The beloved sitcom “I Love Lucy” captured the hearts of millions with its comedic genius and endearing characters. But as the years passed, the spotlight shifted away from Lucy, Ricky, Ethel, and Fred. So, what happened to the cast that brought laughter into our living rooms? What are they up to now, and how have their lives unfolded since the show ended? Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and catch up with the unforgettable stars of “I Love Lucy.”
Lucille Ball (Lucy Ricardo)
Works After ‘I Love Lucy’
After the immensely successful run of “I Love Lucy,” Lucille Ball went on to star in several other television shows. She starred in “The Lucy Show” from 1962 to 1968, where she played a widow named Lucy Carmichael who lived with her children and best friend. The show was widely popular and solidified Ball’s status as a comedic genius. Following the end of “The Lucy Show,” she starred in “Here’s Lucy” from 1968 to 1974, playing a widowed mother who worked as a secretary in a Los Angeles employment agency. Ball’s ability to bring laughter to audiences never waned, and she continued to be a beloved figure in the entertainment industry.
Death and Legacy
Tragically, Lucille Ball passed away on April 26, 1989, at the age of 77. Her death was a great loss to the entertainment world, as she had left an indelible mark with her unparalleled comedic talent. Ball’s legacy lives on, with her groundbreaking work on “I Love Lucy” still captivating audiences to this day. She was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, in recognition of her contributions to television and comedy. Lucille Ball’s impact on the industry is undeniable, and she will forever be remembered as a trailblazer for female performers.
Desi Arnaz (Ricky Ricardo)
Career Post ‘I Love Lucy’
Following his iconic role as Ricky Ricardo on “I Love Lucy,” Desi Arnaz delved into various aspects of the entertainment industry. Not content with just acting, Arnaz established his own production company, Desilu Productions, in 1950 alongside Lucille Ball. Under this company, he produced and co-produced numerous successful television shows, including “The Andy Griffith Show” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Arnaz’s business prowess and talent for spotting good content played a significant role in shaping the television landscape.
Later Years and Death
Desi Arnaz continued to be involved in the entertainment industry until his passing. In addition to producing, he occasionally appeared in television shows and films, ensuring his continued presence in the public eye. Unfortunately, on December 2, 1986, Arnaz passed away at the age of 69 due to lung cancer. His contributions to the television industry, both in front of and behind the camera, will always be remembered.
Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz)
Roles After ‘I Love Lucy’
Following her portrayal of Ethel Mertz, Lucille Ball’s best friend and neighbor, on “I Love Lucy,” Vivian Vance continued to showcase her talent in various roles. She starred in her own sitcom, “The Lucy Show,” from 1962 to 1965, where she played the character of Vivian Bagley, Lucy Carmichael’s sidekick. Vance’s comedic timing and chemistry with Lucille Ball made the show a success. She later appeared in other television series and made guest appearances on shows like “The Love Boat” and “The Brady Bunch.”
Last Years and Death
Vivian Vance’s career spanned several decades, and she remained active in the entertainment industry until the early 1970s. Unfortunately, on August 17, 1979, Vance passed away at the age of 70 due to bone cancer. Her portrayal of Ethel Mertz on “I Love Lucy” left an indelible mark on television history, and her talent continues to be celebrated.
William Frawley (Fred Mertz)
Projects After ‘I Love Lucy’
Following his role as Fred Mertz, Ethel’s husband, on “I Love Lucy,” William Frawley continued to work in the television industry. He went on to star in the spin-off series, “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour,” from 1957 to 1960. Frawley’s comedic skills and chemistry with Vivian Vance made Fred and Ethel Mertz a beloved duo. Additionally, Frawley appeared in other television shows and films, adding to his extensive body of work.
Final Years and Death
William Frawley’s career slowly declined after “I Love Lucy,” and he faced health issues that affected his ability to get substantial roles. On March 3, 1966, Frawley passed away at the age of 79 due to a heart attack. Although his later years were not as successful as his time on “I Love Lucy,” Frawley’s contributions to the show and his memorable portrayal of Fred Mertz will always be cherished.
