“Lucy, I’m home!” This famous quote from the successful television series I Love Lucy, has made Lucille Ball one of the most famous women alive. Starting off as a model, and slowly making her way into the limelight of television stardom, Lucy has won many awards, and earned much respect from the newest generation of stars. She’s left behind a legacy impossible to follow up, something that has made her one of the most famous women alive.
Lucille Ball was born in Jamestown, New York on April 6th, 1911. Her family moved around many times, but eventually settled in Wyandotte, Michigan. At a young age, her father died from typhoid fever, but she remembers a specific memory. “I do remember everything that happened. Hanging out the window, begging to play with the kids next door who had measles – the doctor coming, my mother weeping. I remember a bird that flew in the window, a picture that fell off the wall” (Ball). Her brother was born thereafter, and was named Fred Ball. When Lucy became a teenager, her mother allowed her to go to John Murray Anderson School for the Dramatic Arts in New York City. She left though, when her drama teachers said to her that she “had no future at all as a performer” (Lucille Ball). Still wanting to become an actress, she became a fashion model, but was attacked by rheumatoid arthritis and was bed-ridden for two years. Although she moved back to New York to continue her modeling, she landed a part in a Broadway show, but was quickly fired. Lucy starred in movies afterwards, and was given the name “Queen of the B’s”, because of her work in B films. By 1940, she met her future husband Desi Arnaz, who was a Cuban bandleader. They didn’t get along well at first, but eventually fell in love and eloped that same year. Together they created Desilu Productions, and created their show I Love Lucy which became a major success. Even after her most famous show, she’s created many others, which were all very successful, except at her last attempt at a show, which was cancelled after 8 episodes. Lucy died in 1989 of a dissecting aortic aneurysm at the age of 77.
Even as a red headed woman, she became a huge success and earned many awards and honors. Lucille was the first woman ever to be the head of a production company, which was Desilu Productions. Her television show I Love Lucy took over the weekly TV ratings in the United States for almost its entire run. “On October 15, 1951 I Love Lucy made its debut and to the television viewing audience across the country it was immediately apparent this was a sitcom like no other” (Biography). She continued to receive much praise, even as she grew old, and every show she’d produce automatically became a huge hit. “’I Love Lucy’ was never just a title,” (Desi) was quoted by Desi Arnaz on his death bed, showing that even after their divorce, he still loved his ex-wife, as did everyone else who had ever seen the famous show. Lucille Ball also won four Emmy’s, along with an introduction into the Television Hall of Fame.
Lucille Ball has left behind a long legacy that today is still widely spoke about, and a TV show that is still constantly watched. She’s been given much more awards and recognition then just Emmy’s. “Ball received many prestigious awards throughout her career including some received posthumously such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H. W. Bush on July 6th, 1989, and The Women’s International Center’s Living Legacy Award” (Lucille Ball). On her ninetieth birthday, she was honored with a postage stamp as part of its Legends of Hollywood series. Ball was also the first woman to appear on the cover of TV Guide, returning thirty-nine more times to be featured on the cover. “To remember Lucille Ball is to recall a profusion of universal images of magical mayhem–a losing battle with a candy conveyor belt, a flaming nose, a slippery vat of grapes–images which, contrary to most American situation comedy, transcend nationalities and generations, in an absolute paradigm of side-splitting laughter” (Nina). Eventually, she was voted by TV Guide as the Greatest TV Star of All Time.
Lucile Ball has made an amazing impact on the world, even when she was young, she never gave up on becoming an actress. She pursued her dream to become famous, earned many awards, and left her name on the world, so no one would ever forget her. She’s paved the path for many women, as a role model, and a comedienne for future comedian’s. Truly, she is one of the world’s most influential people.
Ball, Lucille. Love, Lucy. New York: Berkley Boulevard Books, 1997.
“Desi Arnaz.” Wikipedia. 23 January 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desi_Arnaz>.
“Lucille Ball Biography.” Biography. 23 January 2011.
“Lucille Ball.” Wikipedia. 23 January 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucille_ball>.
Nina Leibman. “Ball, Lucille.” Museum TV. 23 January 2011.