Publicity photo of Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance from the television program The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. (Wikimedia Commons/CBS Television)
Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance – two of our very favorite funny women – made an unforgettable pair on I Love Lucy. We could watch them all day long.
And maybe that's just what we'll do today as we remember the anniversary of Vance’s death and celebrate Ball’s birthday (she would have been 101 this month). Want to watch with us? Here are a few favorite funny scenes.
Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance didn't immediately click as friends. In fact, Ball was reluctant to cast Vance on I Love Lucy – she was looking for an older, frumpier woman to play her neighbor. But Desi Arnaz had seen Vance's work on the stage and was convinced he had found the right actress for the job. As it turned out, the chemistry between the two women was brilliant.
Over time, Ball grew to respect Vance as an actress – and they became friends in real life as well as on TV.
After I Love Lucy ended, the fun went on with The Lucy Show. This time, Vance got to go by her real first name – she was more than ready for the world to stop calling her Ethel.
Though their regular collaboration ended when The Lucy Show went off the air, Vance continued to pop up from time to time when Ball would do a TV special or reunion show. And the friendship remained – as did the respect. Several years after her friend and costar's death, Ball remarked, "I find that now I usually spend my time looking at Viv. Viv was sensational. And back then, there were things I had to do—I was in the projection room for some reason, and I just couldn't concentrate on it. But now I can. And I enjoy every move that Viv made. She was something."
Written by Linnea Crowther