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.
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|
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.
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|
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)