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Thursday, August 6, 2015

101 Groovy Things about Lucille Ball

Today is the birthday of actress and comedienne Lucille Ball, who left us in 1989 at age 77. So to celebrate the life and career of this funny lady, here are a "few" groovy things about her:

1. Lucille Désirée Ball was born on August 6, 1911, in Jamestown, New York. After a stint as a fashion model and some chorus work on Broadway, she moved to Hollywood in 1933 for an uncredited part as a "Goldwyn Girl" in the movie musical, Roman Scandals.

2. She appeared in many small movie roles in the 1930s as a contract player for RKO Radio Pictures, including the 1934 comedy short, Three Little Pigskins, with the Three Stooges. This film was one of her earliest credited appearances.

3. She made an uncredited appearance as a flower shop clerk in the 1935 musical comedy, Top Hat, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (who was her distant cousin in real life).

4. She played the supporting role of Kitty Collins in the 1936 musical comedy, Follow the Fleet, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

5. She played an aspiring actress in the 1937 film, Stage Door, which also starred Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Eve Arden and Ann Miller.

6. She appeared in the 1938 romantic comedy, Having Wonderful Time, starring Ginger Rogers and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

7. She had her first starring comedy role in 1938's The Affairs of Annabel and its 1938 sequel, Annabel Takes a Tour.

8. She appeared in the 1938 Marx Brothers comedy, Room Service.

9. She played a dancer named Bubbles in the 1940 film, Dance, Girl, Dance, which also starred Maureen O'Hara.

10. She met Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz in 1940 when they were both cast in the musical comedy, Too Many Girls. The couple eloped on November 30, 1940.

11. She considered the 1942 drama, The Big Street (with Henry Fonda), her favorite film that she made.

12. She dyed her hair her trademark flaming red while filming the 1943 musical comedy, DuBarry Was a Lady.

13. She played herself in the 1943 musical, Best Foot Forward, with June Allyson and Nancy Walker.

14. She appeared in the 1945 romantic comedy, Without Love, starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

15. She played a wacky wife in the radio program, My Favorite Husband, which aired 124 episodes from 1948 to 1951.

16. She starred opposite Bob Hope for the first time in the 1949 film, Sorrowful Jones.

17. She starred opposite William Holden in the 1949 comedy, Miss Grant Takes Richmond.

18. She starred opposite Eddie Albert in the 1950 slapstick comedy, The Fuller Brush Man.

19. She and Bob Hope starred in the 1950 romantic comedy, Fancy Pants.

20. She played Princess Narah in the 1951 adventure film, The Magic Carpet, which also starred Raymond Burr.

21. She received two Emmy Awards - Best Comedienne in 1953 and Best Actress in a Continuing Performance in 1956 - for her performance as Lucy Ricardo in the CBS sitcom, I Love Lucy, which aired from 1951 to 1957. And a classic episode from the first season was "Lucy Does a TV Commercial", which originally aired on May 5, 1952.

22. On January 19, 1953, both she and Lucy Ricardo gave birth to sons - Desi Arnaz Jr. (who appeared on the first issue of TV Guide in April 1953) and Little Ricky in "Lucy Goes to the Hospital" (which was was the most-watched television program up to that time).

23. She and Desi Arnaz starred together in the 1954 feature film, The Long, Long Trailer.

24. She and Desi Arnaz were the Mystery Guests on What's My Line? on October 2, 1955.

25. She and Desi Arnaz starred together in the 1956 romantic comedy, Forever, Darling.

26. She and the cast of I Love Lucy - Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley - appeared on The Bob Hope Show on October 21, 1956.

27. On March 11, 1957, her tango scene in the I Love Lucy episode, "Lucy Does the Tango", received the longest laugh from a studio audience in the history of the show.

28. She and Desi Arnaz continued to play Lucy and Ricky Ricardo in The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show, thirteen one-hour specials that aired from 1957 to 1960 as part of the CBS anthology series, Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse.

29. She and Desi Arnaz made guest appearances as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo on the Danny Thomas series, Make Room for Daddy, on January 5, 1959.

30. On February 8, 1960, she was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for contributions to motion pictures and television.

31. She received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical/Comedy for the 1960 romantic comedy, The Facts of Life, which also starred Bob Hope.

