Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


MEET THE MERTZES: The Life Stories of I Love Lucy's Other Couple. Rod Edelman and Audrey Kupferberg. Renaissance books; 1999.

This book takes an interesting and pleasant look into the lives of Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz) and William Frawley (Fred Mertz) both before, during and after I Love Lucy, their appearances on which made them forever famous. There is a look at Frawley's long, long career in films, his important role on the post Lucy sitcom My Three Sons, and tales of his drinking and famous, if lovable, grumpiness. Vivian, who grew up in Albuquerque [but was not born there] -- "Ethel's" home town -- got her start in New Mexico theater then migrated to Manhattan where she had some important stage roles but never quite graduated to stardom [she made very few films]. She appeared with Lucille Ball on The Lucy Show, even  though she would rather have stayed in Connecticut with her gay husband, a publisher who was her late-in-life companion. There are also details on her earlier marriages, as well as the one time Frawley tied the knot. Illustrated.

Verdict: A good read for Lucy fans. ***.

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