Still in Love with Lucy
by Thomas Watson
Monday, November 25, 2002
Dear Fellow Lucy Fans,
Remembering Bert Granet and Parley Baer...
We were saddened this past week by the passing of both writer/producer Bert Granet and actor Parley Baer, both familiar faces around Desilu during the studio's heyday...
Bert Granet, of course, was the producer of The Lucille Ball - Desi Arnaz Show specials, The Westinghouse-Desilu Playhouse, and many other Desilu programs. He first worked with Lucille back in the 1930s, when both were under contract at RKO Pictures. He was a screenwriter in those days, she a starlet. Among the many pictures he wrote were Lucy's "The Affairs of Annabel" (1938), its sequel, "Annabel Takes a Tour" (also 1938) and "A Girl, A Guy, and a Gob" (1941).
Granet became a producer after World War II, and began his career in television as one of the producers of The Loretta Young Show. In 1955, he joined Desilu, producing both The Whiting Girls, a summer-replacement series for I Love Lucy, and the dramatic Walter Winchell Files. When Lucy and Desi decided to convert their show from a weekly series to monthly specials, Bert was asked to produce.
Parley Baer, a character actor with an impressive list of credits in radio, television, and motion pictures, is perhaps best remembered by I Love Lucy fans as Walter Riley, the MGM vice president who has the misfortune of encountering Lucille McGillicuddy, Ricky's would-be Hollywood agent. ("Down Riley!") Parley also worked with Lucy on My Favorite Husband, The Lucy Show, and Here's Lucy.
Parley's non-Lucy appearances include the continuing role as Chester on radio's Gunsmoke, as neighbor Darby on TV's The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet (see photo, left), and as Mayor Stoner on The Andy Griffith Show. It is estimated that Baer, overall, appeared in more than 60 motion pictures, 1,600 television shows, and an amazing 15,000 radio programs.
We will be adding official obituary/bios to our "In Loving Memory" section for these two gentlemen in the next few days...
New Jamestown Catalog
The newly-reorganized Lucy-Desi Museum and Gift Shop in Jamestown, NY, has issued its first official "gift shop catalog," a 32-page, full-color publication, chock-full of the wonderful Lucy collectibles currently on the market. The colorful cover, for example, features the new Mattel/Lucy "Paris Gown" doll, and the many outfits available for the Franklin Mint "Lucille Ball Portrait Doll." Both are winners -- and both are readily available through the Gift Shop.
The catalog also offers Lucy-inspired coffee-mugs, statuettes, holiday ornaments, books, audio cds, video tapes and DVDs, mouse pads, T-shirts, clocks, puzzles, snow globes... you name it, this catalog has it.
Lucy merchandise, of course, has been on the market for six or seven years now, and many Lucyfans have already established a relationship with one dealer or another. (Classictvshop.com and Cathy's Closet are two of the biggest...) While we are not suggesting fans walk away from these dealers and now buy only from the Gift Shop, we would suggest that as you make out your "Lucy gift list" this holiday season, buy one or two of the items from the Gift Shop, the rest from your regular dealer. The Museum is now independent, and must support itself -- and the Gift Shop is a primary source of income. If every Lucyfan bought at least one item from the shop, it would help a great deal.
Also consider giving yourself -- or a loved one -- a gift membership in the Lucy-Desi Museum. (Complete details for joining are in the new catalog and on the Museum/Gift Shop web site at www.lucy-desi.com) What a great way to say "Happy Holidays" to everyone!
Remember, if we do not support the Lucy-Desi Museum, no one else will either!
Have a great Thanksgiving everyone...
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Original materials © 2002 Lucyfan Enterprises. All rights reserved.
"I Love Lucy" is copyrighted by and a registered trademark of CBS Worldwide, Inc.
Images of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz used with permission of Desilu, too, LLC.
Licensing by Unforgettable Licensing, Northbrook, Illinois.