32. She starred in the Broadway musical, Wildcat, which opened on December 16, 1960, and ran for 171 performances.

33. She was the celebrity guest on I've Got a Secret on February 15, 1961.

34. She was originally considered by Frank Sinatra for the role of Mrs. Iselin in the 1962 film, The Manchurian Candidate, but director/producer John Frankenheimer, who had previously worked with Angela Lansbury, suggested her for the part - and Lansbury was cast instead.

35. She was a guest on the NBC special, The Danny Kaye Show with Lucille Ball, on November 11, 1962.

36. She starred as widow Lucy Carmichael in her second CBS sitcom, The Lucy Show, from 1962 to 1968. And she nearly drowned while performing in a tank of water in the classic episode, "Lucy and Viv Put in a Shower", which aired on January 28, 1963.

37. She starred opposite Bob Hope in the 1963 comedy, Critic's Choice.

38. She and Bob Hope were the Mystery Guests on What's My Line? on May 5, 1963.

39. In her dramatic television debut, she played a circus performer in the ABC drama, The Greatest Show on Earth, on December 10, 1963.

40. On April 19, 1964, she starred in the CBS special, The Lucille Ball Comedy Hour: Mr. and Mrs., with Bob Hope.

41. On May 7, 1964, she was a panelist on Password with her second husband Gary Morton (whom she married in 1961) and children Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr.

42. On September 24, 1964, she was a panelist on Password with Gary Morton, Vivian Vance and Peter Lawford.

43. She was the celebrity guest on I've Got a Secret on March 8, 1965.

44. She and Kate Smith were guests on The Dean Martin Show on February 10, 1966.

45. She and Zero Mostel were guests on Carol Burnett's CBS special, Carol + 2, on March 22, 1966.

46. On October 24, 1966, she starred in the CBS special, Lucy in London, with guests Anthony Newley and the Dave Clark Five.

47. She made a cameo appearance in the 1967 comedy, A Guide for the Married Man.

48. She received an Emmy for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series for The Lucy Show on June 4, 1967 (she also won in 1968).

49. She was a guest on The Carol Burnett Show on October 2, 1967.

50. She received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical/Comedy for the 1968 comedy, Yours, Mine and Ours, which also starred Henry Fonda.

51. She starred in her third CBS sitcom, Here's Lucy, from 1968 to 1974. She and Carol Burnett sang "You Came a Long Way From St. Louis" on January 27, 1969.

52. She and Diana Ross were guests on the NBC special, Dinah Shore: Like Hep, on April 13, 1969.

53. She was a guest on the CBS special, Ann-Margret: From Hollywood with Love, on December 6, 1969.

54. Elizabeth Taylor's diamond ring got stuck on Lucy's finger on Here's Lucy on September 14, 1970.

55. She provided the voice of the Statue of Liberty in the NBC special, Swing Out, Sweet Land, on November 29, 1970.

56. She made a guest appearance as "Lucy Carter" on the ABC sitcom, Make Room for Granddaddy, on January 21, 1971.

57. She was a guest on ABC's The Pearl Bailey Show on January 30, 1971.

58. She was a guest on NBC's The Flip Wilson Show on September 16, 1971.

59. On October 12, 1973, she was the honored guest on The Merv Griffin Show's "Salute to Lucille Ball" with Gary Morton, Bob Hope, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr.

60. She received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical/Comedy for her performance as Mame Dennis in the 1974 movie musical, Mame.

61. As a promo for Mame, she appeared as herself in the Here's Lucy episode, "Lucy Carter Meets Lucille Ball", on March 4, 1974.

62. She was interviewed by Phil Donahue on his talk show in 1974.

63. She was a guest on ABC's The Dick Cavett Show on March 4, 1974.

64. On November 10, 1974, she starred in the CBS special, Happy Anniversary and Goodbye, with Art Carney, Nanette Fabray and Arnold Schwarzenegger (in his American television debut).

65. She appeared in a TV commercial for the 1975 board game, Body Language.

66. She was the "Woman of the Hour" on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast on February 7, 1975.

67. On March 1, 1975, she starred in the CBS special, Lucy Gets Lucky, with Dean Martin.

68. She and Liza Minnelli were guests on the premiere episode of the CBS summer variety show, The Dick Cavett Show, on August 16, 1975.

