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Vivian Vance ACTOR


Vivian Vance was born on July 26th, 1909 in Cherryvale, Kansas with the birth name Vivian Roberta Jones.  She had one brother and four sisters and was raised in Independence, Kansas.  She began showing an interest in acting at a young age and went on to study drama under teachers, Anna Ingleman and William Inge. 
When her family relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico she found work at the local theater which helped her finance studying under acting coach, Eva le Gallienne in New York.  At first it was difficult for her to find any stage acting jobs until she was chosen to work on the production, "Music in the Air" in 1932.  Soon other stage roles followed such as, "Hoorey for What!", "Voice of the Turtle" (1945) and at the La Jolla Playhouse in California for the same play.
It was from this production that Vance was seen on stage by Desi Arnaz who felt that she would be perfect for the role of Ethel Mertz on the television series, "I Love Lucy" (1951).  When this show came to an end, she relocated to Stamford, Connecticut and began commuting to California to work on, "The Lucy Show" (1962).  However, after three years of traveling back and forth she chose to just make occasional guest appearances. 
Along with her stage and television work, Vance also made a decent living appearing in commercials and became known as Maxine, in the Maxwell House Commercials.  She also moved to Sante Fe, New Mexico with her husband and operated a travel agency.
Vance married a total of  four times. Her first husband was Joseph Shearer Danneck Jr. whom she wed in 1928 and divorced just three years later.  Her second marriage was to George Koch in 1933 and this marriage too ended in divorce in 1940.  She then married for a third time to Philip Ober in 1941 and in 1959 the marriage was finalized.  Her fourth and final husband was John Dodds from 1961 through her death in 1979.  She never had any of her own children. 
As she got older she had suffered a couple strokes and when she was diagnosed with cancer, she decided to sell the travel agency and finance a publishing business for her husband in San Francisco.  She passed away on August 17th, 1979 in Belvedere, California after suffering from breast and bone cancer.
Vivian was honored for her work in a number of ways such as being the first person to win an Emmy Ward for Best Supporting Actress in 1954.  She was also honored by the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health for her contributions on behalf of the mentally ill.    


1978 Sam
1977 Lucy Calls the President
1976 The Great Houdini
1975 Rhoda
1968-1972 Here's Lucy
1972 Getting Away from It All 
1970 The Front Page 
1969 Love, American Style
1962-1968 The Lucy Show
1965 The Great Race 
1960-1964 The Red Skelton Hour 
1960 Guestward Ho! 
1957-1960 The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour 
1959 The Deputy 
1958-1959 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse 
1951-1957 I Love Lucy
1956 I Love Lucy Christmas Show 
1955 Shower of Stars 
1953 I Love Lucy
1951 The Blue Veil 
1950 The Secret Fury 
1936 The Great Ziegfeld 
1933 Take a Chance 

Matinee Classics - The Great Race starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Peter Falk, Keenan Wynn, Dorothy Provine, Larry Storch, Hal Smith, Denver Pyle, Arthur O'Connell, Vivian Vance, Ross Martin, Marvin Kaplan, George Macready, Joyce Nizzari and William Bryant
Matinee Classics - I Love Lucy Radio Show starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley

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