The two played best friends and neighbors on I Love Lucy. And the pair remained close friends after the show ended. In 1975, talk show host Dinah Shore was doing a tribute show on Ball’s career. She flew in Vance to surprise Lucy.
And the two recalled such funny stories. But the most hilarious one was the time the two spent a Saturday dying their hair. Yes, really.
We’ll let Vance explain.
“Every so often, she’d get me over there on a Saturday, and she’d put bleach on my hair and henna on her hair,” Vance said of the I Love Lucy star. “And we’d sit around and gab. Oh, we’d have old slacks on and a couple of old shirts.”
Vance sets the scene some more. “We were sitting in her beautiful home in Beverly Hills, and she had an operation on her toe. So her feet were up on the coffee table, and she had great hunks of cotton. And they were all up like this. I had some old shorts on, so there we were. And there was this great sound of sirens and officers and motorcycles.”
‘I Love Lucy’ Star Told Vance to Run to the Door
Vance said Ball told her to run to the door. Jack Benny lived next door. She needed to find out what was up at Benny’s house. And because of her toe, she couldn’t run very well.
“So I ran to the door, like my boss told me,” Vance said joking about Lucy. “I said ‘Lucille, Lucille, it’s here. They’re all coming up the walk.’ … And she said come sit down, they’ll never recognize us.”
So yes, picture it. Two Hollywood stars were sitting in old clothes and dying their own hair, just like any normal friends across the country. And somebody important was at the door.
“The two of us sat there,” Vance said, “me with the white bleach on, her with the red bleach. And this whole entourage comes into the house and somebody bowed low. Nobody paid attention to us at all, so we all thought we’d sit there. They went up stairs. They went to the guest house. All these people and this man was dressed, kind of like the (movie) King and I. That was kind of odd. But we weren’t going to say anything.”
So who was in the home of the I Love Lucy star? The King and I was a good guess. Vance asked and got an answer.
“That was the King of Siam,” Vance and Ball were told. “I said ‘Lucille, no one is going to believe this.’ And he said, he (the king) thanks you very much.”
Then Ball quipped: “Thank you very much. We’ll drop in on you some day.”
It really was the King of Siam. Except, Siam changed its name to Thailand years before. So King Bhumibol Adulyadej (or Rama IX) and his wife dropped in on the I Love Lucy star while Ball and her best friend weren’t looing their best. Yes, it’s a fun story, even retold decades later.