69. She was a guest on Sammy Davis Jr.'s syndicated series, Sammy & Company, on October 18, 1975.

70. She and Vivian Vance were reunited on Dinah Shore's talk show, Dinah!, on December 1, 1975.

71. She and Jackie Gleason starred together in the CBS special, Three for Two, on December 3, 1975.

72. She was a guest on Shirley MacLaine's CBS special, Gypsy in My Soul, on January 20, 1976.

73. She played a divorcee in the CBS special, What Now, Catherine Curtis?, on March 30, 1976.

74. She played an eccentric psychic named Matilda Morrison on Danny Thomas' NBC sitcom, The Practice, on October 13, 1976.

75. On November 16, 1976, she sang "Hey, Look Me Over" from Wildcat with Dinah Shore and Valerie Harper on Dinah! (Valerie was in the chorus of the Broadway musical).

76. On November 28, 1976, she appeared on CBS Salutes Lucy: The First 25 Years, a two-hour retrospective of her 25 years on the network.

77. She was a guest on Dick Van Dyke's TV series, Van Dyke and Company, on December 9, 1976.

78. In 1977 she was a guest on Irv Kupcinet's Chicago talk show, Kup's Show, with Otto Preminger, David Mamet and Elizabeth Ashley.

79. On July 5, 1977, she was a guest on Dinah!'s salute to Bob Hope with Rosemary Clooney, Jane Russell, Rhonda Fleming and Dorothy Lamour.

80. She was a guest on ABC's Donny & Marie on September 30, 1977.

81. On November 21, 1977, she played Indiana housewife Lucy Whittaker in the CBS special, Lucy Calls the President, which also starred Vivian Vance, Gale Gordon, Mary Wickes, Mary Jane Croft and Lillian Carter (President Jimmy Carter's mother).

82. She was a Ringmaster - along with Telly Savalas, Cindy Williams and Michael York - on the CBS special, Circus of the Stars #2, on December 5, 1977.

83. She was interviewed on The Barbara Walters Special on December 6, 1977.

84. She was a guest on the CBS special, Gene Kelly: An American in Pasadena, on March 13, 1978.

85. On November 19, 1978, she starred in the CBS special, Lucy Comes to Nashville, with her guests Lynn Anderson, Barbara Mandrell, the Oak Ridge Boys and Mel Tillis.

86. She received the Cecil B. DeMille Award on the 36th Golden Globe Awards on January 27, 1979.

87. She played herself in the first episode of the CBS series, The Mary Tyler Moore Hour, on March 4, 1979.

88. She was a guest on the NBC special, Cher... and Other Fantasies, on March 7, 1979.

89. After nearly thirty years at CBS, Lucy dissolved her partnership and switched to NBC, which resulted in the TV special, Lucy Moves to NBC, on February 8, 1980, with guests Johnny Carson, Gary Coleman, Bob Hope, Gene Kelly and Jack Klugman.

90. On May 18, 1982, she was the host of a one-hour Three's Company retrospective on ABC.

91. She was the co-host on The Mike Douglas Show for the week of October 30, 1982, with guests Desi Arnaz Jr., Gale Gordon, Lucie Arnaz, Gary Morton and Bob Hope.

92. She was a guest on The Tonight Show with guest host Joan Rivers on December 3, 1984.

93. She was the honoree on the CBS special, All-Star Party for Lucille Ball, which aired on December 9, 1984.

94. In December 1984, she appeared on the CBS game show, Body Language, with Isabel Sanford, Robert Morse and Richard Simmons.

95. She starred in a dramatic role as a homeless woman in the CBS movie, Stone Pillow, which aired on November 5, 1985.

96. She played widowed grandmother Lucy Barker on the short-lived 1986 ABC sitcom, Life with Lucy.

97. She was a guest on The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers on October 30, 1986.

98. She was an honoree on The 9th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, which aired on CBS on December 26, 1986.

99. In January 1987, she appeared on an All-Star Super Password Special with Betty White, Estelle Getty and Ann Dusenberry (her Life with Lucy co-star).

100. She made her last public appearance on March 29, 1989, on the 61st Annual Academy Awards, in which she and fellow presenter Bob Hope were given a standing ovation.

101. On September 17, 1989, she posthumously received the Governor's Award during the 41st Primetime Emmy Awards.

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