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5 minutes ago, DickLindsay said:

Hello, i have this nice original still from CAREFREE.  I am able to identify all in the photo, but the lady on the far right looks like (to me anyway) MARY WICKES.  But I don't see her name in the credits.  Am I wrong?  thanks

 

https://imgs.inkfrog.com/pix/lobbiesforme/02vj.JPG

I think it's Phyllis Kennedy.

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0448282/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t32

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44 minutes ago, DickLindsay said:

wow, i think you're definitely right!  I think if MARY WICKES ever needed a stand-in, they could've hired PHYLLIS KENNEDY!  thanks for the info!

Interestingly both Kennedy and Wickes were close friends with Lucille Ball. Both of these character actresses appeared on Ball's sitcoms.

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10 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

Ginger Rogers did as well, essentially playing herself on Here's Lucy.

Of course Rogers wasn't a character actress, not even in her later years. She was a special guest on Here's Lucy

My point is that Ball tended to rely on the character actresses in casting the minor (maid or secretary) roles on her shows. And she would hire her old friends from her days with Goldwyn and her days at RKO and MGM. Barbara Pepper was another one that Ball remained friends with and gave small parts to, before Pepper found a regular role on Green Acres.

Incidentally, it has been said that Ball & Rogers were distant cousins. Though I'm not sure how true that was. I do think Rogers' mother took Ball under her wing at RKO and gave her much-needed dramatic training.

Getting back to Wickes, if you read Lee Tannen's book "I Loved Lucy" he describes how Wickes was a frequent visitor at Ball's home and played backgammon with her. Tannen was related by marriage to Ball, because he was a cousin of Ball's second husband Gary Morton.

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32 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Of course Rogers wasn't a character actress, not even in her later years. She was a special guest on Here's Lucy

My point is that Ball tended to rely on the character actresses in casting the minor (maid or secretary) roles on her shows. And she would hire her old friends from her days with Goldwyn and her days at RKO and MGM. Barbara Pepper was another one that Ball remained friends with and gave small parts to, before Pepper found a regular role on Green Acres.

Incidentally, it has been said that Ball & Rogers were distant cousins. Though I'm not sure how true that was. I do think Rogers' mother took Ball under her wing at RKO and gave her much-needed dramatic training.

Getting back to Wickes, if you read Lee Tannen's book "I Loved Lucy" he describes how Wickes was a frequent visitor at Ball's home and played backgammon with her. Tannen was related by marriage to Ball, because he was a cousin of Ball's second husband Gary Morton.

BBC Four program on RKO includes this snippet on Lela Rogers' impact on Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball and other contract players in the early days of RKO.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syaIHngkqsA

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1 hour ago, txfilmfan said:

Ball tried to recreate the studio repertory concept at Desilu, creating the Desilu Players.   The Desilu Players joined the main I Love Lucy cast for a Christmas special.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEiqmzeSZEU

Of course, Robert Osborne was one of the contract players at Desilu.  You can see him in this special.

Yes, the backstage business story of Desilu is chronicled in Coyne Sanders' book "Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz."

I recommend Sanders' book and Lee Tannen's book to anyone with an interest in Lucille Ball. I favor the Tannen book since he knew her away from her work in Hollywood, and he presents the most least-affected realistic version of her, Desi and the kids.

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