Introduction Lucille Ball, a famous actor in the 50‟s, and 60‟s,starred in many TV shows and movies. At first Lucy triedhard to break into show business and was unsuccessfultime after time. Lucy was a levelheaded realist whonever overestimated herself. Throughout her careerLucille starred in many big productions, and with manypopular celebrities of the time. Lucille started off as aregular girl with aspirations of becoming a star, and isthe perfect example of a successful woman stillremembered today for her amazing work in a variety ofdifferent projects.
Early Years Lucille Ball was born on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown NewYork, the daughter to De De and Henry Durrell Ball. Henry died oftyphoid disease when Lucy was four. Soon after his death De Deremarried Ed Peterson. When Ed‟s work forced him on the road,Lucy, her mother and her brother Fred moved to Celeron to livewith Lucy‟s grandfather. Lucy became very close to her grandfatherand spent a lot of time with him. Lucy grew up and went to highschool and had a very normal life. In ninth grade she had a part in aschool play and Lucy realized she loved acting. When she wasfifteen she and her mother made the decision to enroll her in theJohn Murray Anderson-Robert Milton Dramatics School, a notableacting school on Broadway. At first shy and self-conscious it washard for her to look confident. After one year of study at the school,she was told she had no talent and to find another profession.
Early Career Lucy moved back home, only to find out her family was movingagain to New York City. Her next career move was to become amodel. She worked in various places with different people. Her firstbig modeling break came when she was selected as one of theChesterfield Girls; photos appeared everywhere across the countryfor the cigarette company. This made Lucy famous and along withthe fame she had the opportunity to meet showgirl agent SylviaHarlow who set her on the road to Hollywood. Sylvia needed onemore girl for a group she was sending to Hollywood to work withSam Goldwyn. Lucy‟s first television appearance was in the 1933movie „Roman Scandals‟. Along with the film, Lucille signed acontract with Columbia Pictures. With the money she earned fromvarious films she was finally able to send for her family to move toCalifornia. She played a small role in „Roberta‟ with Ginger Rogersand Fred Astaire, which led to a long contract with Radio-Keith-Productions, or RKO for short.
Career With RKO Lucy worked on many films, first as an extra, then ina number of small roles. The Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn film„Stage Door‟ was some of her most important work. By the end of1939 Lucille had appeared in almost 40 films. In December of 1939,Lucy went on an RKO promotional tour of New York for the film„Five Came Back‟. While there one of the studio executives advisedher to see the Lorenz Hart production of „Too Many Girls‟, whichRKO had just purchased for the big screen. In 1950, Lucille wasoffered a role in a big movie: The Greatest Show on Earth but sinceshe still had a contract with Columbia Pictures she was unable to dothe movie. She begged for Harry Cohn‟s permission but he neveragreed, so she broke her contract with Columbia. Around this time,Lucille discovered she was pregnant for the third time.
Desi Arnaz Desi, the son of Desiderio Arnaz II and Dolores de Acha was bornMarch 2, 1917. Desi was born into a wealthy Cuban family, his fatherwas the mayor of Santiago, Cuba. During the political unrest in thesummer of 1934, Desi‟s father was jailed. Angry mobs destroyed theArnaz property, slaughtering all the animals. After Desi‟s father wasreleased from jail, the family evacuated the country and moved toMiami, Florida. Life was a struggle now, Desi didn‟t have all his luxuriesfrom back home in Santiago. Desi‟s father started a small importbusiness to make money. In 1936, a family friend introduced Desi tothe owner of a small rhumba band at the Roney Plaza Hotel, theleading resort in Miami Beach. They were looking for a Cuban whocould sing and play guitar. Desi joined the Roney Plaza band and soonafter, the world‟s leading bandleader in Latin music, Xavier Cuget,watched the show. He was quick to offer Desi a job in his prestigiousband. After finishing high school, Desi joined the band.
