My Favorite Husband is the name of an American radio program and network television series. The original radio show, co-starring Lucille Ball, was the initial basis for what evolved into the groundbreaking TV sitcom I Love Lucy. The series was based on the novels Mr. and Mrs. Cugat, the Record of a Happy Marriage (1940) and Outside Eden (1945) written by Isabel Scott Rorick, which had previously been adapted into the Paramount Pictures feature film Are Husbands Necessary? (1942), co-starring Ray Milland and Betty Field. Liz Cooper, played by Lucille Ball; happily married housewife George Cooper, played by Richard Denning; Liz's husband, works for Mr. Atterbury Mr. Rudolph Atterbury, played by Gale Gordon; George's boss, friend of the Cooper family, refers to male acquaintances as "boy", as in "George-Boy" Mrs. Iris Atterbury, played by Bea Benaderet; wife of Rudolph and friend of the Cooper family, refers to female acquaintances as "girl", as in "Liz-Girl". Katy, played by Ruth Perrott; the Cooper's maid, presumably enjoys making Jell-O. Mrs. Leticia Cooper, played first by Benaderet and in subsequent episodes by Eleanor Audley; George's aristocratic mother, who typically looks down on Liz.
Gale Gordon and Bea Benaderet were both given first consideration for the roles that would become Fred and Ethel Mertz on "I Love Lucy", but both had contract conflicts that forced them to turn down the roles.
After her father died, Ball and her brother Fred Henry Ball (July 17, 1915 -- February 5, 2007) were raised by her mother and grandparents in Celoron, New York a summer resort village on Lake Chautauqua just west of Jamestown. Her grandfather, Fred Hunt, was an eccentric who also enjoyed the theater. He frequently took the family to vaudeville shows and encouraged young Lucy to take part in both her own and school plays. Four years after the death of her father, Ball's mother DeDe remarried. While her step-father, Edward Peterson, and mother went to look for work in another city, Ball was left in the care of her step-father's parents. Ball's new guardians were a puritanical Swedish couple who were so opposed to frivolity that they banished all mirrors from the house except for one over the bathroom sink. When the young Ball was caught admiring herself in it she was severely chastised for being vain. This period of time affected Ball so deeply that in later life she claimed that it lasted seven or eight years, but in reality, it was probably less than one. One good thing did come out of DeDe's new marriage: Edward was a Shriner. When his organization needed female entertainers for the chorus line of their next show, he encouraged his twelve-year-old stepdaughter to audition. While Ball was onstage she began to realize that if one was seeking praise and recognition this was a brilliant way to receive it. Her appetite for recognition had thus been awakened at an early age. In 1927 her family suffered misfortune when their house and furnishings were taken away in a legal judgement after a neighborhood boy was accidentally shot and paralyzed by someone target-shooting in their yard, under Ball's grandfather's supervision. The family then moved into a small apartment in Jamestown.