.... I love when they paint the bedroom & Ricky... LOL... Desi was just as funny as both Ethel & Lucy
    Lucy and Ethel together again.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

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    First Stop It's my fave
    RIP Heath Ledger 1979-2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave62 View Post
    Yeah, Jane, I recall hearing long ago that Benederet was first choice for Ethel. However Bea did pretty well for herself later on as Kate Bradley (Petticoat Junction) and as the first voice of Betty Rubble.

    I know this I Vivian's thread, but don't forget Bea was also "Cousin Pearl" on the Beverly Hillbillies. She was supposed to play Granny, but once Irene Ryan was hired they specifically added the Pearl character because they knew what a talented person Bea was and they really wanted to work with her. I'll never forget Pearl's first scene when she squeals "MILLION Dollars ?"
    Yes, i so remember this.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

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    I believe that Bea Benadaret was working with George Burns and Gracie Allen at the time. It was a different type of comedy than I Love Lucy, but it was funny. I always thought that Vivian Vance was quite a pretty lady.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noelle1966 View Post
    I believe that Bea Benadaret was working with George Burns and Gracie Allen at the time. It was a different type of comedy than I Love Lucy, but it was funny. I always thought that Vivian Vance was quite a pretty lady.
    Actually, the first choice for the role of Ethel was Lucy's longtime friend Barbara Pepper, who she had known since the 1930's. She was passed over due to her alcoholism, with Bill Frawley also a heavy drinker they thought that would cause too many problems. Bea was already contracted to Burns And Allen when offered the part. Enter Vivian Vance, that worked out perfectly!
    " I always like talking to people who are older. Of course, every year it gets harder to find them. " Fran Lebowitz

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    I remember Barbara Pepper from Green Acres. She was actually quite beautiful in her early days. I saw that her husband died in a motorcycle crash and she had to take care of two children. I canít imagine the toll that it took on her. Wonder if she would have gotten along with William Frawley.

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