Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball

Highest Rated: 100% Lured (1947)

Lowest Rated: 33% Mame (1974)

Birthday: Aug 06, 1911

Birthplace: Jamestown, New York, USA

Comic actress Lucille Ball wielded enormous influence, both in terms of scope, production and technology, over television situation comedies with her Emmy-winning series "I Love Lucy" (CBS, 1951-1957), which helped elevate her from hardworking film actress to one of the biggest stars of the small screen. Born Lucille Desiree Ball on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York, she was the daughter of Bell Telephone Company lineman Henry Ball, whose job required that the family relocate on several occasions during Lucille's childhood. In 1915, Henry Ball died from typhoid fever, forcing Lucille, her mother and her newborn brother, Fred, to return to New York, where they lived with her maternal grandparents. She was introduced to performing through her stepfather, Edward Peterson, who encouraged her to join the chorus line at an event for the Shriners, of which he was a member. Attempting to encourage her daughter's artistic ambitions - and hoping to thwart a budding romance with a local tough- Ball's mother enrolled her in the John Murray Anderson School for the Dramatic Arts in New York City, where Bette Davis was among her fellow students. The experience proved wholly discouraging - she was openly advised against a career in acting by the school's teacher - and returned to the family's home in Jamestown. Three years later, Ball returned to New York City, where she worked as a model for fashion designer Hattie Carnegie; a bout of rheumatoid arthritis sent her home again for a two-year period, but a determined Ball returned to New York City again in 1932. After adopting the stage name Diane (or Dianne) Belmont, she worked on Broadway in various chorus roles, which led to her first screen role when she replaced a chorus girl in the Eddie Cantor vehicle "Roman Scandals" (1933). Ball soon moved to Hollywood, where as a contract player for RKO Pictures, she appeared in minor roles in the Three Stooges short "Three Little Pigskins" (1934) and the Marx Brothers' "Room Service" (1938), as well as three films with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, including "Top Hat" (1935). Ball soon graduated to supporting roles in "B" pictures, including the surprise box office hit "Five Came Back" (1939), and "Too Many Girls" (1940), a musical co-starring Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz, whom she would marry that same year. Ball's big break would come three years later, when she signed with MGM to star in its adaptation of the musical "DuBarry Was a Lady" (1943). The film also featured Ball's debut as a redhead, a decision reportedly made at the behest of the studio's publicity department. For the remainder of the decade, she worked steadily in features for the decade, bouncing between musicals like "Thousands Cheer" (1943) and "Ziegfeld Follies" (1946), both with Gene Kelly, and numerous comedies, including "Without Love" (1945), with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, as well as the occasional drama like the noir "The Dark Corner" (1946) for director Henry Hathaway. During this period, Ball also starred in "My Favorite Husband," a popular comedy for CBS Radio; when the network decided to move the series to television, Ball insisted on starring opposite Arnaz and revamping the series to reflect -in the broadest possible terms - their own lives. CBS was initially reluctant to sign Arnaz, but after the couple toured in a vaudeville version of the concept that proved popular with audiences, CBS agreed to their terms, and "I Love Lucy" debuted on television in 1951. Produced by the couple's own company, Desilu - the first television production company headed by a woman - "Lucy" was not only a sizable hit with viewers and a five-time Emmy winner (including three for Ball herself) but the ideal showcase for Ball's comic talents, which encompassed both flawless timing and delivery but also physical comedy and slapstick. The show was also the first television comedy to film on 35mm - a decision made to allow Ball and Arnaz to remain in Hollywood and prevent broadcast of blurry kinescopes of each episode to East Coast viewers - the first to utilize more than one camera in a comedy format, and the first to film before a live audience, all of which would become industry standards in the half-century to follow. The success of the series allowed Desilu to purchase studio space, where shows like "The Jack Benny Program" (CBS/NBC, 1950-1965) and "The Andy Griffith Show" (CBS, 1960-68) would film, but also produce other series, which would include "The Untouchables" (ABC, 1959-1963) and "Star Trek" (NBC, 1966-69). Despite this unparalleled success, Ball and Arnaz had been unhappily married for decades, and when "Lucy" ran its course in 1960, the couple officially divorced two months after filming its final episode. She would buy out his shares of the company in 1962 and eventually sell the company itself in 1967 for $17 million. During this period, Ball continued to act, most notably in the minor Broadway musical "Wildcat," which mainly served to provide her with a theme song, "Hey, Look Me Over," and an introduction (through co-star Paula Stewart) to actor Gary Morton, who would become her second husband in 1961. There were occasional appearance in feature films like the screen version of "Mame" (1974), which was widely panned. More successful were two subsequent sitcoms: "The Lucy Show" (CBS, 1962-68), for which she won two Emmys, and "Here's Lucy" (CBS, 