Madelyn Pugh, Famous Indianapolis Native and Girl Writer

Though the name of Madelyn Pugh is recognized by few, she is nevertheless one of the most successful of the famous people from Indianapolis. She will remain ever-renowned in the rarified circles of American television authors as one of the major writers for the I Love Lucy shows.

A School of Journalism graduate in 1942, with a degree in journalism from the Indiana University, Pugh became enamored with writing during her stint as editor of her school paper at Shortridge High in Indianapolis. From that fairly humble beginning, she went on to become a pioneer for female writers, who were, during the mid-1900s, few and far between. She eventually had her own director’s chair, in fact, with “Madelyn Pugh, Girl Writer” engraved on it.

Straight out of college, Madelyn Pugh, also known as Madelyn Pugh Davis or Madelyn Davis, found herself writing for the Indianapolis radio station, WIRE. Her experience in Indianapolis media paid off when she moved away from Indiana with her family to California and landed writing jobs for CBS and NBC radio.

In this video, you’ll find a captivating interview with writing partners, Madelyn Pugh-Davis and Bob Carroll, discussing their work with Lucille Ball during the Blacklist era.


It was while writing for CBS that she met her lifetime writing partner-to-be, Bob Carroll, Jr. The two talented writers ended up working together for over 50 years, writing for programs such as The Steve Allen Show, I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show, Life with Lucy and The Paul Lynde Show. The partners took home a Golden Globe for their work as Executive Producers on television’s hit series, Alice.

The other writers on the Lucy team, which cranked out some 400 programs, were  Bob Carroll Jr., Bob Schiller, Bob Weiskopf and Jess Oppenheimer, who went on to produce the show. The partnership of Pugh and Carroll received three Emmy nominations for their contributions to the Lucy series.

Madelyn Pugh was named “Times Woman of the Year” in 1957 by the Los Angeles Times newspaper. Over the years, she collected numerous awards and mementos of recognition from various luminous agencies in the media.

Born in 1921, this tough and talented lady is still going strong. He memoirs, Laughing with Lucy, were published in 2005. In a fitting tribute, the author credits her lifelong writing partner, Bob Carroll Jr., with contributing authorship.


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