Being Fred Mertz: The Life of William Frawley | Mental Floss
William Clement Frawley (February 26, – March 3, ) was an American stage . Vivian Vance played Ethel Mertz, Frawley's on-screen wife. Although. William Frawley, a veteran of scores of films, was next on the list, but he could be Although Lucy had never heard of Vivian Vance, her husband's word had ended, each performer gave their own take on their relationship. difference between Fred (William Frawley) and Ethel (Vivian Vance.) Actresses Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance (Ethel) were rumored to not.
We walked in - and Lucille handed me a can of Bon Ami cleanser. It was hard, but I got a scrub brush and went to work. I consoled myself by thinking, "Maybe you're a girl who's due to go down in history. Nobody's tried doing a television show like this before. At our peak we had 70 million viewers every week.
- Vivian Vance
- "Lucy & I Adored Each Other -- Then People Began to Whisper That We Were Lovers" -Vivian Vance
- Being Fred Mertz: The Life of William Frawley
There'd never been an audience that big before - and there hasn't been one since on a regular week-to-week basis. But throughout the "Lucy" years I was in analysis, trying to sort out crossed wires in my life. I was married to a man, an actor, who liked to dominate and discipline me.
I kept trying to please him, but nothing I did was right. There were times when I would literally beat my head against a bedroom wall in frustration.
However, my problems went far back before this marriage.
I'd grown up feeling I was the greatest sinner on God's earth. My mother had raged at me, whipped me and served hellfire and damnation up to me three times a day. To Mama, I was a "bad girl". From the time I could first remember she had said, "What did I ever do to have a child like you?
Whenever I heard four-letter words, I vomited. Once a man exposed himself to me on the New York subway, and I retched until I was sick.
William Frawley - Wikipedia
I blamed myself, thinking: And in my mid's her forecast came true. I became perpetually fatigued and felt like I couldn't go on living. There was no telling when I'd black out. Before I went anywhere I always wrote my name and address on a piece of paper and put in my handbag, so someone would know who I was if I went totally crazy - which I thought I was going to do. One morning I woke up and the walls of my room seemed to be closing in on me. If they reached me, I knew my mind would crack. She used to skim through the script before she memorized her lines to see how many scenes she had with "that stubborn-headed little Irishman.
She was nominated an additional three times for, and before the series ended. Inshe divorced her third husband, Philip Oberwho allegedly physically abused her.
Although Frawley was very interested, Vance declined, mainly because she did not want to work on a one-on-one basis with Frawley as they already did not get along. Also, she felt the Mertz characters would be unsuccessful in a show without the Ricardos. Vance's choice to decline the would-be show intensified the animosity between her and Frawley.
Arnaz would later retool the show with model and actress Joanne Dru taking the lead role, selling the series to ABCwhere it was subsequently cancelled after one season.
On January 16,Vance married literary agenteditor, and publisher John Dodds — October 9, The couple established their home in Stamford, Connecticutalthough they moved to California in ; the marriage lasted until Vance's death. The Lucy Show[ edit ] This section does not cite any sources.
Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. July Learn how and when to remove this template message Cast of The Lucy Show during its first three seasons: Candy Moore in back ; front, L-R: Vance reluctantly agreed to be her co-star on the condition that she be allowed to appear in more glamorous clothes as well as having her character be named "Vivian".
THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE SECOND BANANA TO TV'S FIRST LADY
By this time in her life, Vance had grown tired of the public addressing her as "Ethel". She appeared on The Lucy Show from toas Vivian Bagley, a divorced mother of one son, sharing a house with Ball's character. The character was the first divorcee ever on a weekly American television series. In the third season, Vance did not appear in seven of the season's 26 episodes.
Vance was growing tired of commuting weekly between her home on the East Coast and Los Angeles. Vance's working relationship with Ball was also becoming strained.
At the conclusion of the third season, Vance requested a new contract giving her more creative control with the opportunity to produce and direct episodes and better pay if she were to continue commuting for the show. Agents and studio executives misinformed Ball regarding Vance's desires believing she wanted to be Ball's equal.
It was decided not to meet Vance's requests. Both Ball and Vance felt betrayed by the other and Vance left the series. Ball would later regret not giving Vance what she requested. Without Vance on the show, Ball seriously considered ending the series, feeling she couldn't continue without her. Vance made three more guest appearances on the remaining seasons of The Lucy Show. July Learn how and when to remove this template message Following her departure from The Lucy Show at the end of the third season, Vance signed on to appear in a Blake Edwards film, The Great Race ; she saw this as an opportunity to restart a movie career, which never really took off.
The film was a moderate success, receiving several Academy Award nominations; however, it did little to help her establish a career as a movie actress. However, she left the play during its out-of-town tryouts, later saying she felt the role was not right for her and asking the show's producers to be let out of her contract.