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Meet the Mertzes | Vivian Vance | William Frawley | unauthorized biography

Meet the Mertzes: The Life Stories of I Love Lucy’s Other Couple

Meet the Mertzes is an unauthorized biography of Vivian Vance and William Frawley. It’s the life stories of I Love Lucy‘s other couple, by by Rob Edelman, Audrey Kupferberg. It’s a very interesting dual biography of Vivian Vance and William Frawley. It deals with their lives before I Love Lucy, their work together and their personal dislike (if not hatred) of each other. And their lives and careers afterward. Extremely complete.

  • “She’s one of the finest gals to come out of Kansas, but I often wish she’d go back there.”€ –William Frawley on Vivian Vance
  • “I loathed William Frawley and the feeling was mutual. Whenever I received a new script, I raced through it, praying that there wouldn’t be a scene where we had to be in bed together.”€ –Vivian Vance on William Frawley
Meet the Mertzes: The Life Stories of I Love Lucy's Other Couple

From that snippet, you would suspect that the onscreen relationship between Fred and Ethel Mertz was nothing like the real-life relationship between the two actors that portrayed them, William Frawley and Vivian Vance.  You would be very correct.  There was such strong animosity between them that, upon hearing of William Frawley’s death, Vivian Vance “mourned” … By buying champagne for everyone at the restaurant at which she and her husband were dining.

There is more to the book, however, than the well-known animosity between William Frawley and Vivian Vance, however.

Book Description of Meet the Mertzes

Meet the Mertzes is an expansive dual biography chronicling the lives of two of America’s most popular situation-comedy actors, William Frawley and Vivian Vance, who portrayed Fred and Ethel Mertz on I Love Lucy. This meticulously researched book contains interviews with Frawley’s and Vance’s colleagues, friends, and relatives, and explores their personal and professional lives before, during, and after I Love Lucy. With a complete filmography and videography of each, Meet the Mertzes finally sets the record straight on the lives and legacies of these compelling stars who detested one another.

You’ll learn about:

  • Vivian Vance’s successful Broadway career prior to I Love Lucy
  • William Frawley’s vaudevillian roots and his passion for baseball
  • Vivian Vance’s nervous breakdown after the collapse of her first marriage
  • William Frawley’s drinking and carousing
  • Lucille Ball’s caustic relationship with both of her costars
  • Vivian Vance’s hatred of being known to the world as Ethel Mertz

About the Authors of “Meet the Mertzes

Rob Edelman and Audrey Kupferberg authored Angela Lansbury and The John Travolta Scrapbook. Edelman wrote Baseball on the Web and Great Baseball Films. He is also a contributing editor to Leonard Maltin’s Movie & Video Guide annual and Movie Encyclopedia, and is a freelance writer. Kupferberg is a film archivist, consultant, and researcher. They reside in Amsterdam, New York.


Computer nerd by day, professional clown on evenings and weekends (Raynbow), who combines the two by maintaining a bunch of websites dedicated to the history and performances of clowning, such as Free Clown Skits, and comedy such as Best Clean Funny Jokes.

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