19 Facts About Vivian Vance


Vivian Vance starred alongside Lucille Ball in The Lucy Show from 1962 until she left the series at the end of its third season in 1965.


Vivian Vance is most commonly identified as Lucille Ball's longtime comedic foil from 1951 until her death in 1979.


Vivian Vance changed her surname to Vance and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to find acting work, performing in the first show at the Albuquerque Little Theatre in 1930.


Vivian Vance appeared there in many other plays, including This Thing Called Love and The Cradle Song.


Ultimately, the 42-year-old Vivian Vance won the role on the new television program, which debuted October 15,1951, on CBS.


Vivian Vance was nominated an additional three times before the series ended.


In 1957, after the highly successful half-hour I Love Lucy episodes had ended, Vivian Vance continued playing Ethel Mertz on a series of hour-long specials titled The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show.

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Vivian Vance appeared on The Lucy Show from 1962 to 1965, as Vivian Bagley, a divorced mother of one son, sharing a house with Ball's character.


Vivian Vance was growing tired of commuting weekly between her home on the East Coast and Los Angeles.


Agents and studio executives misinformed Ball regarding Vivian Vance's desires, believing she wanted to be Ball's equal.


Once the two women were able to settle their differences and reconcile, Vivian Vance made three more guest appearances on the remaining seasons of The Lucy Show.


Vivian Vance made a number of TV guest appearances in the 1970s, including a 1975 episode of Rhoda, as well as appearing in a number of made-for-TV movies, including The Front Page, Getting Away From it All, and The Great Houdini.


Vivian Vance received several positive notices for her performances, but the films did little else to further her screen career.


Vivian Vance was married four times; her first three marriages ended in divorce.


Vivian Vance was married to her third husband, actor Philip Ober, for 18 years.


On January 16,1961, Vivian Vance married literary agent, editor, and publisher John Dodds.


Vivian Vance made her final television appearance with Lucille Ball on the CBS special Lucy Calls the President, which aired November 21,1977.


Vivian Vance died at age 70 on August 17,1979 of metastatic breast cancer.


The story of how Vivian Vance was hired to play Ethel Mertz is told in I Love Lucy: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom, a stage comedy that premiered in Los Angeles on July 12,2018.