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      Lucille Ball

      Lucille Ball

      Highest Rated: 100% Lured (1947)

      Lowest Rated: 36% Mame (1974)

      Birthday: Aug 6, 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.

      Highest rated movies

      100% Lured
      100% The Dark Corner
      96% Stage Door
      86% Fancy Pants
      86% Roberta
      83% Without Love
      83% Dance, Girl, Dance
      83% Follow the Fleet

      Photos

      FANCY PANTS, Lucille Ball, 1950 TWO SMART PEOPLE, Lucille Ball, John Hodiak, 1946 BEAUTY FOR THE ASKING, Lucille Ball, modeling a black felt pillbox hat with feather, 1939 YOURS, MINE AND OURS, Lucille Ball as Helen North Beardsley, 1968 BIG STREET, Henry Fonda, Lucille Ball, 1942, carrying YOURS, MINE AND OURS, Henry Fonda, Lucille Ball, 1968 BEST FOOT FORWARD, Lucille Ball, Virginia Weidler, Tommy Dix at the piano on set, 1943 THAT GIRL FROM PARIS, Jack Oakie, Lucille Ball, Lily Pons, Frank Jenks, 1936. STAGE DOOR, Lucille Ball, Ginger Rogers, Ann Miller, 1937 THAT'S RIGHT - YOU'RE WRONG, Lucille Ball, Adolphe Menjou, 1939 SORROWFUL JONES, Mary Jane Saunders, Lucille Ball, 1949. SORROWFUL JONES, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, 1949. SORROWFUL JONES, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, 1949 BEST FOOT FORWARD, Lucille Ball, Tommy Dix, Virginia Weidler, 1943 ROOM SERVICE, Lucille Ball, 1938 MAME, Lucille Ball, Kirby Furlong, 1974 MAME, Lucille Ball, 1974 MAME, Lucille Ball, 1974 LURED, Lucille Ball, George Sanders, 1947 LURED, Lucille Ball, George Sanders, 1947

