The Cast, Crew, and Set
In the television adaption of My Favorite Husband, Ball and Arnaz became Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. Vivian Vance, with a distinguished Broadway résumé, and William Frawley, a veteran of more than 100 films, were hired as the Ricardos’ landlords, neighbors, and best friends, Ethel and Fred Mertz. Keith Thibodeaux (b. 1950), billed as Richard Keith, would later become “Little Ricky.”
My Favorite Husband’s producer and head writer, Jess Oppenheimer (1913–1988), and writers Madelyn Pugh-Davis (1921–2011) and Bob Carroll, Jr. (1918–2007) transferred to the new show; Bob Schiller (b. 1918) and Bob Weiskopf (1914–2001) joined the writing team in 1955. Marc Daniels (1912–1989) was the show’s first director, followed by William Asher (b. 1921) and James V. Kern (1909–1966). Oscar-winning cinematographer Karl Freund (1890–1969) was the director of photography. He and Daniels are generally credited with filming I Love Lucy using the three-camera technique in front of a live audience that subsequently became the standard for situation comedies.
Desilu Productions rented a sound stage for filming I Love Lucy and constructed permanent—and realistic-looking—sets. During I Love Lucy’s first seasons, the episodes took place mostly in the Mertzes’ brownstone apartment building, located at the fictional address 623 East 68th Street—which would actually have been in the East River!
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