Desi Arnaz cont. Approximately one year after joining the band Desi had hadenough of Cuget‟s band and decided to form his own, whichdebuted on December 30, 1937. It was a slow start, until one nightDesi introduced the conga line, which had previously never beenheard of before. It became an overnight sensation, and conga feverspread across the U.S.. By the time Desi and his band reached NewYork, the fever had spread with him. Broadway soon became crazyfor the conga. During the summer of 1939, lyricist Lorenz Hartasked him to star in his new musical, „Too Many Girls‟. As well asthe musical, Desi and his band played every night at New York‟sConga Club. This brought him fame, enough for Hollywood to takenotice, and RKO to invite him to repeat his role in the „Too ManyGirls‟ movie.
Romantic Life But, before Lucy got to the performance she slippedperforming a public skating stunt at Rockefeller Center, and wasforced to spent the next ten days in the hospital. She was still inbed when her friends came into her room to tell her about theyoung Cuban singer in „Too Many Girls‟ that was making them rave:Desi Arnaz. When Lucy was well enough to watch the show she toofell in love with Desi. She learned that Desi made a nightlyappearance at La Conga Night Club. But he was off the night Lucywent and their meeting would have to wait seven months. Desiarrived in Hollywood in June 1940, to play the same character in theon screen version of „Too Many Girls‟. On a break from Dance, Girl,Dance Lucy walked by director George Abbott, sitting with Desi andmade small talk to get a closer look at the star. Coming from ascene with an on screen catfight with costar Maureen O‟Hara Lucywas sporting a fake black eye and a ripped dress; she didn‟t thinkDesi would be impressed. Later, Lucy after showering and changingher clothes looked completely different. Now it was Desi‟s turn to beimpressed. Immediately very fond of each other, they often dueledverbally.
Romantic Life 2 Unfortunately there weren‟t too many roles around for people likeDesi, with a thick Latin accent. Lucy was desperate to keep the marriagestrong, and she decided she would try and get Desi into show Buisness.Desiwent along with the plan but, he was feeling that he was being forced onthe Hollywood scene to humor Lucy. Desi‟s pride was lacking and one day,he got so frustrated he left Hollywood and returned to tour with his band.Desi was on the road for many months at a time and Lucy and her husbandonly communicated by phone. Finally Lucy caught up with Desi in NewYork, and to have more time together they decided to do a Broadway show.They were working on this project when Pearl Harbor was attacked by theJapanese. An event that would impact both of them. This production didnot last very long and because Lucy‟s movie commitments she had toreturn to California. Desi‟s contract was not renewed after his third and lastfilm for RKO. Lucy begged MGM to give Desi a contract, and in the end theygranted Lucy her wish. Though Desi was soon drafted into the army. At thistime Lucy did a lot of war related fundraisers and Desi put on shows for thearmy. Word got out of his producing skills and he was put in charge ofrunning an army hospital in the San Fernando Valley.
Romantic Life 3 After several months of courtship Lucy and Desi got married atByram River Beagle Club in Greenwich, Conneticut on November 30,1940. Soon after their marriage Lucy and Desi bought a five acreranch in Chatsworth, California, in the San Fernando Valley forabout $18 000 dollars. The property included a large ranch house,swimming pool, barnyard, and stables. With Lucy‟s help, Desidecided to improve his acting, hoping they would work togethermore often. Soon after she found out about Desi‟s hospital, shelearned Desi had been cheating on her with other young starlets.Lucy filed for divorce in September 1944. Lucy moved out of Desiluranch and into an apartment of her own. The night before Lucy wasto appear in court she and Desi had a nice dinner out, and Lucyreconsidered her sudden divorce request. Even still, she went tocourt the next morning, but called off the divorce. After the warended, Lucy returned to her movie career and Desi hit the road withhis band. Lucy landed a new job working on the radio show MyFavourite Husband. The show was performed in front of a liveaudience, and Lucy loved it; and so did the audience. Three yearslater, people were talking about putting My Favourite Husband ontelevision.
