Sunday, December 11, 2011

♫...for the love of Lucy...♫

Lucille Ball

I love Lucy. No, seriously, I LOVE Lucy. Funny, badass, redhead. What's not to love?

In Her Own Words:

"My name is Lucille Ball. If lost, return me to my master - Desi." ~ Inscription on a bracelet she wore for a while in the late 1940s

"Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead."

"I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not."

"It wasn't love at first sight. It took a full five minutes." ~ about meeting Desi for the first time

"Desi (Desi Arnaz) was the great love of my life. I will miss him until the day I die. But I don't regret divorcing him. I just couldn't take it anymore."

"I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line."

Wagging Tongues: 

"Lucille wasn't the kind of girl you took home to meet mother." ~ Monroe Greenthal, press agent

"I never knew Lucille to be the sort of girl who would throw herself at men, but if someone propositioned her and she was genuinely attracted to him, he had a good chance of getting somewhere." ~ Kay Vaughan, friend

"She looked like a two-dollar whore who had been badly beaten by her pimp. She had a black eye, her hair was hanging down in her face, and her skin-tight dress was coming apart at the seams." ~ Desi Arnaz, remembering his first glimpse of Lucy

"I try to remind myself and others that the two things my mother wanted most--to have a family and have a career--happened after she turned 40." --Lucie Arnaz on her mom

Love Life: 

Married twice. 
Desi Arnaz:  November 30, 1940 - May 4, 1960 - Divorced
Gary Morton   November 19, 1961 - her death April 26, 1989

Rumored to have had flings with various screenwriters, comedians, producers, directors, actors (Orson Welles, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum) and various other men in and out of the movie business. In her hometown of Jamestown, New York, some referred to her as a 'hussy' (Go, Lucy!)

Putting The Rumors To Rest:

Vivian Vance and Lucille Ball did not hate each other. Quite the opposite, really. The rumors that the two actresses did not get along are false rumors that stem from another false rumor that Lucy required Vivian to remain heavier than her at all times. She had some initial objections to the casting of Vivian as Ethel, but they were quickly forgotten. In his book, Desi is quoted as saying, that when he introduced the two women, it was love at first sight. Lucy had this to say about working with Vivian:
“I refused to even consider being in a continuing series without Vivian. Vivian has always been the greatest supporting player anyone could ask for. During one of the shows in this new series, we were supposed to be trapped in a glass shower stall, with the water turned on full blast. The script called for me to dive down and pull out the plug at the bottom of the shower, but when I did this in front of a live audience, I found I had no room to maneuver. I couldn’t get back to the surface again. What’s more, I had swallowed a lot of water, and was actually drowning, right there in front of three hundred people who were splitting their sides laughing. Vivian, realizing in cold terror what happened, never changed expression. She reached down, pulled me safely to the surface by the roots of my hair, and then calmly spoke both sides of our dialogue, putting my lines in the form of questions. Whatta girl!”

Interesting Tidbits:

  • In late 1944, tired of Desi's womanizing, Lucy filed for divorce.  He called the night before their hearing and invited her out to dinner. They ended up spending the night together, and Desi was amazed the next morning when Lucy jumped out of bed, worried that she'd be late for the court appointment. She attended the hearing, then proceeded to return to Desi for an afternoon and another night of love-making. The following day they announced the divorce was off, because under California law if a couple had sex during the one-year waiting period, the divorce was invalid. Lucy and Desi remained married another seventeen years.(Mart Martin)
  • Broderick Crawford was rumored to have given Lucy a black eye when she broke off their engagement and refused to return the ring. (Mart Martin)
  • Was the first woman to own her own film studio.
  • Was born a brunette.
  • She signed her first promotional agreement with Max Factor in 1935 and again in 1942. Of all the stars, she had the longest association with the Max Factor company.
  • Once registered as a voter for the Communist party as a favor to her grandfather Frederick Charles Hunt 
  • Lucy and her son, Desi Arnaz Jr., appeared together on the very first cover of "TV Guide" magazine in 1953.
  • Died the morning of April 26, 1989, the fifty-sixth birthday of her friend Carol Burnett. That afternoon Burnett received the flowers that Ball had ordered for her birthday.
  • During the 1933 filming of Roman Scandals (1933), young Lucille Ball, portraying a slave girl, needed to have her eyebrows entirely shaved off. They never grew back.
  • For many years during their marriage, Lucy and Desi Arnaz hid the fact that she was six years older than he by splitting the difference in their ages. She (born in 1911) said she was born in 1914 and he (born in 1917) also said he was born in 1914.
  • Had a superstition about the letters A and R, which is why her character was named Lucy RicARdo in "I Love Lucy" (1951); Lucy CARmichael in "The Lucy Show" (1962); Lucy CARter in "Here's Lucy" (1968) and Lucy BARker in "Life with Lucy" (1986) (she was also married to 'Desi ARnaz'). She believed she didn't have luck in her career until she changed her name to Arnaz.
  • When they were first married in 1940, Desi Arnaz had to give Lucy a ring from a drugstore because all jewelry stores were closed. She wore it for the rest of their marriage.
  • After two decades spent trying to become a movie superstar, Lucille Ball was 40 years old when she finally became a Hollywood player with the debut of 'I Love Lucy' in 1951.
  • Lucy was not only a genius performer, but a smart, innovative businesswoman: she and husband/co-star Desi Arnaz introduced the idea of syndicating TV shows
  • Among the other TV series produced by Desilu: 'Star Trek,' 'The Untouchables' and 'Mission: Impossible.'
  • Lucy was not only the Chesterfield cigarette girl, but also a Ziegfield Girl and Goldwyn Girl.


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