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In conversation with Lee Tannen


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Brock: The Gloria Greer interview with Lee Tannen was a special treat for me, since arrdubya always mocked Lee's friendship with Lucille and nearly had some of us believing it was all in LT's mind. This interview makes it so deliciously real. They were destined to meet, I believe. Lucille meeting Gary; the Tannen 'family' connection; sealed Tannen's destiny to again meet her - loved it! Thanks for sharing it with us. You are the BEST! Love, JK

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Thanks for posting this interview, Brock, I enjoyed watching it. Either I never knew or had forgotten that Lucy had wanted to receive the Kennedy Center award jointly with Desi. Too bad that didn't happen as he really deserved the recognition.

 

I was so touched when I heard the story about cleaning out Lucy's bathroom (after she died) with Lucie, & finding all those 40 & 50 year old love letters from Desi.

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  • 6 months later...

I don't like Lee Tannen at all.  I think he is a catty queen who isn't funny and who needs to get off someone's coat tails.  I will admit I liked his stories but I lost interest in him when he made that crack about Roosevelt.   Good thing I wasn't around,  I would have decked him right then and there.  He's kinda got that GARY look goin' for him.. ugly-ugly. 

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I don't like Lee Tannen at all.  I think he is a catty queen who isn't funny and who needs to get off someone's coat tails.  I will admit I liked his stories but I lost interest in him when he made that crack about Roosevelt.   Good thing I wasn't around,  I would have decked him right then and there.  He's kinda got that GARY look goin' for him.. ugly-ugly. 

Well, gare WAS a relative of his so . . . I found it hard to understand why he would diss gare as if it wasn't for HIM, he never would have met Lucy.

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Well, gare WAS a relative of his so . . . I found it hard ti understand why he would diss gare as if it wasn't for HIM, he never would have met Lucy.

 

Well, gare WAS a relative of his so . . . I found it hard ti understand why he would diss gare as if it wasn't for HIM, he never would have met Lucy.

 Because Lee clearly hated Gary's advice to Lucy about her career. He had his own projects he proposed to her but Gary would shoot them down or interfere. Did Lee really have good ideas for Lucy? Who knows. I did like the idea he wrote about reguarding a Lucy documentary of sorts with her talking about her life as she saw it. But of course Gary shot  it down because he felt there wasn't enough money involved.

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I don't like Lee Tannen at all.  I think he is a catty queen who isn't funny and who needs to get off someone's coat tails.  I will admit I liked his stories but I lost interest in him when he made that crack about Roosevelt.   Good thing I wasn't around,  I would have decked him right then and there.  He's kinda got that GARY look goin' for him.. ugly-ugly. 

 I don't really dislike him. But he does try and spin her last years as being very much dependent on HIM and Him alone. So I do feel like you have to take what he says with a grain of salt. But I think his stories on Lucy are of value to us so that we may better understand her.

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 I don't really dislike him. But he does try and spin her last years as being very much dependent on HIM and Him alone. So I do feel like you have to take what he says with a grain of salt. But I think his stories on Lucy are of value to us so that we may better understand her.

 

He also likes to tell the stories suggesting Lucy and her kids were always fighting at the end of her life, and even that she didn't much enjoy being a doting grandmother.  I guess it's his point of view but it doesn't jibe with other people who were around her more at that time either.  

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The thing about her not being a doting grandmother bothers me because it contradicts everything we have heard/seen about her and the grand kids especially that pool video and knowing the back story on why she even had the kid in the first place.  I don't buy the NYC apartment was decorated like it was so it would be unwelcoming to kids.  That was Paula's decorating deal, not Lucy's.  

 

Lee paints a picture of a very depressed, unhappy person in these years and yes there probably was a lot of it, but you have to remember he only saw her a few times a year.  I think she had those times, especially in 86 but I don't think she was the clinically depressed woman he makes her out to be.   

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 Because Lee clearly hated Gary's advice to Lucy about her career. He had his own projects he proposed to her but Gary would shoot them down or interfere. Did Lee really have good ideas for Lucy? Who knows. I did like the idea he wrote about reguarding a Lucy documentary of sorts with her talking about her life as she saw it. But of course Gary shot  it down because he felt there wasn't enough money involved.

