Vivian Vance Net Worth

What is the estimated net worth of the actress Vivian Vance? She is a person both men and women like and cherish. It is people like she who make us look up to Hollywood and other movie stars. We will talk about her net worth, but first, a little bit more about the actress herself. She is an American born in Cherryvale, Kansas, United States on the July 26, 1909. Finding her talents at quite a young age, she studied and later graduated from unknown. Over a period of time she was selected to appear in many movies and TV shows. Popular in her home country and across the globe, Vivian Vance stands at 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m). John Dodds (m. 1961–1979), Philip Ober (m. 1941–1959), George Koch (m. 1933–1940), Joseph Shearer Danneck, Jr. (m. 1928–1931) and unknown make up her family. Since we know that Hollywood actors earn six, seven or even eight figure sums, Vivian Vance is no exception, having an estimated net worth of $10 Million.

Read more about Vivian Vance Biography

Vance attended Independence High School, and during her time there, focused on dramatic studies. However, she was discouraged by her mother, and this led her to move to New Mexico, finding work as an actress, debuting in 1930 when she performed at the Albaquerque Little Theatre, which would be the start of an extensive career on stage. She appeared in productions of “The Cradle Song” and “This Thing Called Love”. The theatre community would later help her move to New York City and study there.

In 1932, Vance started appearing in various Broadway productions, usually as a member of the chorus. Eventually, she began getting supporting roles including in the musical “Hooray for What!” One of her most successful performances was in “Let’s Face It”, in which she played Cole Porter; the production would go on to have over 500 performances, increasing her net worth significantly. In 1947, Vivian decided to move to California to pursue theatre and film projects, and during this period, she appeared in films such as “The Secret Fury” and “The Blue Veil”, which got her a little bit of attention but not much else.

In 1951, the new television sitcom “I Love Lucy” was casting, and Vance was recommended for the role of Ethel Mertz – Desi Arnaz saw her performance in the play “The Voice of the Turtle” which helped him decide on offering her the role, despite hesitations from Lucille Ball, and the two would eventually grow to become friends. In the show, Vance played the landlady opposite her on-screen husband William Frawley. Despite the chemistry the two had on screen, they never got along off-screen. For her performances, Vivian became the first actress to win a TV Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, and her popularity on the show helped her rise in net worth. She was nominated three more times in the following years before the series ended. After the end of “I Love Lucy”, she continued to play Ethel Mertz in the specials entitled “The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show”.

In 1962, Vivian was cast in “The Lucy Show” with conditions that she would be named Vivian and that she would wear better clothing; she portrayed the first divorcee to ever appear in a weekly television series in America, and would play the role until 1965, subsequently making three more guest appearances in the show. She was then cast in the film “The Great Race” which was a moderate success and received several nominations for an Academy Award. She would make her return to Broadway in 1969’s “My Daughter, Your Son” which had a successful national tour.

In the later part of her career, she appeared more as a guest in various television shows, including a recurring appearance in “Here’s Lucy”. She also became an endorser of Maxwell House Coffee.

For her personal life, it is known that Vivian was married four times, firstly to Joseph Shearer Danneck, Jr. from 1928 to 1931, secondly in 1933 to George Koch and their marriage would last for seven years. She then married Philip Ober in 1941 divorcing in 1959. Her final marriage was to John Dodds from 1961 until her death in 1979. She passed away due to bone cancer which resulted from breast cancer that was diagnosed years earlier. She was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991.

Structural info

  • Full Name: Vivian Vance
  • Net Worth: $10 Million
  • Date Of Birth: July 26, 1909
  • Died: August 17, 1979, Belvedere, California, United States
  • Place Of Birth: Cherryvale, Kansas, United States
  • Height: 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
  • Profession: Actress
  • Nationality: American
  • Spouse: John Dodds (m. 1961–1979), Philip Ober (m. 1941–1959), George Koch (m. 1933–1940), Joseph Shearer Danneck, Jr. (m. 1928–1931)
  • Parents: Euphemia Jones, Robert Jones
  • Nicknames: Vivian Roberta Jones , vivian_vance , Viv
  • IMDB:
  • Awards: Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress In A Regular Series
  • Nominations: Primetime Emmy Award for Best Continuing Supporting Performance by an Actress – Dramatic or Comedy Series, Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Performance By An Actress, TV Land Favorite Cantankerous Couple Award, TV Land Favorite Second Banana Award
  • Movies: Lucy Calls the President, The Great Houdini, The Great Race, I Love Lucy
  • TV Shows: The Lucy Show, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour, I Love Lucy


  • Advice to actress, Kaye Ballard on doing a series: Kaye, you must use your own first name because I go through life just being called Ethel Mertz. No one even knows who Vivian Vance was.
  • When I die, there will be people who send flowers to Ethel Mertz.
  • “Champagne, for everyone!” While dining at a restaurant, upon hearing of former co-star William Frawley’s death on Thursday, March 3rd, 1966.
  • Lucille Ball was supposedly brutally cold to her at their first meeting and later that same day one of the show’s staff asked her how she could work for such a bitch to which Vivian Vance replied, “If this show’s a success then I’m going to learn to love that ‘female dog’.


