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Old 01-10-2012, 10:52 AM   #1
summer.breeze
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Post Do you think Vivian Vance aged rapidly during the series?

I never noticed this before, but it seems as the series went on, Vivian Vance aged rapidly. I saw an episode from the first season and then one of the Hollywood episodes, and in the latter, she almost ... did not look well. The difference is dramatic.

Has anyone else noticed this?
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:42 AM   #2
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Odd, I thought she aged in reverse! In the first season she looks frumpy; by the time of the last few hour-long shows she apparently was allowed to glam herself up a bit and arguably looks younger than she did at the beginning. Certainly one gets the impression that Lucille spent a lot more time in the makeup chair than Vivian did during their time together on The Lucy Show....
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:01 PM   #3
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I also think she looked younger as time went on. With better clothes and a new hairstyle, she looked really great in the Connecticut episodes.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:28 AM   #4
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In some ways I thought her character had more pep. She's helping Lucy with the barbarque, on the subway with the trophy, lawnmower scene, chicken scenes. She had more a casual but peppier feel. Maybe it was the clothes
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coffeecup
In some ways I thought her character had more pep. She's helping Lucy with the barbarque, on the subway with the trophy, lawnmower scene, chicken scenes. She had more a casual but peppier feel. Maybe it was the clothes

The clothes and the weight, I think. She seemed somewhat slim in the first season, but a bit heavier the second, and even more so in the third and fourth seasons. Then she started slimming down around the fifth season and stayed that way the remainder of the series. I think her initial contract was just for five seasons. So starting in the sixth season, she seemed to be operating under different terms that allowed her to wear more flattering clothes, and a better (more youthful) hairstyle.

One scene that has always struck me as odd is the beginning of the Danny Thomas episode (season eight). Lucy and Ricky are having trouble closing a suitcase. Then in walks Ethel. She sees them struggling with the suitcase, then proceeds to sit on it. It closes instantly. It was an old "overweight Ethel" joke: See how easy it is to close a suitcase? All you to do is get fat Ethel to sit on it. But the joke falls flat because Vivian Vance was as slim as ever by this point, and looks even slimmer than Lucille Ball. By the time of The Lucy Show, however, she had added back those pounds again. But later on, in her final appearance on Here's Lucy in season four, she had gone back to a slim appearance and by that point, was looking younger than Lucille Ball IMO.

I must say, though, that by today's standards she looks thin, even when she was at her heaviest weight. To illustrate here are several photos. The first two are from the second season. The third is from the third season. The fourth is from the fifth season. And the last two are from the sixth season. Check out that tiny waist in the last three.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg VivianVance 2nd Season 2.jpg (129.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg VivianVance 2nd Season.jpg (121.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg VivianVance 3rd Season.jpg (202.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg VivianVance 5th Season.jpg (87.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg VivianVance 6th Season 2.jpg (21.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg VivianVance 6th Season.jpg (58.5 KB, 0 views)

Last edited by LittleRickyII : 01-28-2012 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:10 AM   #6
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She did IMO. But I still loved Viv.BTW I just watched Sall we dance with Richard Gere, for the upteenth time, and there was this young girl, who played the daughter of the woman who tore her dress at the dance, that reminded me so much of Vivian Vance. She not only looked like her, her facial expresions were like Vivian's too. If you get a chance to see this movie again, watch the young blonde girl when she is chewing out her mom for over working herslef after passing out while dancing and ends up in the hospital for it. You might agree with me.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:15 AM   #7
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Vivian looked her most attractive to me in the earliest episodes. The clothes were kind of frumpy for her until the Comedy Hour eps, her weight fluctuated a bit throughout, but I think it was that ugly poodle cut hairdo from the middle years that was most unflattering to her. This was a popular style that looked good on some women back then, but I think it sort of accentuated the fullness of Vivian's face. I thought Lucy looked better in the few episodes in which her hair was down (nighttime scenes). I thought it harkened back to the Lucy of The Fuller Brush Girl and films like that. When she adopted the "bubble cut" in the Fred MacMurray hour, I thought that looked better. In the pilot and in "The Fur Coat" Lucy wears her hair down.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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I always thought Vivian had several different looks over the years, but I am not certain I would say she looked older...just different. There were times she looked "frumpy" and then in later years, she looked almost like a wealthy socialite. I know it has been said in early years, Lucille Ball wanted Vivian to look like a landlady which meant she was too look much older than Lucy, heavier, etc. I never felt she looked like that. Clearly, there wasn't much of an age difference between the two, although we were led to believe Ethel Mertz was much older than Lucy Ricardo. And I never felt there was much of a weight difference between the actresses, although ILL had several "fat Ethel" jokes peppered in over the years.

