About Gregg Oppenheimer

Click here to get an mp3 of the 60th Anniversary benefit performance of “I Love Lucy: The Untold Story” for only $1.95! [All proceeds to charity]

Gregg Oppenheimer, son of I Love Lucy creator-producer-head writer Jess Oppenheimer, began his career as a humorist in 1955, when his dad introduced him to Lucille Ball on the set of I Love Lucy. Lucy knelt down and asked Gregg, then four years old, “Where did you get those big brown eyes?” Gregg’s deadpan reply: “They came with the face.” Lucy nearly fell over laughing.

After a brief stint as a rehearsal cameraman on The Debbie Reynolds Show, Gregg left Hollywood for M.I.T., where he received a degree in Art and Design. He then received his J.D. degree from The Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1986 Gregg became a partner in the international law firm O’Melveny & Myers (headed by former Secretary of State Warren Christopher). After his father’s death in 1988, Gregg spent several years doing research to complete his father’s unfinished memoirs. In the process he became one of the world’s foremost authorities on I Love Lucy, renewing old friendships with many of the individuals who contributed to the show in front of and behind the cameras. Ultimately, Gregg decided to give up the practice of law to pursue a writing career. The resulting book, published by Syracuse University Press, is Laughs, Luck…and Lucy: How I Came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time, which went through seven printings in hardcover before its release in paperback.

In 1998, Gregg produced and directed Lucy’s First Sitcom: A 50th Anniversary Reunion, a live on-stage re-creation of Lucille Ball’s 1948 radio sitcom, My Favorite Husband, as a benefit for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. He cast the show with veterans of the I Love Lucy series, including such familiar faces as “Caroline Appleby” (Doris Singleton), “Marion Strong” (Shirley Mitchell), and “Teensy and Weensy” (the Borden Twins). The show raised nearly $50,000 for the Foundation. Two years later, working with L.A. Theatre Works, Gregg produced another My Favorite Husband re-creation at the Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills, featuring sitcom stars Marilu Henner and Jeff Conaway (Taxi), Harold Gould (Rhoda), and Alley Mills (The Wonder Years). Since then, Gregg has directed numerous radio show re-creations at Old-Time Radio Conventions on both coasts, including The Maltese Falcon, The Fred Allen Show, The Jack Benny Program, and Pinocchio. The cast of his re-creation of The Lives of Harry Lime, at the 2007 Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention in Newark, New Jersey, featured Lucie Arnaz, in what Gregg called “the first installment of Oppenheimer-Arnaz, the Next Generation.”  

Gregg’s web site, LUCYlibrary.com, is visited by thousands of Lucy fans each day. All profits from the site benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

From 2000 to 2006 Gregg worked with CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment as producer of the I Love Lucy DVDs, a project for which he received the 2004 and 2005 TV DVD Awards in the “Best 1950s Series” category. In 2007 he executive-produced I Love Lucy: The Complete Series, an all-inclusive 34-disc set comprising the entire saga of the Ricardos and the Mertzes, from the long-lost Pilot to The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hours.

Gregg has been interviewed on The CBS News, CNN, MSNBC, E! Entertainment Television, Entertainment Tonight, A&E’s Biography, Donnie & Marie, Granada Television (in the U.K.), NHK (in Japan), The History Channel, and The Learning Channel, among others.

He lives in Santa Monica, California with his wife, Debbie.

3 Responses to “About Gregg Oppenheimer”

  1. Kari Says:

    Hey there, Gregg!

    For what it’s worth, I just thought I’d drop you a line to let you know how unbelievably touched I was by your father’s (and your) book, “Laughs, Luck and Lucy…”

    Never in my life have I felt the following about a book:

    a. I wished that he was still with us, because I felt such a kindred spirit in his words. Almost like he was a guru meant just for me at this point in my life. (I guess in a sense he is…)

    b. I was actually frustrated/sad when I finished the book because I wanted so badly to know him, ask him all sorts of questions, kibitz with him, and hear more!

    c. Upon immediately finishing this book and starting another, I felt like in a weird way I was cheating on your book (because I had such an amazing experience reading it). Like it was a relationship I formed that I wasn’t ready to let go of yet. I was still attached. It won me over! 🙂

    All this over a book! You’re book!

    I am a strong believer in letting people know when they’ve affected me in a positive way. I just want to let you know that I will be forever changed by this book, and how grateful I am that you shared your Dad and his stories in this way for all to benefit.

    Take such good care, Gregg! Thanks for documenting your Dad’s legacy. And please realize that although we don’t always know it, just by being you, speaking your truth, living your passion, and letting your light shine, you really reflect the human condition (something your Dad did through his vehicle of “I love Lucy”). That’s why people loved it so much…cause it was truthful and real. You’re book hit on that as well. It’s a beautiful thing indeed!

    With the warmest of regards,
    Kari

  2. max nathans Says:

    Dear Gregg, what an invention this internet.
    I just want you to know that i had the pleasure of meeting your dad in our kibbutz a few times. he send me afterwards some “end of the year” copies of” Variety”, and also send me lots of pictures from film stars which we used for advertising the weekly movie which we showed once a week in the kibbutz’s dining room.
    At the time your sister lived here, and I would appreciate it if you could forward my e-mail address to her .
    By the way I used to watch”I love Lucy” in Australia at the time.
    Take care,
    Max N.

  3. Gwenn Says:

    nice! i’ve made my own journal

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