  • Originally Lucille Ball did not want Vivian to portray Ethel Mertz on I Love Lucy because she thought she was too pretty at 42 to portray a landlord and believed that only the main star should be attractive.
  • Appears on a 44¢ USA commemorative postage stamp in the Early Television Memories issue with Lucille Ball, as Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz in a scene from I Love Lucy: Job Switching (1952). The stamp was issued 11 August 2009.
  • Divorced Philip Ober in 1959 under allegations of spousal abuse. Because the majority of the wealth was earned during the success of I Love Lucy (1951), she was forced to hand over half of her $160,000 in community property, which included, among other things, her ranch in Cubero, New Mexico and home in California.
  • She left The Lucy Show (1962) as a regular in 1965, because the weekly commutes between Connecticut and Los Angeles put a strain on her marriage to publishing executive John Dodds. She asked the show for a $500,000 advance, more creative and directorial control,and a raise in weekly pay. These demands were in part to convince Lucille Ball not to try and talk her out of retirement. She would go on to guest star with Lucy in future projects.
  • After marrying publisher John Dodds in 1961, she left Los Angeles for good. The couple spent the next several years living in various locations. In 1961, they purchased an old white farmhouse in Stamford, Connecticut. They also purchased a 200 year old schoolhouse in Westchester County, New York to be used as a retreat for the two of them after her years on The Lucy Show (1962). As John’s career took off, they lived in a penthouse at Beekman Place in Manhattan. Tiring of the big city life, in the late 1960s, they moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico owning and operating a Travel Agency. In 1974, after her first bout with cancer, they decided to sell the business along with property she owned in Solvang, California to finance a publishing business for John in San Francisco. She would live the rest of her life in Belvedere, California, near to her sister, in a shingle style house by the beach.
  • She returned to Broadway in the late 1960s, early 1970s, and usually commanded a $2,500/week salary. When she would return to her hometown of Albequerque, New Mexico, she would only accept a maximum of $250/week for little theater performances.
  • In the 1970s, she discovered commercials were a lucrative way to capitalize on fame, with a 3 year $250,000 contract. She became known as Maxine, in the Maxwell House Commercials.
  • Godmother to John Sebastian. She was best friend’s with his mother, Jane Sebastian, and mentioned her name in many I Love Lucy (1951) episodes.
  • Miss Vance was honored by the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health for her contributions on behalf of the mentally ill.
  • Best remembered as Lucy’s best friend and land lady, Ethel in I Love Lucy (1951).
  • Producer Vinton Freedley was preparing his next musical and offered Vivian a musical role in which she’d have to do a playful striptease. Known for her vulgar, tauntingly glamorous roles already, she turned him down lest she be typecast. The show was “Leave It to Me,” the song was “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” and Mary Martin became a huge musical star as a result of it.
  • A founding member of the Albuquerque Little Theater, where she played a vamp in “This Thing Called Love” and a nun in “The Cradle Song,” the local theater community helped pay her way to New York. The theater in later years was eventually nicknamed The Vivian Vance Playhouse.
  • Vivian started acting when she moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she took the last name “Vance” from a dramatics teacher who had been supportive of her acting career.
  • Legend has it that a clause in her television contract required her to stay 10 pounds heavier than costar/producer Lucille Ball. Actually, this contract never existed, at least not in legal, binding form. It was a mock contract given to Vance by Ball as a gag gift sparking the legend it was a real contract.
  • One of her closest friends in childhood was the silent film star Louise Brooks, who was her neighbor in Cherryvale, Kansas.
  • Vance’s I Love Lucy (1951) co-star, William Frawley, reportedly received a unique deal for early television. His contract called for residuals from I Love Lucy (1951) for years after the series ended production in 1957. Unfortunately, Vance did not have a similar clause in her contract.
  • Producer Jess Oppenheimer was quoted as saying that the infamous feud between Vance and William Frawley was exaggerated. While TV’s favorite neighbors may not have been “chummy” in real life, they were professionals who for the most part treated each other with respect during rehearsals and filming.
  • Battled ill-health throughout much of the 1970s, beginning with a series of strokes in 1973. She died of bone cancer.
  • Was offered to do a spinoff of I Love Lucy (1951) with her costar William Frawley, but the two did not like each other at all in real life and refused to do it.
  • First person to win an Emmy Award for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ [1954]