Romantic Life 4 Lucy and Desi created a vaudeville type show they took on theroad through many army camps around California. The tour didn‟tlast long, because Lucy was pregnant again and she and Desi flewhome to Chatsworth, where Lucy suffered another miscarriage.Knowing they didn‟t want to lose Lucille, CBS offered Desi his ownradio show, Your Tropical Trip. It was at this time that Lucy tried tonegotiate permission to work outside of contract with Columbia andlater broke that contract. Audiences became aware of Lucy andDesi, and the couple were now in high demand. CBS finally agreedto put My Favourite Husband on T.V. with Desi as the male lead. After her divorce from Desi, Lucille married again to GaryMorton. She stayed with him until her death. Gary Morton was alsoa comedian, and he went on to produce Lucille‟s T.V. show: Here‟sLucy. Morton was 13 years younger than Lucille, and was also bornin New York.
Children Before any of her children were born, Lucy suffered twomiscarriages, one in 1941, and a second in the summer of 1950.Lucy gave birth to her first child on July 17th, 1951; a baby girlnamed Lucy Desiree Arnaz. They named their second child DesiderioAlberto Arnaz Junior, a son born on January 19, 1953. This birthwas important because character on I Love Lucy gave birth too;Desi Jr. was often called the „million dollar baby‟. Later, bothchildren went on to star with their mother, in the T.V. show Here‟sLucy. Lucy starred in many movies and T.V. shows. In 1993, shewon an Emmy for her documentary entitled Lucy and Desi: A HomeMovie. Starting at age 12, Desi Jr. played in many bands, and madetelevision appearances constantly. Both children work spreading thestory of their parents in many ways.
Desilu Productions With husband Desi Arnaz, Lucille decided to create her own TVshow called I Love Lucy. She showed the television pilot to manydifferent studio executives, but everyone turned it down. In the end,they borrowed five thousand to found Desilu Productions. Her planwas successful and I Love Lucy was launched October 15, 1951.The studio was used to film all of Lucille‟s shows. After she and Desidivorced, Lucy took full ownership of the enterprise. After buyingout Arnaz‟s name and changing the name, Lucille became the firstwoman to head a major studio, and very powerful at the time.Lucille later sold it to Gulf Western for 18 million dollars.
I Love Lucy “I Love Lucy” was Lucille‟s first big show and long term project.Once off the ground it was rated number one in six months. Theshow was so popular the producers continued for six seasons. Itreceived over 20 awards, five of them Emmys the highest award fortelevision. The pilot for the show was launched on March 2, 1951.The show combined Hollywood glitz and glamour and real Americanfamily life. The characters in the show were very similar to realactors who played them. Lucille plays a crazy, disorganizedhousewife, who is constantly getting herself into trouble. Desi playsRicky Ricardo; a business man with a fiery temper and an amusingaccent. Lucy and Ricky‟s neighbors, the Mertz‟s were an oldercouple, played by Vivian Vance as Ethel, and William Frawley asFrank. William was much older than the rest of the cast, and an avidsports fan, especially baseball. Vivian starred on Broadway in anumber of plays, until she had a mental breakdown and went torehab. The show was, and still is, extremely popular, often called„The Most Popular T.V. Show of All Time.‟
The Lucy Show The Lucy Show was Lucille‟s first big T.V. program after herdivorce from Desi Arnaz. She was quite reluctant to do a showwithout him so he agreed to produce the show for the first year.Lucille starred as a widow named Lucy Carmichael, and VivianVance as a divorced woman in with a school-age son. The twowomen live together with their three children. After two seasonsVivian left the show because she didn‟t want to make the commutebetween her Conneticut home and the Hollywood studio. GaleGordon joined the cast as Lucy‟s boss from the second season.Many people found this show very similar to I Love Lucy and thepredicaments and scenarios she found herself in became moreforced and not as realistic. Still the show always remained in the topten most watched T.V. shows for it‟s entire run. Lucille ended theshow when she sold Desilu Productions to Paramount Pictures.
