Saturday, July 9, 2011

Love, Lucy

What started after sifting through old file boxes of their mother's while sorting out complicated legalities of her estate, Lucie Arnaz stumbled upon a first person written manuscript of her mother's, Lucille Ball's, life up to 1964. Now to set the record straight written w/ her own voice comes this true-to-its-date story of LEGENDARY actress, Lucille Ball.

As a child, Lucy's mother, DeDe, had her practice piano and helping out in her Aunt Lola's beauty shop as well as chores/housework. Growing up w/ her mother and brother around grandparents, mother & stepfather (since her dad's early passing), her childhood was "challenging but not backbreaking". A disturbed childhood was brought by moving around ALOT, death and cruel circumstances resulted by many painful separations.

It was in the fall on 1926 that Lucy was in high school and her teacher, Ms. Lillian Appleby, urged her direction into acting. Why not? The success of one school play encouraged her to grab whatever/as many shows she could get. At 15, Lucy was hailed "a new discovery". After a legal spat with the neighbors that Lucy seen firsthand what it did to her stepfather's business and financial affairs.

Lucy modeling
Shortly after starting high school, Lucy began running away. After her mother's worry and grief, she put up whatever she had to in order for Lucy to attend drama school. After a failed attempt to be a showgirl, Lucy landed a modeling job of coats at $25.00 a week. Whenever she was homesick, she'd go home to her family. After the modeling took off, overnight Lucy found a world of riches. It was also while working her way through on Broadway in Jamestown, NY that Lucy had dyed her hair dark with a golden glint took a blonde a red-headed personality.

It was in the audience of these fashion shows that Lucy was being looked at by agents who exported to Hollywood. After a quick audition, Lucy had a shot as an actress w/ a working contract in hand. The role in 'Roman Scandals' was small, but life was good. After walk-on's on a few other films, for 2 more parts and she had MADE IT! With one small lie, she had her second major break.

It was soon after signing w/ RKO Productions that Lucy began the regulated increments. Taking classes and working on her craft that she began little roles in big budgeted movies - starting at the bottom to work he way up. After being blackballed by a Hollywood producer, she found another niche: radio. But after doing a play in NY that had recently been given Broadway rights, Too Many Girls, the audience loved it, so did a 22-year-old Cuban Desi Arnaz, who was her co-star in the play.

Lucy and Desi
Although hesitant about Desi at first, she flipped and fell for him and was starry-eyed. After being told of his success, Lucy REALLY fell for him after SHE was the jackpot in for Desi. Although dating and in other locations, NY and Chicago, after an argument that ended up in getting married. Marrying Desi was one of the boldest things she ever did. She loved him and only him, so much she WANTED HIM to be the father of her children. At a country club to a Justice Of The Peace, what started off as sweet/romantic became hectic due to the media.Knowing that Desi wanted a career in the movies, but hard to achieve due to his heavy accent, Lucy did everything she could think of in her power to advance his career. When it came to finances, they had separate account and one accountant who handled both. They each paid for their separate expenses. Lucy saved while Desi spended, once in awhile she would spend and be careful with the rest.

More than anything, Lucy and Desi had wanted to co-star in a movie together, so they did a vaudeville act together and moved to Brooklyn. Lucy was happy to exchange from the trappings of a glamour queen for baggy pants and a derby hat. While the show was offering gigs, they had to turn them down because Lucy was pregnant. But lost the baby 3 months later.

It was after doing another movie 'The Big Street', which was a hit, that day signed w/ MGM because of their being the TOP for musicals. She changed the minute she got them, changing to a brighter red for TechniColor and hated it! It was after making 'Best Foot Forward' that her career at MGM was just kicking into high gear when Desi was drafted into the army in 1943. With Desi coming home less/less and Lucy on a bond tour, the relationship was crashing fast. Desi's nightlife became a problem. In 1944, he stopped coming home. After one divorce, they had tried to make thing better. Desi was released from the army in 1945 and decided to start a rumba band. After a mini-breakdown and trouble from her manager, Lucy was released from MGM.

Pregnant Lucy
Going to Universal Studios was difficult for the first 3 days. Making 'Love Comes Back' was the best thing she could have done while Desi was playing the Copa. So off they both went to NY. In 1949, after working with Bob Hope on a few pictures, Hollywood deemed a "Lucille Ball type" when casting pictures. In 1950, Lucy and Desi formed Desilu Co. to promote themselves. For 10 years, Lucy and Desi had tried to co-star and co-parent and it was all coming true, creating the scene and the characters Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. In return for a 1,000 weekly cut, they were given complete ownership of the show. As they were discussing w/ the writers, the title of the show was born 'I Love Lucy'. On 7-17-1957, Lucy and Desi welcomed Lucie Desiree Arnaz changing their lives completely. Six weeks later .    .    . the filming for the series stared. 'I Love Lucy' LITERALLY changed TV viewing habits on Monday nights: Businesses closed early, Telephone calls dropped in that time slot. It was Phenomenal. In May, Lucy was pregnant again. In that time era, forget the word "pregnant" expressing the term "expecting". Lucille Ball became the FIRST ONE EVER to "show" on television. On January 19TH, Lucy and Ricky had a boy, Desi Arnaz, Jr.
















It was after a HUGELY political scandal mistake involving Communism by Lucy ALOT of BAD PRESS had gone around paying a price which they GREATLY came out of. Desi and Lucy began work on the Lucy and Desi Comedy Special  and after that they each became EXTREMELY busy separate on other jobs. When Big Desi wasn't drinking, he spent most of the time on the phone or checking his horses at the racetrack. Lucy, meanwhile, was disenchanting, better and unforgiving. Lucy then realized they didn't really like each each other in the end COMPLETELY disapproving of each other. Desi made everything public. Toward the end, Desi was practically jumping out the windows. She had her faults, losing her good humor and sense of proportion. She decided to divorce Desi.

Lucy and Gary
In the spring of 1960, after a final scene in show ending, after a final embrace, it was over. Getting away from Desi and Hollywood seemed to be the key. After getting the reviews for a play she'd done in NY, Lucy was set up on a blind date w/ friends' friend Gary Morton. After meeting him in 1960, she seen his humor of someone she could laugh with. She HONESTLY had intention of ever getting married again but, Gary, seemed to good to get away.

Desi had read a book which he thought would make good TV and so Lucy brought Vivian Vance along to make 'Lucy Show'. While Desi was still head of Desilu and Executive Producer, Desi was ready to retire and so in November she bought him out. When Desi had remarried, Lucy, Gary, Desi and new wife, Edie .       .          . let's just say.     .          . you gotta Love, Lucy.


In MY opinion:


This is another book that I strongly recommend due to the fact that this is another "old-Hollywood" story that like it or not IS a part of history that people REALLY should know, and just not from a TV show! See who the person was BEHIND-THE-FUNNY-CAMERAS!











Lucille Ball (August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989) 
















Desi Arnaz (March 2, 1917 – December 2, 1986)


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