I Still Love Lucy

 I posted an essay this morning I’m told is very depressing so I apologize. Hopefully this is a little lighter. Thanks.

26-81I picked up a bio about Lucille Ball by Stefan Kanfer written in 2003 called, Ball of Fire. I ate it up, because even now, Lucy fascinates me.

I learned things I didn’t know.

How hard it was to sell the I Love Lucy show. Not until Philip Morris came on board as a sponsor, would any network take it, CBS finally stepping up.

Lucy claimed her friend, the late Carole Lombard recently killed in a plane crash, spoke to her in a dream telling her to go for it…get I love Lucy on the air.

Desi Arnaz was brilliant, the first to use multiple cameras to film the show like a play…from start to finish…in front of a live audience.

Fred and Ethel hated each other. Vivian Vance and William Frawley only speaking to one other when they had to. images-3

He was a huge drunk no one would hire anymore. Desi took him to lunch and said, “If you don’t show up once, I’ll cover for you…twice I’ll do it again. But the third time, not only will you be fired, but you’ll never work again.”

He was never late once.

Lucy wasn’t so keen on Vivian at first…said she didn’t look like a landlady. Overhearing this Vivian said, “Don’t worry, I photograph frumpy.”

They eventually became best friends.

Desi’s philandering is no secret, but according to Kanfer it was more like a sickness along with his alcoholism. Made me wince reading how often Lucy was hurt and humiliated.

He apparently never felt respected because he was a wetback, an expression no one would dare use today, but in the 50s, he knew, that’s what people called him behind his back, along with Mr. Ball.

Lucy suffered several miscarriages before she had Lucie, who was supposed to be named Susan. While she was in the recovery room, Desi named her Lucie because one Lucy, he said, wasn’t enough.

It’s sad when they finally after years of trying to make it work, divorced. I found myself weeping along with the kids wishing the Ricardos in real life would kiss and make up just one more time.

They both went on to marry other people, but never stopped loving each other.

As Desi said in an interview right before he died of lung cancer in 1986…

“I love Lucy wasn’t just a name.”  images

SB

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About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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21 Responses to I Still Love Lucy

  1. Since I’m not a fan of slapstick comedy, she never was my favorite but I appreciate her genius. There are some scenes that will live forever like the chocolate factory and the grape stomping. It’s too bad there was discord on the set but it never seemed to disturb the show.

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  2. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    Hi ! I read all your posts and enjoy 99.9 % of them as you know, however this morning I almost wrote back that the post was a bit on the downer side. So I’m not alone, keep writing I love them, and especially your everyday stories. Also like the guy said the other day, spice them up, you do a great job with that topic !
    Hope to speak to you soon ! Stay warm
    Hal

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  3. Lucy is a legend, no one like her.

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  4. Amy says:

    Lucy is my “go to gal” when I want to laugh!

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  5. Elle Knowles says:

    I love ‘I Love Lucy’! I told H he should watch more and stop watching CNN. He’d be a much happier person! Read a book about them and the tv show but don’t remember the name. I’ll have to pull it out. 😉 ~Elle

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  6. pmahaney says:

    I remember seeing that interview, and you could tell he really meant those words.

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  7. skinnyuz2b says:

    I didn’t care for the show as a kid during the 50s, but loved it as I grew older.

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  8. I guess it goes to show that there are always real, imperfect people behind the laughter and jokes. She had kind of a tragic life, despite all the success. I love that last quote. Wow.

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