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Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball

About Lucille Ball Biography

Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball
Celebrity Fan Site contains the Career Biography, Latest Audio Visual News, Articles, Images, Video Clips, Polls, Comments and Community Section.
The Wonderful Red Head that Still Makes the World Laugh Out Loud Lucille Ball Remembered Lucy Ricardo is remembered as a dizzy sitcom redhead with show business aspirations. Lucille Ball was, in fact, a show business powerhouse and television pioneer. Lucy launched her Hollywood career as one of the “Goldwyn Girls”, but she moved out from the crowd of starlets to more starring roles. Lucille Ball and Husband Desi Arnaz pioneered the 3-camera technique with the show “I Love Lucy” (1951). This techniue is now the standard in filming TV sitcoms, and the concept of syndicating television programs. Lucille Ball was also the first woman to own her own film studio as the head of Desilu.
I Love Lucy Video The video you see here on display at this site shows many of our favorite Lucy clips and Illustrates just how far Lucy and her friend Ethel, played by actress Vivian Vance would go to get out of trouble.

Lucille Ball Compaired to Oprah Winfrey When it comes to a woman owning her own television studio, Lucille Ball can only compared to the likes of Oprah Winfrey. She rose from being a mere actress (Oprah a small timeTV personality) to owning her own television studio at a time when such things were unthinkable for a woman. Yet Lucille over came all the obsticles. Contending with husband Ricky’s roving eye towards other woman, being in the spotlight, on and of the set and still trying to maintain the proper professional appearance for Desilu Productions. Now add motherhood on top of all that and Wow! You just have to admit she was one of the most awesome women of her time!
Lucille Ball Career Biography In 1929, Ball landed work as a model and later began her performing career on Broadway using the stage name “Diane Belmont”. She appeared in many small movie roles in the 1930s as a contract player for RKO Radio Pictures.

Lucille Ball used stage name Diane Belmont
She was known in many Hollywood circles as “Queen of the B’s”—a title previously held by Fay Wray—starring in a number of B-movies, such as 1939’s “Five Came Back.” Like many budding starlets Ball picked up radio work to earn side income as well as gain exposure. In 1937 she appeared as a regular on The Phil Baker Show. When that completed its run in 1938, Ball joined the cast of “The Wonder Show” starring future “Wizard of Oz” Tin Man Jack Haley. It was on this show that she began her fifty year professional relationship with Gale Gordon, who served as the show’s announcer. “The Wonder Show” only lasted one season, with the final episode airing on April 7, 1939.

Lucille Ball meets Desi Arnaz
In 1940, Ball met Cuban-born bandleader Desi Arnaz while filming the film version of the Rodgers and Hart stage hit “Too Many Girls.” Ball and Arnaz connected immediately and eloped the same year, garnering much press attention. Arnaz and Ball frequently argued, especially over his indiscretions with other women, but they always made up in the end. Arnaz was drafted to the United States Army in 1942. He ended up being classified for limited service due to a knee injury. As a result, Arnaz stayed in Los Angeles, organizing and performing USO shows for wounded GIs being brought back from the Pacific. That same year, Lucy appeared opposite Henry Fonda in “The Big Street”, an uneven film but a strong personal performance. In this film she plays a tough nightclub singer whose legs become paralyzed. Fonda plays a busboy who cares for her. Ball filed for a divorce in 1944. Shortly after Ball obtained an interlocutory decree, however, she reconciled with Arnaz again. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were only six years apart in age but apparently believed that it was less socially acceptable for an older woman to marry a younger man, and hence split the difference in their ages, both claiming a 1914 birth date.

Lucille Ball gets Back in the Studio
In 1948, Ball was cast as Liz Cugat (later “Cooper”), a wacky wife, in “My Favorite Husband,” a radio program for CBS Radio. The program was successful, and CBS asked her to develop it for television. She agreed, but insisted on working with Arnaz. CBS executives were reluctant, thinking the public would not accept an All-American redhead and a Cuban as a couple. CBS was initially not impressed with the pilot episode produced by the couple’s Desilu Productions company, so the couple toured the road in a vaudeville act with Lucy as the zany housewife wanting to get in Arnaz’s show. The tour was a smash, and CBS put “I Love Lucy” on their lineup. The “I Love Lucy” show was not only a star vehicle for Lucille Ball, but a way for her to try to salvage her marriage to Desi Arnaz, which had become badly strained, in part by the fact that each had a hectic performing schedule which often kept them apart.

