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

C+
November 12, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

”I loathed William Frawley,” Vivian Vance revealed in 1962, adding that she ”raced through” each new I Love Lucy script, ”praying that there wouldn’t be a scene where we had to be in bed together.” Apparently, the feeling was mutual. This perfunctory dual biography of the actors typecast forever after as ”Fred and Ethel” offers a glimpse of their unsung real lives: he, a veteran vaudevillian and bachelor drunk; she, a Broadway belter with a history of emotional troubles. But the writing is sloppy, and at times there’s entirely too much information—do we really need to know their social security numbers? C+

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

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

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