Lucille Ball

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Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball in 1951
Born Lucille Désirée Ball
August 6, 1911(1911-08-06)
Jamestown, New York, U.S.
Died April 26, 1989(1989-04-26) (aged 77)[1]
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Dissecting aortic aneurysm
Other names Lucille Ball Morton[2]
Occupation Actress, comedian, model, film executive
Years active 1932–1986
Spouse Desi Arnaz (m. 1940–1960) «start: (1940)–end+1: (1961)»"Marriage: Desi Arnaz to Lucille Ball" Location: (linkback://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucille_Ball) (divorced) 2 children
Gary Morton (m. 1961–1989) «start: (1961)–end+1: (1990)»"Marriage: Gary Morton to Lucille Ball" Location: (linkback://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucille_Ball) (her death)

Lucille Désirée Ball (August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989) was an American comedian, model, movie and television actress and studio executive. She was the star of the sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy and Life With Lucy. Ball was one of the most popular and powerful actors in the United States during her lifetime. She also had one of Hollywood's longest careers.[3]

Ball began acting in the 1930s. She became both a radio actress and B-movie star in the 1940s. Her television career began in the 1950s. She was still making movies in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1962, Ball became the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu. This studio made many successful and popular television series.[4]

Early life[change | change source]

Ball was born to Henry Durrell Ball (September 16, 1887 – February 19, 1915) and Desiree "DeDe" Evelyn Hunt (September 21, 1892 – July 20, 1977) in Jamestown, New York. Her family was Baptist. She was of French, Scottish, English, and Irish ancestry. She had a brother Fred Henry Ball (July 17, 1915 – February 5, 2007).

Early work[change | change source]

In 1929, Ball got work as a model. She later began her performing career on Broadway using the stage name Diane Belmont. She was in many small movie roles in the 1930s. She worked for RKO Radio Pictures at the time. Ball was named the "Queen of the Bs".

I Love Lucy[change | change source]

In 1951, Ball was important in the creation of the television series I Love Lucy. The show ended in 1957 after 180 episodes. Then, some small changes were made to the series format. The time-length of the series was changed from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. The first program lasted 75 mins. Some new characters were added. The story was changed. After these changes, the program was renamed The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. It was shown from 1957 until 1960.

Ball went on to star in two more successful television series. The first was The Lucy Show. It was shown on CBS from 1962 to 1968 (156 episodes). The other was Here's Lucy. It was shown from 1968 to 1974 (144 episodes). Her last television series was in 1986. It was called Life with Lucy. This program did not do very well. Only 8 of the 13 episodes that were made were shown on television.

Marriage and family[change | change source]

Ball met and married [Cuban band leader Desi Arnaz in 1940. On July 17, 1951, she gave birth to their first child, Lucie Désirée Arnaz. A year and a half later, Ball gave birth to their second child, Desiderio Alberto Arnaz IV, known as Desi Arnaz, Jr. Ball and Arnaz divorced on 4 May 1960.

Death[change | change source]

On 26 April 1989, Ball died of an aortic aneurysm at age 77.[5] At the time of her death she was married to her second husband and business partner, standup comedian Gary Morton.[6]

Awards[change | change source]

Ball was nominated for an Emmy Award thirteen times. She won four times.[7] In 1977 Ball was one of the first people to be given the Women in Film Crystal Award.[8] She was given the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1979, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986, and the Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 1989.[9]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Article: Lucille Ball, Pioneer of Television Comedy, Dies at 77". http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1187461.html. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
  2. Lucille Ball Certificate of Death. Find a Grave. accessed August 7, 2011.
  3. "Lucille Ball Bio". tv.com. http://www.tv.com/lucille-ball/person/10038/biography.html. Retrieved 2008-04-02. "Lucille Ball is one of the worlds favorite actresses"
  4. "Arnaz Quits Presidency Of Desilu; Former Wife, Lucille Ball, Gets Post," Wall Street Journal, Nov. 9, 1962, p. 18.
  5. "Lucille Ball". Morbid Curiosity. http://www.morbid-curiosity.com/id125.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-06. "Lucille Ball is recovering and dies"
  6. Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball ... - Google Book Search. Google Books. ISBN 9780688135140. http://books.google.com/books?id=y1pXKrPW0DoC&pg=PA216&lpg=PA216&dq=Paula+Stewart+introduces+Lucille+BAll+to+Gary&source=web&ots=gjwScHiIgk&sig=6SluUMvwAhufBa1XgEmANi67YIk&hl=en. Retrieved 2008-04-05. "Ball meets Gary Morton"
  7. "Lucille Ball – Biography". punoftheday.com. http://www.punoftheday.com/lucille-ball.html. Retrieved 2008-04-02. "Ball wins four Emmys and nominated for a total of 13"
  8. "Past Recipients: Crystal Award". Women In Film. http://wif.org/past-recipients. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  9. "Kennedy Center: Biographical information for Lucille Ball". Kennedy Center. http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/index.cfm?fuseaction=showIndividual&entitY_id=3692&source_type=A. Retrieved 2008-04-02. "Ball honored at the Kennedy Center"