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1960s / Vanishing TV Character - Chris Carmichael
After I Love Lucy and the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour ended in 1960, Lucille Ball took a two-year hiatus from television before returning in The Lucy Show in October 1962. This sitcom--loosely based on the book Life Without George--had Ball playing Lucy Carmichael, the widowed mother of two children who shared a large home in fictitious Danfield, NY with divorced friend Vivan Bagley (Vivian Vance). Bagley had a young son as well, named Sherman. Lucy's late husband had left her a significant trust fund on which to live. However, her banker kept tight control of the estate. Lucy's attractive teenage daughter, Chris, was played by Candy Moore. (Moore's first noteworthy TV appearance came in a 1961 episode of Leave It To Beaver where she played Margie Manners, the pretty daughter of the Cleavers' occasional housekeeper. The plot had Wally smitten with her.) The first Lucy Show episode focused on Lucy badly coping with Chris going on a date with a boy who owns a car. Despite living in the same home as Lucy, Chris appeared in just 39 of the 84 episodes in the sitcom's first three seasons. Nevertheless, Moore was often featured in teen magazines. The Lucy Show was an enormous hit, finishing fourth in the year-end Nielsen ratings in its first season. After the first two seasons, however, Vivian Vance tired of commuting from her home on the east coast to California to do the show. When it became apparent that Vance was going to quit the show after the third season, the entire premise of the sitcom changed. Beginning in the fourth season, Lucy relocated to southern California--along with her banker, Theodore J. Mooney (Gale Gordon)--which defies probability. The trust fund was no longer mentioned and Lucy became a secretary at Mr. Mooney's new bank. It was explained that Vivian had re-married and remained in Danfield while Chris had gone off to college. Chris was never seen or mentioned again. (Lucy's son, Jerry, remained a regular in Season #4 but was written out of the show before Season #5. The plot had Jerry enrolling in military school.) It was later revealed that CBS wanted to retain Candy Moore on the revised show because of her popularity with young viewers, but Lucy was adamantly opposed. In fact, Lucy threatened to retire over the issue. Moore appeared in nine episodes of the Donna Reed Show and then acted only sporadically thereafter. She did have a small role in Raging Bull in 1980, but Moore's last acting credit came in 1981. According to various sources, Moore, who turned 70 in 2017, is or was an English teacher at a dramatic school in Los Angeles.