Vivian Vance was born in Cherryvale, Kansas on July 26, 1909 as Vivian Roberta Jones. She enjoyed a successful stage career before entering the world of television as Ethel Mertz on I Love Lucy opposite Lucille Ball. She followed Lucy to The Lucy Show, Lucille Ball's post-Desi solo sitcom. She remained part of the cast for three of its six years before retiring to Connecticut. Over the next several years Vance appeared occasionally alongside Ball on reunion shows and for guest appearances on Here's Lucy. During the mid-1970's she took small roles on sitcoms such as Rhoda. She was diagnosed with cancer in 1978 and died in 1979.
Vivan Vance played a signigicant part in the history of television She defined the role of second banana, paving the way for future female sidekicks. She was also the first person to win the Best Supporting Actress Emmy.