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Old 22 October 2008, 11:40 PM
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TV William Frawley's contract

Comment: I had heard that William Frawley who played Fred Mertz on I love
lucy was the first actor to ask for any thing unusual in his contract (
think Van Halen and the brown M&M's ) Frawleys request was to not film
during opening day, and be provided with Yankee's tickets, Is this rumor
or fact?
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  #2  
Old 22 October 2008, 11:51 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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I seriously doubt it, because Frawley was a notorious alcoholic, who had trouble finding work, and wasn't Ball & Arnaz's first choice for the role (they wanted Gale Gordon, with whom Ball would appear in subsequent shows). He did have something unusual in his contract, in that he invented residuals. In the early days of television, when Hollywood still used the studio system, actors on television got weekly salaries, and tapes were not even kept of most shows. Frawley somehow had the foresight to see that Arnaz's idea of filming the show instead of taping it, and generally the direction of television, meant that there would be future value of current work, so when Frawley died in the 1960s, he was still profitting from his work on I Love Lucy, and if he hadn't died, would have continued to live off the reruns.

I remember vaguely something about I Love Lucy having some sort of record for the number of times its episodes have been shown in syndication.
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Old 23 October 2008, 02:15 PM
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Baseball

For the Yankees Wiki has "A rabid New York Yankees baseball fan, Frawley had it written into his I Love Lucy contract that he did not have to work during the World Series if the Yankees were playing."
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Old 23 October 2008, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
... He did have something unusual in his contract, in that he invented residuals. In the early days of television, when Hollywood still used the studio system, actors on television got weekly salaries, and tapes were not even kept of most shows. Frawley somehow had the foresight to see that Arnaz's idea of filming the show instead of taping it, and generally the direction of television, meant that there would be future value of current work, so when Frawley died in the 1960s, he was still profitting from his work on I Love Lucy, and if he hadn't died, would have continued to live off the reruns.

I remember vaguely something about I Love Lucy having some sort of record for the number of times its episodes have been shown in syndication.
Well, maybe not, according to this:
Penny Singleton, the movie's Blondie invented residuals and the term itself.
Bill Frawley was mentioned as one of her co-stars, so he may have received the idea directly from the source. Reading this online biography has made Penny Singleton one of my new labor heroines.
Other sources agree about Frawley and baseball. The man was a Yankee fan.

Ali "and he would be singing Melancholy Baby about them now" Infree
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Old 10 November 2008, 08:30 AM
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Baseball

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoitoider View Post
For the Yankees Wiki has "A rabid New York Yankees baseball fan, Frawley had it written into his I Love Lucy contract that he did not have to work during the World Series if the Yankees were playing.
Meet the Mertzes says Frawley's contract had a clause that "stipulated that he could frequent the Fall Classic whenever the American League pennant winner was the New York Yankees." Which wouldn't really be a big deal, since it would mean at most four days away from the set per year (and likely less, since some World Series games would fall on weekends when the show wouldn't be in production anyway).
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Old 10 November 2008, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Which wouldn't really be a big deal, since it would mean at most four days away from the set per year (and likely less, since some World Series games would fall on weekends when the show wouldn't be in production anyway).
The show was filmed in Hollywood, though, so Bill might've needed some travel days.
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Old 18 November 2008, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
...Frawley was a notorious alcoholic, who had trouble finding work, and wasn't Ball & Arnaz's first choice for the role (they wanted Gale Gordon, with whom Ball would appear in subsequent shows).
His contract also stated that he had to show up at work sober every day, or he was out.

Here's something I came across on another message board (Jump the Shark, to be exact): It's pretty much undisputed that Frawley and Vivian "Ethel" Vance didn't like each other. Is it true that Vance heard the news of Frawley's death in a restaurant and shouted to the whole room, "Drinks are on me!"

ETA: I've often wondered what kind of Fred Gale Gordon would have made. Did he ever play anything besides a stuffed shirt?
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