Imagine watching “I Love Lucy” and you see someone that looks like an actress who would eventually star in “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
Well, your eyes do not deceive you. Nancy Kulp, who would play Jane Hathaway, appeared in a fifth-season episode called “Lucy Meets the Queen.”
The Ricardos [Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz] and Mertzes [Vivian Vance and William Frawley] find themselves in London. Nothing is going to stop Lucy from trying to see the Queen of England.
In the episode, Kulp plays a maid that handles room-cleaning duties. It was just one of the many TV appearances Kulp made in her career before “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
‘I Love Lucy’ Allowed Ball To Show Off Her Comedic Talents
“I Love Lucy” was one of television’s greatest shows from its early years. The show provided a showcase, if you will, for Ball’s comedic talents. Taking trips was something would do throughout its run, especially the shows around visiting Hollywood.
It allowed the show to tap into a number of legendary Hollywood stars. People from Harpo Marx to William Holden made impressive appearances that remain stuck in the minds of classic TV fans to this day.
The CBS series ran for six seasons from 1951-57. This episode aired near the end of the “I Love Lucy” run. Now the four main stars would go on and star in “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour” from 1957-60. It was no secret that Ball and Arnaz had a troubled marriage and they divorced in 1960.
Ball, though, would go on and star in “The Lucy Show” and “Here’s Lucy” for CBS. She also became the first woman to head up a Hollywood production company in Desilu Studios in 1962. Ball bought out Arnaz’s stake in the studio and had a number of other television shows shot on the sets.
“I Love Lucy” will stay great thanks to the world of reruns.
Ball, Arnaz Took Pay Cuts And The Gamble Paid Off For Them
Don’t think Ball and Arnaz were not smart when it came to business decisions. They had their marital issues, yes, but both knew when to get down to the nitty-gritty.
One instance was when CBS asked them to take a pay cut. Ball and Arnaz were making $5,000 per episode apiece for “I Love Lucy.” Well, they said OK but with conditions. They agreed to take a $1,000 pay cut but Desilu Productions would retain rights to the show, according to Celebrity Networth.
CBS agreed. Then Ball and Arnaz went to work. First, they sold all 180 episodes of “I Love Lucy” back to CBS for $5 million. After they divorced, Ball paid Arnaz $2.5 million for his share of Desilu. Then, in 1967, she sold Desilu Productions to Paramount Studios for $17 million.