Vivian Vance

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Vivian Vance Trivia

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  • Trivia

    • She didn't always get along with her co-star, who played the character Fred, on I Love Lucy.

    • Vivian didn't agree to play the character of Ethel Mertz on I Love Lucy at first. She thought the character was too frumpy.

    • Because of her work in the show The Trial of Mary Dugan, directors sent her to New York. There, she studied drama with Eva LeGalliene while looking for available roles on Broadway.

    • In 1945, Vivian suffered a nervous breakdown because of all the demands of life as an actress she had.

    • Throughout her life, Vivian struggled with psychosomatic illnesses and depression. She was involved with many organizations dedicated to helping others with the same illnesses.

    • Vivian's mother did not encourage or like the idea that Vivian wanted to act for a career.

    • When Vivian was only about 18 years old, she left Independence and went to Tulsa, Oklahoma and changed her name to Vivian Vance.

    • Vivian was 5'6".

    • During the 1970s, she signed on a 3-year $250,000 contract. Soon, she was known as Maxine, from the Maxwell House Commercials.

    • Vivian was the godmother to John Sebastian. She was best friends with his mother, Jane Sebastian. Vivian even mentioned her name many times in many episodes of I Love Lucy.

    • When she was a teenager, Vivian became rebellious. She'd stay out very late, not follow many rules, and would sneak out of her bedroom to hang out with friends.

    • Vivian had six siblings, five sisters and one brother.

    • In 1961, she married publisher John Dodds and left Los Angeles. They moved to many places in many years. They finally bought an old farmhouse located in Stamford, Connecticut.

    • Vivian's mother, Mae Ragen Jones, was very religious.

    • When Vivian was only about 6 years old, her family moved to Independence, Kansas.

    • In 1959 she divorced Phil Ober because of allegations of spousal abuse.

    • In 1932 (around the month of September) Vivian went to Manhattan, New York. There, she auditioned for many Broadway plays.

    • As a teenager, Vivian was always popular in school and popular among boys at school. She liked being involved with school events and activities.

    • Vivian's father, Bob Jones, had many jobs over many years and he didn't really keep a permanent job.

    • Vivian was honored by the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health for all of her contributions for the mentally ill.

    • Vivian won Best Series Supporting Actress for I Love Lucy in 1954.

    • Vivian started acting when she moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her dramatics teacher there was so supportive of her acting career she took his last name "Vance".

    • Vivian always lied about her age, wanting to be younger than Lucy. She would have to have been born in 1912.

    • Legend has it that a clause in her television contract required her to stay 10 pounds heavier than costar/producer Lucille Ball. Actually, this contract never existed, at least not in legal, binding form. It was a mock contract given to Vance by Ball as a gag gift sparking the legend it was a real contract.

    • To make Vance look "older and frumpier" than Ball, Vance had to dye her hair a dishwater blonde and wear house dresses that were a few sizes smaller to make her appear overweight. However, it is hard to disguise reality - in most episodes of "I Love Lucy", it is apparent Vance is only a few years older than Ball and doesn't weigh that much more.

    • Vivian was offered a spin-off for I Love Lucy with co-star William Frawley but due to the two not liking each other in real life she refused to do it.

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