The only time I saw an older Vivian Vance was perhaps in 1958 & 1959, during "The Lucy Desi Comedy Hour" when Vivian was going through a difficult divorce with real-life husband Phil Ober. It clearly took a toll on her as she looked heavier and more tired, but then in the first year or two of "The Lucy Show" she looked wonderful! She got to be more stylish and perhaps more of a reflection of her true self. She even looked better than Lucy in the late 1960s and early 1970s during her final appearances on "The Lucy Show" and "Here's Lucy" and then from 1973 on, as her health declined, that is when her age advanced rapidly. She looked well beyond her years of 70 when she died in 1979.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucyandethel
I always thought Vivian had several different looks over the years, but I am not certain I would say she looked older...just different. There were times she looked "frumpy" and then in later years, she looked almost like a wealthy socialite. I know it has been said in early years, Lucille Ball wanted Vivian to look like a landlady which meant she was too look much older than Lucy, heavier, etc. I never felt she looked like that. Clearly, there wasn't much of an age difference between the two, although we were led to believe Ethel Mertz was much older than Lucy Ricardo. And I never felt there was much of a weight difference between the actresses, although ILL had several "fat Ethel" jokes peppered in over the years.

The only time I saw an older Vivian Vance was perhaps in 1958 & 1959, during "The Lucy Desi Comedy Hour" when Vivian was going through a difficult divorce with real-life husband Phil Ober. It clearly took a toll on her as she looked heavier and more tired, but then in the first year or two of "The Lucy Show" she looked wonderful! She got to be more stylish and perhaps more of a reflection of her true self. She even looked better than Lucy in the late 1960s and early 1970s during her final appearances on "The Lucy Show" and "Here's Lucy" and then from 1973 on, as her health declined, that is when her age advanced rapidly. She looked well beyond her years of 70 when she died in 1979.
I draw the line at the SHE LOOKED BETTER THAN LUCY, she looked fine but never better than Lucy, EVER!
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogdanloveslucy
I draw the line at the SHE LOOKED BETTER THAN LUCY, she looked fine but never better than Lucy, EVER!
Vivian Vance was what I would call a "handsome" woman, rather attractive in the earliest I Love Lucy shows, but Lucy was drop dead gorgeous, even submerged in ordinary house dresses. Vivian always reminded me of what Jean Harlow may have looked like, had she lived and allowed herself to gain weight.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:23 AM   #11
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I don't think that Vivian Vance aged rapidly or noticeably during the "I Love Lucy" years.
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie Eckhardt
Vivian Vance was what I would call a "handsome" woman, rather attractive in the earliest I Love Lucy shows, but Lucy was drop dead gorgeous, even submerged in ordinary house dresses. Vivian always reminded me of what Jean Harlow may have looked like, had she lived and allowed herself to gain weight.
Oh, that's funny! Never heard anybody come up with something so funny to describe her, LOL! Let's not forget that Viv, unlike Lucy, was able to get a facelift at one point so that sure helped her. Lucy had to resort to that temporary face lift contraption she used under her wigs.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRickyII
The clothes and the weight, I think. She seemed somewhat slim in the first season, but a bit heavier the second, and even more so in the third and fourth seasons. Then she started slimming down around the fifth season and stayed that way the remainder of the series. I think her initial contract was just for five seasons. So starting in the sixth season, she seemed to be operating under different terms that allowed her to wear more flattering clothes, and a better (more youthful) hairstyle....


Fact is, Vivian Vance was from August 1911 to May 1912 younger than Lucille Ball, so in the half-hour years of "I Love Lucy" she was supposed to stay overweight and look frumpier than Lucy. By the time the LDCH started contract negotiations, Vivian was ready to quit the series because she was tired of looking frumpy. You will also notice that, beginning with the hour-long shows, she does look trimmer and more attractive. Sadly, with Viv's last appearance on "Here's Lucy," she was starting to feel the effects of the cancer that eventually took her life in 1979.
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:21 PM   #14
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I think she was the heaviest of all when she was on The Lucy Show, but was slimmer when she returned for guest appearances in seasons 5 & 6.
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Old 12-26-2013, 12:14 AM   #15
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I think it was up and down. She essentially looked about the same in the face, but they kept changing her hair and clothes and it gave her a different look along the way. They dressed her older while Lucy tried to dress younger. That was the difference really. Through the 1960s, I thought her looks were more dramatic to older to younger and back to older.
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