Lucille Ball and Desilu Productions
Lucille Ball created a television dynasty and reached several “firsts”. Ball was the first woman in television to be head of a production company: Desilu, the company that she and Arnaz formed. After buying out her by-then ex-husband’s share of the studio, Ball functioned as a very active studio head. Desilu and I Love Lucy pioneered a number of methods still in use in television production today. During this time Ball taught a thirty-two week comedy workshop at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute. Ball is quoted as saying, “You cannot teach someone comedy, either they have it or they don’t.”

Lucille Ball
When the show premiered, most shows were aired live from New York City studios to Eastern and Central Time Zone audiences, and captured by kinescope for broadcast later to the West Coast. The kinescope picture was inferior to film, and as a result the West Coast broadcasts were inferior to those seen elsewhere in the country. Ball and Arnaz wanted to remain in their Los Angeles home, but the time zone logistics made that broadcast norm impossible. Prime time in L.A. was too late at night on the East Coast to air a major network series, meaning the majority of the TV audience would be seeing not only the inferior picture of kinescopes but seeing them at least a day later.

Philip Morris Sponsor of the “I Love Lucy” show
Sponsor Philip Morris did not want to show day-old kinescopes to the major markets on the East Coast, yet neither did they want to pay for the extra cost filming, processing and editing would require, pressuring Ball and Arnaz to relocate to New York City. Ball and Arnaz offered to take a pay cut to finance filming, on the condition that their company, Desilu, would retain the rights to that film once it was aired. CBS relinquished the show rights back to Desilu after initial broadcast, not realizing they were giving away a valuable and durable asset. Desilu made many millions of dollars on I Love Lucy rebroadcasts through syndication and became a textbook example of how a show can be profitable in second-run syndication. In television’s infancy, the concept of the rerun hadn’t yet formed, and many in the industry wondered who would want to see a program a second time. In fact, while other celebrated shows of the period exist only in incomplete sets of kinescopes too degraded to show to subsequent generations of television viewers, I Love Lucy has virtually never gone out of syndication since it began, seen by hundreds of millions of people around the world over the past half century. The success of Ball and Arnaz’s gamble was instrumental in drawing television production from New York to Hollywood for the next several decades.

Karl Freund Camera Man for Desilu
Desilu also hired legendary German cameraman Karl Freund as their director of photography. Freund had worked for F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang, shot part of Metropolis (1927) and had directed a number of Hollywood films himself. Freund used a three-camera setup, which became the standard way of filming situation comedies. Shooting long shots, medium shots, and close-ups on a comedy in front of a live audience demanded discipline, technique, and close choreography. Among other non-standard techniques used in filming the show, cans of paint (in shades ranging from white to medium gray) were kept on set to “paint out” inappropriate shadows and disguise lighting flaws.

Lucille Ball on “I Love Lucy” and Beyond
“I Love Lucy” dominated the weekly TV ratings in the United States for most of its run. In the scene where Lucy and Ricky are practicing the tango in the episode “Lucy Does The Tango”, the longest recorded studio audience laugh in the history of the show was produced. It was so long, in fact, that the sound editor had to cut that particular part of the soundtrack in half. The strenuous rehearsals and demands of Desilu studio kept the Arnazes too busy to comprehend the show’s success. During the show’s hiatus, they starred together in feature films: Vincente Minnelli’s The Long, Long Trailer (1954) and Alexander Hall’s Forever, Darling (1956). Desilu produced several other popular shows, most notably Our Miss Brooks (starring Ball’s 1937 Stage Door co-star Eve Arden), The Untouchables, Star Trek, and Mission: Impossible. Many other shows, particularly Sheldon Leonard-produced series like Make Room for Daddy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, and I Spy, were filmed at Desilu Studios and bear its logo. In 1951, Ball was pivotal in the creation of the television series I Love Lucy. The show co-starred her then husband, Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo and Vivian Vance and William Frawley as Ethel and Fred Mertz, the Ricardos’ lovable landlords. After the show ended in 1960, Ball went on to star in two more successful television series: The Lucy Show, which ran on CBS from 1962 to 1968, and Here’s Lucy from 1968 to 1974. Her last attempt at a television series was a 1986 show called Life With Lucy. The show proved to be a critical and commercial flop which was canceled less than two months into its run by ABC.