1968-1974), which featured longtime friend and screen foil Gale Gordon and her real-life children, Desi Arnaz, Jr. and Lucie Arnaz. Ballwould remain a favorite guest on numerous episodic and talk shows for much of the late '70s and 1980s before giving a dramatic turn as a homeless woman in the made-for-TV feature "Stone Pillow" (CBS, 1985). This led briefly to her fourth sitcom, "Life with Lucy" (ABC, 1985), but the sight of the 75-year-old Ball performing slapstick couldn't keep the series from being cancelled after just two months. Ball would make her final public appearance at the Academy Awards in 1989, where she and Bob Hope were given a standing ovation while presenting an award. On April 18, 1989, Ball was hospitalized after complaining of chest pains. She was determined to have an aortic aneurysm and underwent heart surgery and the transplant of a new aorta. She appeared to recover from the surgery without complications, but on the morning of April 26, she slipped into unconsciousness and was declared dead from an abdominal aortic aneurysm that same day. Her long career and legacy was paid tribute through numerous posthumous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1989 and induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2001.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet 87% Stone Pillow Florabelle (Character) - 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet Lucy Moves to NBC Unknown (Character),
Producer
- 1980
No Score Yet No Score Yet Lucy Calls the President Lucy Whittaker (Character) - 1977
No Score Yet No Score Yet Happy Anniversary and Goodbye Norma Michaels (Character),
Executive Producer
- 1974
33% 48% Mame Mame Dennis (Character) - 1974
50% 80% Yours, Mine and Ours Helen North Beardsley (Character) - 1968
No Score Yet 39% Critic's Choice Angela Ballantine (Character) - 1963
No Score Yet 61% The Facts of Life Kitty Weaver (Character) - 1960
No Score Yet 47% Forever Darling Susan Vega (Character) - 1956
38% 77% The Long, Long Trailer Tacy Bolton-Collini (Character) - 1954
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Magic Carpet Princess Narah (Character) - 1951
No Score Yet 57% The Fuller Brush Girl Sally Elliot (Character) - 1950
80% 72% Fancy Pants Agatha Floud (Character) - 1950
No Score Yet 71% Sorrowful Jones Gladys O'Neill (Character) - 1949
40% 19% Easy Living Anne (Character) - 1949
No Score Yet 66% Miss Grant Takes Richmond Ellen Grant (Character) - 1949
100% 68% Lured Sandra Carpenter (Character) - 1947
No Score Yet 9% Her Husband's Affairs Margaret Weldon (Character) - 1947
No Score Yet No Score Yet Two Smart People Ricki Woodner (Character) - 1946
70% 58% Ziegfeld Follies Specialty (Character) - 1946
No Score Yet No Score Yet When Lovers Meet Kay Williams (Character) - 1946
100% 70% The Dark Corner Kathleen Stewart (Character) - 1946
No Score Yet 52% Easy to Wed Gladys Benton (Character) - 1946
80% 67% Without Love Kitty Trimble (Character) - 1945
No Score Yet 20% Meet the People Julie Hampton (Character) - 1944
No Score Yet 47% Du Barry Was a Lady May Daly/Madame Du Barry (Character) - 1943
No Score Yet 52% Best Foot Forward Lucille Ball (Character) - 1943
No Score Yet 56% Thousands Cheer Herself (Character) - 1943
No Score Yet No Score Yet Valley of the Sun Christine Larson (Character) - 1942
No Score Yet 59% The Big Street Gloria Lyons (Character) - 1942
No Score Yet 14% Seven Days Leave Terry Havalok-Allen (Character) - 1942
No Score Yet No Score Yet Look Who's Laughing Julie Patterson (Character) - 1941
No Score Yet 40% A Girl, a Guy and a Gob Dorothy "Dot"/"Spindle" Duncan (Character) - 1941
No Score Yet 48% Too Many Girls Consuelo "Connie" Casey (Character) - 1940
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Marines Fly High Joan Grant (Character) - 1940
83% 65% Dance, Girl, Dance Bubbles/Tiger Lily White (Character) - 1940
No Score Yet No Score Yet You Can't Fool Your Wife Clara Fields Hinklin/Mercedes Vasquez (Character) - 1940
No Score Yet No Score Yet Panama Lady Lucy (Character) - 1939
No Score Yet No Score Yet Twelve Crowded Hours Paula Sanders (Character) - 1939
No Score Yet No Score Yet That's Right -- You're Wrong Sandra Sand (Character) - 1939
No Score Yet 61% Five Came Back Peggy Nolan (Character) - 1939
No Score Yet No Score Yet Beauty for the Asking Jean Russell (Character) - 1939
No Score Yet No Score Yet Go Chase Yourself Carol Meeley (Character) - 1938
No Score Yet 47% Joy of Living Salina Garret Pine (Character) - 1938
No Score Yet No Score Yet Annabel Takes a Tour Annabel Allison (Character) - 1938
67% 56% Room Service Christine (Character) - 1938
No Score Yet 57% Having Wonderful Time Miriam "Screwball" (Character) - 1938
No Score Yet 42% The Affairs of Annabel Annabel Allison (Character) - 1938
No Score Yet 20% Next Time I Marry Nancy Crocker Fleming (Character) - 1938
No Score Yet No Score Yet Don't Tell the Wife Ann "Annie" Howell (Character) - 1937
No Score Yet 0% That Girl From Paris Claire "Clair" Williams (Character) - 1937
96% 87% Stage Door Judith (Character) - 1937
No Score Yet No Score Yet Bunker Bean Rosie Kelly (Character) - 1936
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Farmer in the Dell Gloria Wilson (Character) - 1936
No Score Yet No Score Yet Chatterbox Lillian Temple (Character) - 1936
83% 77% Follow the Fleet Kitty Collins (Character) - 1936
86% 66% Roberta Fashion Model (uncredited) (Character) - 1935
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Night at the Biltmore Bowl Herself (Character) - 1935
No Score Yet 29% I Dream Too Much Gwendolyn Dilley (Character) - 1935
No Score Yet 29% The Affairs of Cellini Lady-in-Waiting (Character) - 1934

