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DL icon Vivian Vance married a gay man ... and tried to "convert" him

I met John through that. At the time, he was married to— always was married to Vivian Vance of I Love Lucy. They lived here and then in Tiburon; they had a place in Connecticut, went back and forth. They went everywhere. They were constantly going to shrinks about him being gay or not.

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by Anonymousreply 52September 22, 2021 8:52 AM

Did Viv have thyroid issues?

by Anonymousreply 1September 11, 2021 8:39 PM

He died of cancer in 1986 at only 64 years old.

So young.

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by Anonymousreply 2September 11, 2021 8:51 PM

I didn't realize how much younger than her he was r2

by Anonymousreply 3September 11, 2021 8:54 PM

r1 Sanpaku eyes

by Anonymousreply 4September 11, 2021 10:50 PM

Iirc, John Dodds was in a long-term relationship before, during, and after his marriage to Viv. In fact, Viv left nearly her entire fortune to John, who in turn left it to his partner.

by Anonymousreply 5September 12, 2021 1:13 PM

OP, I'd love to know more about Dodds and his marriage to Viv. And all about his partner.

by Anonymousreply 6September 12, 2021 1:39 PM

He was an odd looking guy.

by Anonymousreply 7September 12, 2021 1:43 PM


by Anonymousreply 8September 12, 2021 1:43 PM


by Anonymousreply 9September 12, 2021 1:52 PM

What is your native language, OP?

Interesting story

by Anonymousreply 10September 12, 2021 1:54 PM

r10 the quote at OP is from an oral history provided by Warren Hinckle

by Anonymousreply 11September 12, 2021 1:58 PM

That’s just sad for both of them.

by Anonymousreply 12September 12, 2021 1:58 PM

This is why we just blurt out her name when we are asked to choose but don’t like any of the options.

by Anonymousreply 13September 12, 2021 2:00 PM

She wanted him to become Protestant.

by Anonymousreply 14September 12, 2021 2:59 PM

... but Gary talked him out of it, r14.

by Anonymousreply 15September 12, 2021 3:05 PM

Did they buy a zoo?

by Anonymousreply 16September 12, 2021 3:28 PM

Was he younger than her than Gary Morton was to Lucy?

by Anonymousreply 17September 12, 2021 4:50 PM

I think the age difference was the same, r17 -- 13 years.

by Anonymousreply 18September 12, 2021 4:52 PM

I suspected she wanted a sexually non-threatening guy. She knew he was gay, but I wonder if she really believed she could "cure" him

by Anonymousreply 19September 12, 2021 6:14 PM

Gay face for days

by Anonymousreply 20September 12, 2021 6:18 PM

I wish they'd publish her memoirs. They exist, somewhere.

by Anonymousreply 21September 13, 2021 9:20 PM

Remember, our Viv was quite nutty herself.

Maybe this guy, gay or not, made her happy.

by Anonymousreply 22September 13, 2021 10:05 PM

Ah, fags and their hags. They bring balance to the universe. Like the ying to my yang.

by Anonymousreply 23September 13, 2021 10:12 PM

[quote]and tried to "convert" him

To what religion?

by Anonymousreply 24September 13, 2021 10:38 PM

The Church of Swishy, Rose!

by Anonymousreply 25September 13, 2021 10:41 PM

She looks like a potato.

by Anonymousreply 26September 13, 2021 11:09 PM

Weren't ther rumors of Viv and Lucy having a lesbian affair?

by Anonymousreply 27September 13, 2021 11:13 PM

She looks a little like Charlotte Rae in OP's photo.

by Anonymousreply 28September 14, 2021 12:34 AM

I frequently ask that, R5. Sometimes it’s WWEMD.

by Anonymousreply 29September 14, 2021 12:37 AM

I have a renewed interest in her history now. I hope he wasn’t a total grifter. That’s shitty. She deserved better; but maybe she knew, and loved the friendship.

by Anonymousreply 30September 14, 2021 12:46 AM

He looks like Charlotte Rae too.

by Anonymousreply 31September 14, 2021 12:55 AM

r27 Viv's third husband, who was almost pathologically jealous of her success, tried to convince her that such rumors existed. I don't think they did, however.

by Anonymousreply 32September 14, 2021 12:24 PM

I just listened to Lucy's interview with her on that just-released "Talk with Lucy" podcast. It was probably from 1964 or '65, when they were co-stars on "The Lucy Show."

You can tell theirs was a congenial professional relationship, if not a close friendship, and that Viv had long ago learned how to handle Lucy and to put up boundaries. Lucy seems to really respect her.

