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Sometimes a seeming big break can turn into a nightmare. Stage actress Vivian Vance was thrilled to get role of Ethel on I Love Lucy(1951-1957). Vance who was a good looking woman, even acceded to Lucille Ball's demand that she be twenty pounds overweight. Each summer she would get an irritating phone call from Ball," Viv, we start shooting in a couple of weeks, start eating." But playing a frumpy, second banana weighed on her. One day sitting in her make-up chair she complained for all to hear," Can you believe they have me married to that old coot, William Frawley? He should be play my father. Every morning when I get my script I say please God, don't let me have any kissing scenes with old coot." During her diatribe old coot was standing right behind her which started a long and famous feud. Later when Desi Arnaz proposed creating a spin-off show called The Mertzes which could of made them both rich, Frawley jumped at it, but Vance killed idea stating,"Six years is long enough to be married to old coot."
Still not everyone is unhappy in television. Don Adams was offered a choice of deals by producers of Get Smart (1965-1970). He could get paid a good salary or he could own one third of show. The catch was his piece of pie only kicked in if show was sold into syndication which meant it had to last for five years. He swallowed hard, took gamble and it paid off. When he became rich Adams was able to afford traveling throughout world with his seven children. Once when questioned about his large brood former stand up comic replied," I don't what big deal is. It only took me seven minutes."
Stephen Schochet is the author and narrator of the audiobooks "Fascinating Walt Disney" and "Tales Of Hollywood". The Saint Louis Post Dispatch says," these two elaborate productions are exceptionally entertaining." Hear realaudio samples of these great, unique gifts at www.hollywoodstories.com.