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lucy Show Unknown (Character) 2019 1962-1968
No Score Yet No Score Yet Super Password Unknown (Character),
Guest
1987-1988
No Score Yet 93% Three's Company Host 1982
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dick Van Dyke & Company Guest 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Practice Unknown (Guest Star) 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Tonight Show Guest 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet Here's Lucy Lucy Carter (Character),
Director
1968-1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Merv Griffin Show Guest 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Carol Burnett Show Guest 1967-1970
No Score Yet No Score Yet I've Got a Secret Guest 1965-1966 1961 1956
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Danny Kaye Show Guest 1964
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Jack Benny Show Guest 1964
No Score Yet No Score Yet We Love Lucy Unknown (Character) 1957-1960
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show Unknown (Character) 1957-1960
No Score Yet 98% I Love Lucy Lucy RIcardo (Character) 1951-1957

QUOTES FROM Lucille Ball CHARACTERS

Anthony Powell says: How long have you been coaching this girl?

Catherine Luther says: Iâ??ve only had her a month.

Catherine Luther says: I've only had her a month.

Judy Canfield says: Incredible: No one could possibly get that bad in a monthâ??s time .

Judy Canfield says: Incredible: No one could possibly get that bad in a month's time. .

Anthony Powell says: Incredible: No one could possibly get that bad in a month's time. .

Eve says: Girls, I think we have a new queen bee for the hive.

Judy Canfield says: But the same Kingâ??King Anthony the first.

Judy Canfield says: But the same King, King Anthony the first.

Judy Canfield says: If you werenâ??t so snooty you could have had a date with me tonight.

Judy Canfield says: If you weren't so snooty you could have had a date with me tonight.

Jean Maitland says: You can have my share of those timber wolves.

Judy Canfield says: They may be timber wolves to you, but theyâ??re meat and potatoes to me.

Judy Canfield says: They may be timber wolves to you, but they're meat and potatoes to me.

Jean Maitland says: Donâ??t you know any younger men?

Jean Maitland says: Don't you know any younger men?

Judy Canfield says: Iâ??m tired of buying dinners for younger men.

Judy Canfield says: I'm tired of buying dinners for younger men.