The Vulcan and the Redhead – How Lucille Ball Became the Power Behind Starfleet
Autographed picture of Lucille Ball
Pop quiz. What do Lucille Ball, an ex-cop and a certain pointy-eared, green skinned alien have in common? Believe it or not, the cop and the Vulcan both worked for the redheaded comic icon during the early days of “Star Trek.” Writer/producer Gene Roddenberry’s military drama, “The Lieutenant,” caught the attention of senior executives at Desilu Productions, the production company owned by Lucille Ball. By the early 1960’s, Desilu was one of the most successful production companies in television and looking to expand. Gene Roddenberry was one of the writer/producers recruited by the studio.

Star Trek
Because Desilu had a first look deal with CBS, they originally took “StarTrek” to CBS, only to be told that the network had already bought a science fiction show from producer Irwin Allen and just wanted ideas for what would become “Lost in Space.” Shortly thereafter, they successfully sold NBC on shooting a pilot.

Gene Roddenberry
Gene Roddenberry was an idealist in many ways and wanted “Star Trek” to reflect his own ideas of equality and social justice, making it the first network series to feature people of multiple nationalities, races and even species working together in that first pilot, “The Cage.” But apparently he crossed the line when he cast a woman, actress Majel Barrett, as the ship’s second in command. NBC liked the concept, but hated the pilot, ordering a second one and in the process demoting Ms. Barrett from Executive Officer to nurse. But she ultimately married the boss and became the only actor to have been in every “Star Trek” series (She’s the voice of the ship’s computer on all the Trek series and had a recurring role in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”). As for that second pilot, it sold the series to NBC and began what would become one of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time!

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Why Famous?

Lucille Ball How many times have you heard the words, “I Love Lucy is a Desilu Production”? This Celebrity Fan Site is all about Lucy, her life and her fantastic journey towards owning Desilu Productions.

: Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo in the “I Love Lucy” Show
Many of us grew up viewing and laughing at the funny social antics of the interracial marriage between Lucille Magilacutty and Ricky Ricardo played by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The show poked fun at the stereo typical house wife scheming at just about everything from arranging marriages, getting a job and of course getting into show business. Lucy was the funniest woman in show business. But there was so much more to Lucille Ball. Many fans continue to take an interest in Lucille Ball and some fans are still able to remember her starlet days before “The Lucy Show.” Please rate this site with a positive “Thumbs Up” before you leave and I would Love to read your thoughts in the Comment or Community section of the Lucille Ball Celebrity Fan Site.
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Comments (35)

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  • baseballpops Comment By: baseballpops Date: 2009-08-22 17:12:17
    One of the greatest comedians of all time, well done
    Votes:0Good   Poor
  • Tylene Comment By: Tylene Date: 2009-06-02 22:25:30
    Great Site, Very Interesting!
    Votes:0Good   Poor
  • DragonLords Comment By: DragonLords Date: 2009-04-06 12:47:56
    Wonderful Site, Great Tribute to Lucille Ball
    Votes:0Good   Poor
  • Goodman88 Comment By: Goodman88 Date: 2009-04-04 06:45:08
    Visit Catwoman!
    Votes:0Good   Poor
  • Kiara78 Comment By: Kiara78 Date: 2009-03-23 07:53:43
    Wonderful Work!!! Visit Raven Symone!
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Celebrity Gossips

  • The Follies  |  Oct 03, 2010 04:15:53  |  By yavanna
    (A 1946 movie adaptation starred Judy Garland, Lucille Ball, Fred Estaire, and Gene Kelly, among many others.) In May, the last living cast member in the ...View Full Article  View Full Article
  • Today In Entertainment Hist...  |  Oct 03, 2010 04:15:52  |  By yavanna
    In 1968, Lucille Ball returned to TV in "Here's Lucy" on CBS. In 1969, the "Paul is Dead" rumor began with a story in the Illinois University newsp...  View Full Article
  • Saints and Sinners  |  Oct 03, 2010 04:15:52  |  By yavanna
    ... here in the cemetery, and we usually hit some of the highlights, but this year the big names we are hitting are only Lucille Ball and BF Goodri...  View Full Article
  • On Theater: 'I Loved Lucy' ...  |  Oct 03, 2010 04:15:51  |  By yavanna
    Is there anyone out there who hasn't chortled at the antics of Lucille Ball on the vintage "I Love Lucy" television show — even though it first air...  View Full Article

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What was Lucille Ball's "real" hair color?
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Dark Brown
Mousy Brown