How about the idea Lee had for her to do children's books on tape, that would have been wonderful for her in her last years.

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 I don't really dislike him. But he does try and spin her last years as being very much dependent on HIM and Him alone. So I do feel like you have to take what he says with a grain of salt. But I think his stories on Lucy are of value to us so that we may better understand her.

You mean like the time he saved her life?

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He also likes to tell the stories suggesting Lucy and her kids were always fighting at the end of her life, and even that she didn't much enjoy being a doting grandmother.  I guess it's his point of view but it doesn't jibe with other people who were around her more at that time either.  

Another one, like Carole, who makes it look like he was living there with her all the time.  Notice how he latched on to Lucie once Lucy had passed on too.  But yes, i'm still grateful for his book, I really wanted to know about her later years, but maybe less bias and more truth.

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The thing about her not being a doting grandmother bothers me because it contradicts everything we have heard/seen about her and the grand kids especially that pool video and knowing the back story on why she even had the kid in the first place.  I don't buy the NYC apartment was decorated like it was so it would be unwelcoming to kids.  That was Paula's decorating deal, not Lucy's.  

 

Lee paints a picture of a very depressed, unhappy person in these years and yes there probably was a lot of it, but you have to remember he only saw her a few times a year.  I think she had those times, especially in 86 but I don't think she was the clinically depressed woman he makes her out to be.   

Well said and so true.  Most beautiful living space Lucy ever had, if only Paula had been allowed to decorate the Roxbury manse too.

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The thing about her not being a doting grandmother bothers me because it contradicts everything we have heard/seen about her and the grand kids especially that pool video and knowing the back story on why she even had the kid in the first place.  I don't buy the NYC apartment was decorated like it was so it would be unwelcoming to kids.  That was Paula's decorating deal, not Lucy's.  

 

Lee paints a picture of a very depressed, unhappy person in these years and yes there probably was a lot of it, but you have to remember he only saw her a few times a year.  I think she had those times, especially in 86 but I don't think she was the clinically depressed woman he makes her out to be.   

 

 Lucy loved her children and her grandchildren. I have no doubt about that. However I do think there were some real problems especially as she got older. Remember how she wrote in her book how much she loved babies? I think she may have loved to dote on babies but was uncomfortable or just was never sure how to deal with children. Again im sure she loved them but I was struck by how she spoke about her grandchildren in an interview with Joan Rivers. She said "they are cocky little......." she then went on to say they are beautiful and Lucie was such a good mother but I found that interview... interesting.  Or it may have been her eldest grandson she called cocky. I have to go back and look at it.

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The thing about her not being a doting grandmother bothers me because it contradicts everything we have heard/seen about her and the grand kids especially that pool video and knowing the back story on why she even had the kid in the first place.  I don't buy the NYC apartment was decorated like it was so it would be unwelcoming to kids.  That was Paula's decorating deal, not Lucy's.  

 

Lee paints a picture of a very depressed, unhappy person in these years and yes there probably was a lot of it, but you have to remember he only saw her a few times a year.  I think she had those times, especially in 86 but I don't think she was the clinically depressed woman he makes her out to be.   

 

 I really hate to be the downer on this board but I do think she was depressed the last few years of her life. And here's why. This woman was clearly happiest when she was performing and her career was going well. After Life with Lucy was cancelled I can't even imagine the effect that had on her. She thrived on the approval of her public. Remember the story Stu told about the college classroom incident? When the dean(I think) went to Stu's class and told them to stop wasting Ms Ball's valuable time and asking her stupid questions? She then came in and after her presentation asked if anyone had any questions.  Stu of course did but then no one raised their hand. Lucy burst into tears and said,"Don't you love me anymore?" Then she ran from the classroom and couldn't even finish the class. If she reacted this way to a silent classroom I can only imagine what the rejection of the public did to her. She was a very sensitive lady.

