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The Other Side of Ethel Mertz


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

What does everyone think about this book? I've never read it in its entirety but I have read it in sections. I know our own Neil is quoted in it regarding Viv's departure from The Lucy Show.

 

Opinions?

I don't remember how the authors found me. This was before TLS was released on DVD and they were unfamiliar with her LS work. Maybe through Bob and Madelyn.  When Madelyn was writing her book with Bob, Bob would call me about what happened in certain episodes because their scripts were the originals; and the aired version sometimes varied substantially.  That would always make my day.  But the Viv authors gave me quite a thrill by including my name in the index----a first, and to date, last.   I was sandwiched in between two  (alleged!)  lesbians "'Wildcat" and Mary Wickes.

Speaking of the latter and the book written about her, they don't come out and say she was but they speculate (if my memory is correct).  Mary donated her papers to her alma mater Washington University which the proviso that they not be opened until 2020 (25 years after her death).  The author seemed to have gotten access to them but I'm wondering if something of a personal nature was held back.  Mary saved much of her correspondence.  Why else would Mary request that her papers be sealed for 25 years?

But back to "Viv",  I thought the authors did a great job.  They were looking high and low for the "Guestward Ho" pilot and concluded that the film did not exist.  Then well after the book was published,  it surfaced with no fanfare.  I don't remember if I was the first of the group to find it, but I got mine by searching the "ioffer" site.  I don't think it had Viv's name attached to it (it was within a collection of TV pilots) so I thought it was going to be the Joanne Dru version that eventually sold.  It's easy to see why the Viv pilot did not sell.  For one thing the Schiller-Weiskopf script isn't all that great and they gave Viv a lot of Lucy-comedy to do.  I've never seen an episode of the "Guestward Ho" series.   As great as Vivian is as Ethel/Viv,   I don't know that I've ever seen a solo appearance by Viv where she generated much in the way of excitement.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Will, you're right :) . Thanks for the reminder. Viv was happy & at peace at the end of her life (especially the years she spent with John Dodds), & I'm so glad for her.

 

While I'm sure Viv shone when live onstage, from all I've read, Neil, you're right about her solo screen attempts. I agree she was at her best when playing opposite Lucy as her Ethel/Vivian characters.

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Will, you're right :) . Thanks for the reminder. Viv was happy & at peace at the end of her life (especially the years she spent with John Dodds), & I'm so glad for her.

And I am too. It took her a very long time to find happiness and I'm glad she did. Everyone deserves happiness, especially someone so wonderful. Also no matter what people say about Dodds, he treated her wonderfully and made our Viv so happy.
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