The incomparable Lucille Ball.
Cast of I LOVE LUCY
Today is the birth date of an American institution, actress and comedienne Lucille Ball. (1911 - 1989). Though she had a varied film career, for me, she will always be Lucy Ricardo, wife of Ricky Ricardo (played by then real life hubby, Desi Arnaz) in the 1950's weekly CBS comedy, I LOVE LUCY. As Lucy Ricardo, she was also best friends with Ethel Mertz (played by the wonderful Vivian Vance) and her former vaudevillian hubby, Fred (played by the ever grumpy-growly William Frawley). Ethel and Fred owned the Manhattan brownstone both couples lived in. Their apartment was upstairs from Lucy and Ricky's.
That was one of the main things I loved about the shows: this comfy cozy living up and down from one another. I always thought that would be the niftiest thing, to live close by your best friends and have them always available for getting into trouble with.
When anyone asks if it's possible for a woman to be funny and still keep her femininity, I point to Lucy. When anyone asks if it's possible for a woman to do slapstick and still keep her femininity, I point to Lucy. When anyone asks if it's possible for a woman to be funny, period, I point to Lucy. She was the best. There was never anyone like her before and there never will be again.
As a kid the weekly ritual of watching the I LOVE LUCY SHOW was never ignored. It was only surpassed later by the ritual of watching the reruns which seem to be on television in perpetuity. Even now you can find the episodes if you look around.
If you'd like to read about Lucy's movie career, please check out this excellent post re: the Lucille Ball and Bob Hope movies, written by Caftan Woman at her blog.
Also check out Dorian's post on one of Lucille Ball's dramatic performances in the noir film, THE DARK CORNER at Tales of the Easily Distracted.
The Loving Lucy Blogathon is going on right this minute, even as we speak, over at True Classics blog. Check in and see what many Lucy Loving bloggers are posting about their favorite redhead.
I love this photo of Lucy and Ethel.
Note: Turner Classic Movies channel (TCM) is having an all Lucille Ball movie day today in celebration of the 100th. birthday.