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 Lucy loved her children and her grandchildren. I have no doubt about that. However I do think there were some real problems especially as she got older. Remember how she wrote in her book how much she loved babies? I think she may have loved to dote on babies but was uncomfortable or just was never sure how to deal with children. Again im sure she loved them but I was struck by how she spoke about her grandchildren in an interview with Joan Rivers. She said "they are cocky little......." she then went on to say they are beautiful and Lucie was such a good mother but I found that interview... interesting.  Or it may have been her eldest grandson she called cocky. I have to go back and look at it.

She was joking about the fact that they were too smart for her, she couldn't handle them as she wished any more, LOL!  Didn't you see them as kids on that OUTTAKES from Home Movies, they were cocky little spoiled brats, LOL!  Or at least one of them appeared to be, they're filming in your house and your mom is showing you pictures and you're grimacing and sticking out your tongue, well kids didn't behave that way in Lucy's day, LOL!

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 I really hate to be the downer on this board but I do think she was depressed the last few years of her life. And here's why. This woman was clearly happiest when she was performing and her career was going well. After Life with Lucy was cancelled I can't even imagine the effect that had on her. She thrived on the approval of her public. Remember the story Stu told about the college classroom incident? When the dean(I think) went to Stu's class and told them to stop wasting Ms Ball's valuable time and asking her stupid questions? She then came in and after her presentation asked if anyone had any questions.  Stu of course did but then no one raised their hand. Lucy burst into tears and said,"Don't you love me anymore?" Then she ran from the classroom and couldn't even finish the class. If she reacted this way to a silent classroom I can only imagine what the rejection of the public did to her. She was a very sensitive lady.

Wow, powerful post, never heard that story, that's from Stu?  I have to go on his site and sign up for more.

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She was joking about the fact that they were too smart for her, she couldn't handle them as she wished any more, LOL!  Didn't you see them as kids on that OUTTAKES from Home Movies, they were cocky little spoiled brats, LOL!  Or at least one of them appeared to be, they're filming in your house and your mom is showing you pictures and you're grimacing and sticking out your tongue, well kids didn't behave that way in Lucy's day, LOL!

 LOL yes and that's my point. We all know how our gal loved to be in control. And since she couldn't control them or at least didn't have final say over them there may have been some problems.

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Well, gare WAS a relative of his so . . . I found it hard to understand why he would diss gare as if it wasn't for HIM, he never would have met Lucy.

 

Exactly!!  Even in his own book he comes off kind of jealous and resentful of anybody else who gets some of  Lucy's time - Gary, other fans, other people in her life.  I found it kind of distasteful he seemed to  suggest Lucy considered him something of a son, considering she had a pretty damn terrific son already.   I did not like that book at all and I thought Jim Brouchu's was much better. 

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I'm not much of a fan of Brouchu as he seemed like another one who latched onto her in the last year.

 

Didn't Lucie have some not so nice things to say about Lee after he turned the book into a play?

 

The feeling I get from Lee was he acted like he always needed to be her escort for events and she needed him. Maybe for something in NYC but Lucy still had very supportive husband who was a great escort for her. As much as we can be critical on Gary they still were a loving married couple and I hope was always there when she needed him.

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I'm not much of a fan of Brouchu as he seemed like another one who latched onto her in the last year.

 

Didn't Lucie have some not so nice things to say about Lee after he turned the book into a play?

 

The feeling I get from Lee was he acted like he always needed to be her escort for events and she needed him. Maybe for something in NYC but Lucy still had very supportive husband who was a great escort for her. As much as we can be critical on Gary they still were a loving married couple and I hope was always there when she needed him.

 Hmm. Completely agree about Brouchu. And again, I don't trust Lee like I do Stu but he WAS an escort for her. Ive seen several photos of him with her at events. Not just the KCH.. Heres what ive always wondered. Why on earth did she let these people into her life in the first place? People she barely knew. Lucy was a smart woman you would think she's realize how people take advantage of associations to stars. Why did she become so isolated? Lucie mentioned in the Desilu book how people seemed to just disappear from her life toward the end. Why did she feel the need to play with strangers?

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