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I Loved Lucy: My Friendship with Lucille Ball

I Loved Lucy: My Friendship with Lucille Ball

Few people knew America’s comic sweetheart Lucille Ball the way Lee Tannen did. Lee first met Lucy as a child but cemented their close and enduring friendship as an adult. During the last ten years of Lucy’s life–years mostly lived out of the spot

Rating: (out of 37 reviews)

List Price: $ 20.00

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posted by chris in Comedies and have Comments (5)

5 Responses to “I Loved Lucy: My Friendship with Lucille Ball”

  1. Kevinduran says:

    Review by Kevinduran for I Loved Lucy: My Friendship with Lucille Ball
    … and I’ve read most of them! I sort of expected this book to be some tabloidish tale, an exploitive expose’ about The Queen Of Television Comedy. I was completely wrong and am not ashamed to admit that. It was one of the only books about Lucille Ball that I had not purchased. I ran across it one day at the library so I checked it out. I ended up purchasing the book for my collection before I even finished it. The glowing letter of endorsement from Lucy’s daughter Lucie Arnaz that graces the back cover should have been enough for me to make the purchase upon its release! Tannen dishes a lot of dirt here, but it’s nothing that Lucy would necessarily be mad at him for revealing. His words give Lucy fans a complete idea of what Lucy’s last years were like. Stories about how Lucy desperately wanted to make the movie “Driving Miss Daisy” (Lee says she would have been all wrong for it, and he’s right); her disastrous last two projects (the TV movie “The Stone Pillow”, and the failed ABC sitcom “Life With Lucy”); her obsession with backgammon and game shows (she loved Vanna White of “Wheel Of Fortune”), plus a lot of other stories let us in on a Lucy we never really knew. As the star of one of the world’s most popular TV shows, most people would think that Lucy lived a grand life of luxury. She did, but she seemed mostly unaware that it was so grand- and that it could have been even grander. She did not enjoy change. Her homes are described in detail, down to what the furniture looked like. It’s all extremely riveting, especially for anyone that is a fan of Lucille Ball. The thing that makes this book so wonderful is that you truly get a sense that Lee Tannen REALLY did love Lucy. He didn’t write this book to cash in on anything. He just wanted to share a side of Lucy with her fans that they didn’t know about before. She does’t come out smelling so perfect at all times, but this book certainly will not tarnish anyone’s image of her. If you have any interest in Lucille Ball at all, this is a book that you will not want to miss out on. It was extremely hard to put down.

  2. Ann Sherry says:

    Review by Ann Sherry for I Loved Lucy: My Friendship with Lucille Ball
    This is a book about a distant relative of Gary Morton’s relationship with Lucille Ball during the last ten years of her life. He spent a good amount of time with Lucy, and he shares with us their dinner dates, skiing in Colorado, going to the theatre and, of course, backgammon! I couldn’t put the book down. The private life of Lucy after “I Love Lucy” is fascinating, no matter what she said or did – I wanna hear it all. The author tells the story always with love for Lucy and with a good sense of humor of his own. Lucy fans should treasure this.

  3. Karen Sampson Hudson says:

    Review by Karen Sampson Hudson for I Loved Lucy: My Friendship with Lucille Ball
    Lee Tannen was a good friend and frequent backgammon partner of Lucy during the last ten years of her life. He presents us with a lightweight yet winning book, although at times I felt I had strayed into the script of “Sunset Boulevard” as he details Lucy’s isolation, her days spent playing backgammon inside her shuttered Beverly Hills home, with her outdated 50′s decor and kitchen appliances.
    He doesn’t make the Lucy he knew into a saintly figure; instead he lets us in on her “star-ego” moments and her lapses into pettiness. He describes in detail how each of her homes and her ski condo at Snowmass, Colorado are decorated, and tells us of her wardrobe with her extensive collection of fur coats.
    Although his book is entertaining, with some degree of unavoidable name-dropping, I think most people prefer to remember Lucy as she was in the 50s when her antics made a whole nation laugh with delight.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Review by for I Loved Lucy: My Friendship with Lucille Ball
    I confess to not reading the entire book.
    I really didn’t want to.The tone was rather gushy and breathless. The photos of author and actress seemed to usually show him smirking into the camera, draped around her, as if broadcasting “here *I* am with a STAR!”One didn’t get the impression of the author as a friend, but as someone more needy. His likening Ms. Ball and himself to the main characters in “Sunset Boulevard” was therefore strange. He seemed to never forget–or let the reader forget either–that Lucy had been the Queen of TV Comedy, An Icon. And to then cast Lucy into the Norma Desmond role of someone who was forgotten, in need of the constant company of an adoring young man, AND crazy, is egregious. Not only contraditory, but also egotistical.Glad I avoided the bits where he fantasizes that he’s actually reliving episodes of “I Love Lucy”; to paraphrase Groucho Marx, sometimes a TV show is just a TV show.

  5. Randi Maurer says:

    Review by Randi Maurer for I Loved Lucy: My Friendship with Lucille Ball
    As the niece of Gary Morton, my mother’s brother, and a long-time resident of Los Angeles, I spent a significant amount of time with Lucy and Gary in their homes from 1962 on. I was, therefore, amazed at how inaccurate many of the so-called “facts” in this book are. To start with, my uncle was several years older than Tannen portrays him and was never a member of the Hillcrest Country Club. Thus, he never wore a terry robe with a Hillcrest Country Club logo on it, as Tannen claims.I was also surprised at how someone who claims to have loved Lucy so much would show such disrespect for her and her family throughout the book by making unsubstantiated negative statements about them and discussing so many private things. In mentioning Lucy’s relationship with her children, Tannen guesses about their feelings for each other and the reasons for them, and then presents these guesses as facts. He also infers – without any substantiation – that my uncle, who was Lucy’s husband for nearly 30 years, was interested in how much money Lucy made for his own selfish reasons. Since my uncle acted as Lucy’s agent at her request, it is more likely that he was concerned about how much money she was being paid on a project because he wanted to ensure she was treated with the respect she deserved. From my perspective, Gary always looked out for Lucy’s best interests. Tannen also makes a statement about an opinion of my uncle supposedly held by Lucy’s television show writers. I truly doubt these writers ever discussed their opinions about anything with Tannen, if in fact they spoke to him at all. Knowing Lucy as well as I did and how much she valued her privacy, I believe that had Tannen written this book while she was still alive, she would cut him out of her life altogether, as she had done once before. Perhaps Tannen’s real motive in writing this book was more self-serving, i.e., to make up for his inability to get Lucy to participate in one of his projects – such as the Broadway play he pushed for her to do. In short, many of the purported “facts” in this book are nothing more than Tannen’s personal beliefs and opinions. If you’re interested in fantasies about Lucy and her life, read this book. If you’re interested in facts, I would suggest you look elsewhere.

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