If that interview is any indication, it sounds like Viv was happy with her husband. She spent a lot of time flying cost-country to see him, attended his lectures and the like. So, if nothing else, it was an amiable companionship, and really, that's the most anyone can realistically ask for in a marriage.

by Anonymousreply 33September 14, 2021 3:52 PM

Didn't Viv fly back to the East Coast every weekend to be with her husband (Dodds)?

by Anonymousreply 34September 15, 2021 12:49 AM

Yes, r34. I read somewhere she liked to "keep an eye on him" because she knew he had flings when she wasn't around.

by Anonymousreply 35September 15, 2021 12:51 AM

Vivian tried to get me to say ‘I LOVE POOSEY’.

by Anonymousreply 36September 15, 2021 12:56 AM

Vivian tried to get me to say "I HAVE HAD SUFFICIENT DICK."

by Anonymousreply 37September 15, 2021 12:58 AM

Thanks for the insight r33

by Anonymousreply 38September 15, 2021 9:27 AM

She had a kind of weird career. She was really great on I Love Lucy, in my opinion. But if she hadn't done it, she'd have been almost unknown. She was in a production of The Voice Of The Turtle when she was discovered. At the La Jolla Playhouse, or somewhere like that (?)...Became famous at 40. I saw her in a small part in a movie that was made just before she was on ILL. It was one of her few movie parts.

I read a story in a biography of Kay Thompson. I'll probably get it wrong because it's been a while. Kay was playing the lead in a stage musical, still out of town, directed by Vincente Minnelli. (May have been Hooray For What.) It was going to be her big break. Vivian was apparently sleeping with one of the songwriters (Yip Harburg?) -- she was also in the show, I guess. Then they replaced Kay with Vivian. Kay was devastated. She felt she wasn't pretty enough, to begin with. Just thought it was interesting.

by Anonymousreply 39September 16, 2021 3:21 PM

Also read that Viv used to say things to Lucy, when ILL took off, like "Now that we're famous", or "Now that we're stars..." Drove Lucy nuts, apparently. She was already a star, and was the star of ILL, and gave Viv her break, but Viv wanted to equate their stardom.

by Anonymousreply 40September 16, 2021 3:50 PM

[quote]"Now that we're famous", or "Now that we're stars..." Drove Lucy nuts, apparently.

That's why I said it, bitches!

by Anonymousreply 41September 16, 2021 3:58 PM

Had Lucy not come along, I wonder if Viv would've returned to legitimate theater, r39. She semi-retired after her nervous breakdown.

by Anonymousreply 42September 16, 2021 6:50 PM

I would love to see an alternate universe in which Gale Gordon and Bea Benaderet had been cast as Fred and Ethel.

by Anonymousreply 43September 16, 2021 8:30 PM

We have heard the Lucy/Desi (and Lucy/Gary) stories ad infinitum, but I've read relatively little about Viv and her third and fourth marriages. I have always suspected, though, that her third husband contributed significantly to her mental health problems.

by Anonymousreply 44September 18, 2021 5:54 PM

There's relatively little about Viv, period. Her starring career basically began and ended with Lucy. The same can be said for Desi (though at least pre ILL and Desilu, he was a famous bandleader) -- and his starring career ended even sooner. Kind of weird. Like Audrey Meadows. She was basically Alice Kramden and that was it. (Because she didn't want to move to Miami to do the 1960s Honeymooners musical version.)

by Anonymousreply 45September 18, 2021 8:52 PM

*But that was also Alice Kramden

by Anonymousreply 46September 18, 2021 8:53 PM

True, r45, but Desi did publish his memoirs

by Anonymousreply 47September 19, 2021 3:04 PM

When is Being The Ricardos coming out?

by Anonymousreply 48September 19, 2021 10:30 PM

[quote]Philip Ober, who played the ill-fated “Lester Townsend” in Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” (1959), was married at the time to Vivian Vance, who was playing “Ethel Mertz” in “I Love Lucy”

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by Anonymousreply 49September 21, 2021 6:55 PM

No one affiliated with "Lucy" liked Phil Ober. Lucille herself despised him, which I feel seeped out a bit in the Dore Shary episode

by Anonymousreply 50September 21, 2021 7:49 PM

Interesting that she didn't despise him enough not to employ him.

by Anonymousreply 51September 21, 2021 9:33 PM

He could have appeared in far more episodes than he did, r51. He showed up very early in the series ("The Quiz Show") and then in the Dore Schary episode a few years later. He could have played a number of additional parts, but they used other actors instead. I think he stepped into the Schary role at the very last minute when the real Schary backed out. Phil was frequently at the studio and, I assume, had watched the rehearsals. I doubt he was Lucy's first choice to replace Schary.

Years later, Lucy claimed she found him scary to be around.

by Anonymousreply 52September 22, 2021 8:52 AM
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