AccomplishmentsLucille was nominated for thirteen Emmy‟s, winning four. She wonthe Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy at the AmericanComedy Awards in 1987. She received the prestigious Cecil B.DeMille award in 1979. She also won two out of eight nominationsfor the Golden Globe Awards throughout her career. Lucille wasnominated and won many other awards. Lucille received thePresidential Medal of Freedom by President H.W. Bush on July 6,1989. Lucille was inducted into the National Women‟s Hall of Fame.Lucille appeared on the cover of T.V. Guide thirty-nine times. Thatmagazine also named her The Greatest T.V. Star of All Time. Lucillewas one of Time Magazine‟s 100 Most Important People of theCentury. Many theatres and organizations were created in her nameincluding The Lucille Ball Little Theatre, and the Lucille Ball - DesiArnaz Center in Lucille‟s hometown of Jamestown, N.Y.
Death On April 18, 1989 Lucille was at home when she awoke tochest pains. She was soon rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.She underwent heart surgery for over eight hours, and received adonation of an aorta. The surgery was successful and soon Lucillewas able to walk around her hospital room with some assistance.On April 26, she complained of severe back pains. Her aorta hadruptured in a second location, and she lost consciousness. Everyattempt to save her was unsuccessful. She died at approximately5:47 in the morning, at 77 years. Her ashes were buried in acemetery in Jamestown with her father‟s, mother‟s, andgrandfather‟s. Many people believe that her death had something todo with the fact that Lucille was an avid smoker on and off screen.
Conclusion Lucille was an amazing person, actress, mother, rolemodel. She left a lasting impression on people of everygeneration. She is honoured and remembered to thisday. She is a great example of how an average personcan start out small, and grow bigger until they aresweeping the nation with their personality, presence,and fame. From starring in over 80 movies to playing themain character in „The Most Popular T.V. Show Of AllTime”, she was an accomplished women with millions offans.
Filmography The Bowery (1933) Broadway Through A Keyhole (1933) Blood Money (1933) Roman Scandals (1933) Moulin Rouge (1934) Nana (1934) Hold That Girl (1934) Bottoms Up (1934) Murder at the Vanities (1934) Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back (1934) The Affairs of Cellini (1934) Kid Millions (1934) Men of the Night (1934) Broadway Bill (1934) Jealousy (1934) Fugitive Lady (1934) Behind the Evidence (1935) Carnival (1935) The Whole Towns Talking (1935) I‟ll Love You Always (1935) Old Man Rhythm (1935)
Filmography 2 Top Hat (1935) The Three Musketeers (1935) I Dream Too Much (1935) Chatterbox (1936) Muss‟ Em Up (1936) Follow the Fleet (1936) The Farmer in the Dell (1936) Bunker Bean (1936) Winterset (1936) That Girl From Paris (1936) Don‟t Tell The Wife (1937) There Goes My Girl (1937) Stage Door (1937) Go Chase Yourself (1938) Joy of Living (1938) Having Wonderful Time (1938) The Affairs of Annabel (1938) Room Service (1938) Annabel Takes a Tour (1938) Next Time I Marry (1938)
Filmography 3 Beauty for the Asking (1939) Twelve Crowded Hours (1939) Panama Lady (1939) Five Came Back (1939) Thats Right Youre Wrong(1939) The Marines Fly High (1940) You Can‟t Fool Your Wife(1940) Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) Too Many Girls (1940) A Girl, A Guy And A Gob (1941) Look Whos Laughing (1941) Valley of the Sun (1942) The Big Street (1942) Seven Days‟ Leave(1942) Best Foot Forward (1943) DuBarry Was a Lady (1943) Thousands Cheer (1943) Meet the People (1944) Without Love (1945) Abbott and Costello in Hollywood (1945)