  • Husky voice
  • Often starred in Lucille Ball’s television shows


Title Year Status Character
Sam 1978 TV Series
Lucy Calls the President 1977 TV Movie Viv
The Great Houdini 1976 TV Movie Minnie (Nurse)
Rhoda 1975 TV Series Maggie Cummings
Here’s Lucy 1968-1972 TV Series Vivian Jones
The Lorax 1972 TV Short Singer (voice, uncredited)
Getting Away from It All 1972 TV Movie May Brodey
The Front Page 1970 TV Movie Mrs. Grant
Love, American Style 1969 TV Series Madame Zimia Zygmundt (segment “Love and the Medium”)
The Lucy Show 1962-1968 TV Series Vivian Bagley
Vivian Bunson
Off to See the Wizard 1967 TV Series Sarah’s Mother
The Great Race 1965 Hester Goodbody
The Red Skelton Hour 1960-1964 TV Series Clara Appleby
Guestward Ho! 1960 TV Series Babs
The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour 1957-1960 TV Series Ethel Mertz
The Deputy 1959 TV Series Emma Gant
I Love Lucy 1951-1957 TV Series Ethel Mertz
Shower of Stars 1955 TV Series Mrs. Mullins
Texaco Star Theatre 1954 TV Series Ethel Mertz
I Love Lucy 1953 Ethel Mertz / Herself
The Blue Veil 1951 Alicia
The Secret Fury 1950 Leah
The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse 1949 TV Series
Take a Chance 1933 Dancehall Girl (uncredited)
The Patent Leather Pug 1926
Title Year Status Character
I Love Lucy’s 50th Anniversary Special 2001 TV Movie documentary performer: “Carolina in the Morning” uncredited, “Friendship”
The Lucy Show 1963 TV Series performer – 3 episodes
I Love Lucy 1951-1952 TV Series performer – 4 episodes
Title Year Status Character
I Love Ryan? 2015 TV Series very special thanks – 2 episodes
Ryan & Ruby 2014 TV Series short very special thanks – 1 episode
Title Year Status Character
Over Easy 1977 TV Series
CBS Salutes Lucy: The First 25 Years 1976 TV Movie documentary Herself
Dinah! 1975-1976 TV Series Herself
The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Lucille Ball 1975 TV Special Herself
The Merv Griffin Show 1965-1973 TV Series Herself
The Mike Douglas Show 1962-1970 TV Series Herself – Co-Hostess / Herself / Herself – Actress / …
The Kraft Music Hall 1970 TV Series Herself
The Joan Rivers Show 1969 TV Series Herself
You’re Putting Me On 1969 TV Series Herself
The Hollywood Squares 1967 TV Series Herself – Panelist
The Match Game 1965-1967 TV Series Herself – Team Captain
You Don’t Say 1967 TV Series Herself
Everybody’s Talking 1967 TV Series Herself
I’ve Got a Secret 1959-1966 TV Series Herself – Celebrity Guest / Herself / Herself – Guest / …
America’s Crises 1965 TV Series documentary Herself
Call My Bluff 1965 TV Series Herself
Password All-Stars 1961-1965 TV Series Herself – Celebrity Contestant
The Price Is Right 1965 TV Series Herself
CBS: The Stars’ Address 1963 TV Movie Herself
The Jack Paar Tonight Show 1959-1962 TV Series Herself
Candid Camera 1961 TV Series Herself
Here’s Hollywood 1961 TV Series Herself
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse 1959 TV Series Herself
I Love Lucy 1956 TV Series Ethel Mertz
The Bob Hope Show 1956 TV Series Herself
The Ed Sullivan Show 1954 TV Series Herself
Stars in the Eye 1952 TV Special Herself
Archive Footage
Title Year Status Character
Mary Tyler Moore: A Celebration 2015 TV Movie documentary Ethel Mertz / I Love Lucy
Inside Edition 2014 TV Series documentary Herself – I Love Lucy
The O’Reilly Factor 2014 TV Series Ethel Mertz
Here’s Lucy Spotlight: Lucie Arnaz 2012 Video documentary short Clips from ‘Here’s Lucy’
My Favourite Joke 2011 TV Series Vivian Bagley
Working with Lucy: A Conversation with James E. Brodhead 2010 Video documentary short Clip from ‘Lucy Calls the President’
TV’s All-Time Funniest: A Paley Center for Media Special 2008 TV Special Herself
Pioneers of Television 2008 TV Mini-Series documentary Herself / Ethel Mertz
TV’s Greatest Sidekicks 2004 TV Special
The Desilu Story 2003 TV Movie documentary Herself
I Love Lucy’s 50th Anniversary Special 2001 TV Movie documentary Co-star of ‘I Love Lucy’
American Masters 2000 TV Series documentary Herself
Television: The First Fifty Years 1999 Video documentary Ethel Mertz
Pioneers of Primetime 1995 TV Movie documentary Herself / Ethel Mertz
50 Years of Funny Females 1995 TV Movie documentary Herself
Babalu Music! I Love Lucy’s Greatest Hits 1991 Video Ethel Mertz
Texaco Presents: A Quarter Century of Bob Hope on Television 1975 TV Special Herself
The Dick Cavett Show 1974 TV Series Ethel Mertz


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Vivian Vance Vivian Vance