Fred Mertz
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Fred Mertz

I Love Lucy

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About Him

Living… in a brownstone that he and his wife Ethel purchased at 623 East 68th Street, Manhattan. The Mertzes are comfortably ensconced in apartment 3C, across the hall from their best friends, the Ricardos.

Profession… landlord. Fred traveled the country with Ethel as the vaudeville duo Mertz and Mertz before retiring to New York City. Since then Fred mostly lives on the rental income, but he’s frequently expressed interest in investing in various business ventures. Unfortunately, one often has to spend money to make money, and the tight-fisted Fred is typically incapable of taking that first step.

Interests… sports. Fred is an avid boxing fan and was a Golden Gloves boxer in his youth. Fred and Ricky love all televised sports, to the bemusement of their wives. Fred still holds a soft spot in his heart for vaudeville, where he was known for “tap dancing, soft shoe, and smart quips.” He’s expressed interest in being featured in Ricky’s nightclub act whenever the opportunity arises.

Relationship Status… married to Ethel Mertz, whom he calls the “bottomless pit” due to her gluttonous appetite. Fred and Ethel poke fun at each other constantly, mostly in jest, but at times in bitterness. They seem to have been together so long that the bickering is the only way to keep things interesting. 

Challenge… keeping his wife out of Lucy’s crazy schemes. Ethel is not as wide-eyed or enterprising as Lucy, so Fred becomes extra restless with their endless ability to get themselves into trouble. Fred even finds himself dragged into their schemes at times, to his own bewilderment. But one good thing about being married to a blabbermouth is that sometimes Ethel reveals Lucy’s plans prematurely, and Fred and Ricky get a chance to derail them and plan their own revenge.

Personality… curmudgeonly. Fred grew up in the Great Depression and has never let go of his penny-pinching mentality – particularly when it’s for his wife. He’s always ready with a put-down, and eager for some peace and quiet. Still, he’s a loyal friend and husband, at times empathetic to Lucy’s ambitions and always there to help the Ricardos however he can.

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