It’s been a while since I’ve read The Life Story of Vivian Vance. I remember very little except that during the initial filming of the I Love Lucy show, Vivian Vance was remade according to Lucille Ball‘s liking. As the star of the sitcom, she didn’t want to be upstaged. She made certain that Vance always played second fiddle. She had to gain weight for the role, wear frumpier dresses, and agree to having William Frawley, years older, as her TV husband. Vance would’ve preferred someone younger than him. So it was no secret that they hated one another off-screen.
As the years passed, Ball and Vance became life-long friends and confidantes. Especially since their marriages were sources of grief for both. Ball had a great business partner in Desi Arnaz, but a less than ideal husband because of his womanizing and alcoholism. He was not the polished, elegant sort of partner she wanted beside her in later years. Instead Arnaz was falling down drunk most of the time.
Vance’s husband, Philip Ober, was a fellow actor who belittled his wife because he was envious of her success. As a result, she spent many years in therapy because of ongoing self-doubts. The photo of her during the “Lucy” years belies the miserable life she led. The before picture, however, is Vance before fame took hold, changing her look…and her life.
…the price of fame…worth it???………hugmamma.