Richard Keith (Little Ricky)
Acting Career After ‘I Love Lucy’
Richard Keith, who played Little Ricky on “I Love Lucy,” continued to work in the entertainment industry following the conclusion of the show. In the 1960s, he appeared in various television shows and films, showcasing his talent as a young actor. Notably, Keith had a recurring role as Detective Bill Brennan in the crime drama series “The Stone Tape” from 1972 to 1978, further solidifying his place in the industry.
As of today, Richard Keith has stepped away from acting and has chosen to live a more private life. While he may not be in the public eye as much as during his time on “I Love Lucy,” his contribution to the show remains an integral part of its history.
Kathryn Card (Mrs. McGillicuddy)
Post ‘I Love Lucy’ Career
Following her role as Mrs. McGillicuddy, Lucy Ricardo’s mother, Kathryn Card continued working in the entertainment industry. She appeared in various television shows and films, including a guest appearance in “The Lucy Show.” Card’s talent and versatility allowed her to tackle a wide range of roles throughout her career.
Death and Recognition
Kathryn Card passed away on June 13, 1964, at the age of 82. While her contribution to “I Love Lucy” may have been relatively brief, her portrayal of Mrs. McGillicuddy left a lasting impression. Her talent and dedication to the craft of acting are recognized and celebrated by fans and fellow industry professionals alike.
Doris Singleton (Caroline Appleby)
Life After ‘I Love Lucy’
After her role as Caroline Appleby, Lucy’s high society friend, Doris Singleton continued to build her career in the television industry. She made appearances on various television shows such as “The Twilight Zone” and “Perry Mason.” Singleton’s versatility allowed her to take on different types of roles, showcasing her talent as an actress.
Later Years and Death
Doris Singleton remained active in the entertainment industry until her passing. On June 26, 2012, at the age of 92, Singleton passed away from complications related to cancer. Her contributions to “I Love Lucy” and her ability to bring characters to life are forever etched in the hearts of fans.
Jerry Hausner (Jerry the Agent)
Work After ‘I Love Lucy’
Following his role as Jerry the Agent, a recurring character on “I Love Lucy,” Jerry Hausner continued to work in the entertainment industry. He made appearances in various television shows and films, including a guest role in “The Twilight Zone.” Hausner’s talent as a character actor allowed him to bring his unique charm to each role.
Passing and Legacy
Jerry Hausner passed away on July 31, 1993, at the age of 79. Although his role on “I Love Lucy” may have been relatively small, his memorable portrayal of Jerry the Agent showcased his comedic abilities. Hausner’s contributions to the show, as well as his work in the wider entertainment world, will always be remembered.
Elizabeth Patterson (Matilda Trumbull)
End of Career and ‘I Love Lucy’
Following her role as Matilda Trumbull, the nosy neighbor character on “I Love Lucy,” Elizabeth Patterson’s acting career started to wind down. While she made a few appearances in television shows and films after the show, her time in the spotlight gradually faded. However, her portrayal of Matilda Trumbull remains memorable to fans of the sitcom.
Final Years and Death
Elizabeth Patterson lived a long and fulfilling life before passing away on January 31, 1966, at the age of 90. Her contribution to “I Love Lucy” and her ability to bring comedic moments to life will always be cherished. Patterson’s memorable performance as Matilda Trumbull solidified her place in television history.
Bob Jellison (Bobby the Bellboy)
Post ‘I Love Lucy’ Career
Following his role as Bobby the Bellboy, Bob Jellison continued to pursue acting opportunities in both television and film. He made appearances in various television shows, including “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Perry Mason.” Jellison’s talent as a character actor allowed him to seamlessly transition between different roles.
Later Years and Death
Bob Jellison worked consistently in the entertainment industry until his passing. On April 7, 1977, at the age of 75, he passed away due to complications from a stroke. While his role as Bobby the Bellboy on “I Love Lucy” may have been relatively minor, Jellison’s contribution to the show and his overall body of work are still appreciated by fans of classic television.