Filmography 4 Ziegfeld Follies (1946) The Dark Corner (1946) Two Smart People (1946) Easy to Wed (1946) Lured (1947) Her Husband‟s Affairs(1947) Sorrowful Jones (1949) Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949) Easy Living (1949) A Woman of Distinction (1950) (Cameo) Fancy Pants (1950) The Fuller Brush Girl(1950) The Magic Carpet (1951) The Long, Long Trailer (1954) Forever, Darling (1956) The Facts of Life (1960) Critics Choice (1963) A Guide for the Married Man (1967, ) Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) Mame (1974)
Television Work The Lux Radio Theatre (1946) (Guest Appearance) The Lux Radio Theatre(1947) (Guest Appearance) The Ed Wynn Show (1949) (Guest Appearance) The Lux Radio Theatre(1949) (Guest Appearance) The Lux Radio Theatre (1950) (Guest Appearance) I Love Lucy (1951 - 1957) The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour (1957 - 1960) Make Room For Daddy (1959) (Guest Appearance) The Ann Sothern Show (1959) (Guest Appearance) Sunday Showcase (1959) (Guest Appearance) The Danny Kaye Show with Lucille Ball(1962) The Lucy Show (1962 - 1968) The Bob Hope Show (1962) (Guest Appearance) The Greatest Show on Earth (TV series) (1963) (Guest Appearance) Mr. and Mrs. (1964) Lucy in London (1966) Carol + 2 (1967) The Carol Burnett Show (several guest appearances from 1967–1971
Television Work 2 Heres Lucy (1968 - 1974) The Flip Wilson Show (1971) (Guest Appearance) Make Room For Granddaddy (1971) (Guest Appearance) Happy Anniversary and Goodbye (1974) Lucy Gets Lucky (1975) A Lucille Ball Special Starring Lucille Ball and Jackie Gleason(1975) What Now, Catharine Curtis(1976) CBS Salutes Lucy: The First 25 Years (1976) Lucy Calls The President(1977) Lucy Comes to Nashville (1978) Lucy Moves to NBC(1980) Stone Pillow (1985), a made-for-TV dramatic film Life With Lucy (1986) (canceled after 13 episodes)
Short Subjects Perfectly Mismated (1934) Three Little Pigskins (1934) His Old Flame(1935) A Night at The Biltmore Bowl(1935) Foolish Hearts(1935) Dummy Ache (1936) Swing It (1936) So and Sew(1936) One Live Ghost(1936) Screen Snapshots Series 18, No. 1(1938) Meet The stars #6: Stars at Play(1941) All About People(1967)
Bibliography• http://www.notablebiographies.com/Ba-Be/Ball-Lucille.html• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desilu_Productions• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucille_Ball_filmography_and_televisi on_work• http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1345464/the_children_ of_lucille_ball_and_desi_pg2.html?cat=40• McClay, Michael. I Love Lucy. New York: Time Warner, 1995.
Picture Bibliography http://www.digitaljournal.com/img/5/3/9/8/2/8/i/7/2/3/o/488px-Lucy89.jpg http://www.indianews365.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/lucille_ball.jpg http://static.tvguide.com/MediaBin/Galleries/Imported/BioPix/Ro/Bio_Batch 5/lucille-ball1.jpg http://hwof.com/star/television/lucille-ball/1386 http://www.fiftiesweb.com/lucille-ball-bw. jpg http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/4200000/Lucille-Ball-banner- classic-movies-4267017-448-78.gif http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lucy_YankArmy_cropped.jpg http://cdn1.iofferphoto.com/img/item/261/632/21/o_lucy_show_2.jpg http://www.lefrelonvert.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/i-love-lucy.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Desilulogo.jpg http://farm1.static.flickr.com/131/422576826_4456d9c91a.jpg McClay, Michael. I Love Lucy. New York: Time Warner, 1995.