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      89% 67% Mad About the Boy: The Noël Coward Story Self - 2023
      94% 84% Lucy and Desi Self - 2022
      No Score Yet 75% Lucy & Desi: A Home Movie Unknown (Character) - 1992
      No Score Yet 88% 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),
      Executive Producer
      - 1977
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Happy Anniversary and Goodbye Norma Michaels (Character),
      Executive Producer
      - 1974
      36% 48% Mame Mame Dennis (Character) - 1974
      57% 80% Yours, Mine and Ours Helen North Beardsley (Character) - 1968
      No Score Yet 38% Critic's Choice Angela Ballantine (Character) - 1963
      No Score Yet 61% The Facts of Life Kitty Weaver (Character) - 1960
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Lucy's Really Lost Moments Unknown (Character) - 1956
      No Score Yet 48% Forever Darling Susan Vega (Character) - 1956
      55% 77% The Long, Long Trailer Tacy Bolton-Collini (Character) - 1954
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Magic Carpet Princess Narah (Character) - 1951
      86% 73% Fancy Pants Agatha Floud (Character) - 1950
      No Score Yet 50% The Fuller Brush Girl Sally Elliot (Character) - 1950
      No Score Yet 68% Miss Grant Takes Richmond Ellen Grant (Character) - 1949
      40% 28% Easy Living Anne (Character) - 1949
      No Score Yet 72% Sorrowful Jones Gladys O'Neill (Character) - 1949
      No Score Yet 29% Her Husband's Affairs Margaret Weldon (Character) - 1947
      100% 70% Lured Sandra Carpenter (Character) - 1947
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Two Smart People Ricki Woodner (Character) - 1946
      69% 58% Ziegfeld Follies Specialty (Character) - 1946
      100% 72% The Dark Corner Kathleen Stewart (Character) - 1946
      No Score Yet 54% Easy to Wed Gladys Benton (Character) - 1946
      No Score Yet No Score Yet When Lovers Meet Kay Williams (Character) - 1946
      83% 67% Without Love Kitty Trimble (Character) - 1945
      No Score Yet 20% Meet the People Julie Hampton (Character) - 1944
      No Score Yet 56% Thousands Cheer Self - 1943
      No Score Yet 50% Best Foot Forward Lucille Ball (Character) - 1943
      No Score Yet 48% Du Barry Was a Lady May Daly/Madame Du Barry (Character) - 1943
      No Score Yet 14% Seven Days Leave Terry Havalok-Allen (Character) - 1942
      No Score Yet 57% The Big Street Gloria Lyons (Character) - 1942
      No Score Yet 43% Valley of the Sun Christine Larson (Character) - 1942
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Look Who's Laughing Julie Patterson (Character) - 1941
      No Score Yet 33% A Girl, a Guy and a Gob Dorothy "Dot"/"Spindle" Duncan (Character) - 1941
      83% 64% Dance, Girl, Dance Bubbles/Tiger Lily White (Character) - 1940
      No Score Yet 49% Too Many Girls Consuelo "Connie" Casey (Character) - 1940
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Marines Fly High Joan Grant (Character) - 1940
      No Score Yet 17% You Can't Fool Your Wife Clara Fields Hinklin/Mercedes Vasquez (Character) - 1940
      No Score Yet 63% Five Came Back Peggy Nolan (Character) - 1939
      No Score Yet 57% Beauty for the Asking Jean Russell (Character) - 1939
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Twelve Crowded Hours Paula Sanders (Character) - 1939
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Panama Lady Lucy (Character) - 1939
      No Score Yet No Score Yet That's Right -- You're Wrong Sandra Sand (Character) - 1939
      No Score Yet 53% Joy of Living Salina Garret Pine (Character) - 1938
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Annabel Takes a Tour Annabel Allison (Character) - 1938
      No Score Yet 61% Having Wonderful Time Miriam "Screwball" (Character) - 1938
      No Score Yet 29% Next Time I Marry Nancy Crocker Fleming (Character) - 1938
      64% 56% Room Service Christine (Character) - 1938
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Go Chase Yourself Carol Meeley (Character) - 1938
      No Score Yet 40% The Affairs of Annabel Annabel Allison (Character) - 1938
      96% 87% Stage Door Judith (Character) - 1937
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Don't Tell the Wife Ann "Annie" Howell (Character) - 1937
      No Score Yet 17% That Girl From Paris Claire "Clair" Williams (Character) - 1937
      83% 77% Follow the Fleet Kitty Collins (Character) - 1936
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Bunker Bean Rosie Kelly (Character) - 1936
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Chatterbox Lillian Temple (Character) - 1936
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Farmer in the Dell Gloria Wilson (Character) - 1936
      No Score Yet No Score Yet A Night at the Biltmore Bowl Self - 1935
      No Score Yet 38% I Dream Too Much Gwendolyn Dilley (Character) - 1935
      86% 65% Roberta Fashion Model (uncredited) (Character) - 1935
      80% 25% The Affairs of Cellini Lady-in-Waiting (Character) - 1934

      TV

      Credit
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Super Password Unknown (Character),
      Guest
      1987-1988
      No Score Yet 95% Three's Company Host 1982
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Password 79 Guest 1980-1981
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Van Dyke & Company Guest 1976
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Practice Unknown (Guest Star) 1976
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Here's Lucy Lucy Carter (Character),
      Director
      1968-1974
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Carol Burnett Show Guest 1967-1970
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lucy Show Unknown (Character) 1962-1968
      No Score Yet No Score Yet I've Got a Secret Guest 1956 1961 1965-1966
      No Score Yet No Score Yet What's My Line? Guest 1954-1955 1961 1963 1965
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Danny Kaye Show Guest 1964
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Jack Benny Program: The Lost Episodes Guest 1964
      No Score Yet No Score Yet We Love Lucy Unknown (Character) 1957-1960
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour Unknown (Character) 1957-1960
      No Score Yet 97% I Love Lucy Lucy RIcardo (Character) 1951-1957