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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Lucy at 100 Years



We'll file this one under "life".

Happy 100th birthday to Lucille Ball.

I cannot count the half hour chunks of time that have been spent watching re-runs of I Love Lucy. In my opinion, Lucille Ball is in a league of her own. She paved the way for women in comedy and in the business end of entertainment. She was way ahead of her time and I am thankful.

Even Google got into the act.

The Google doodle was replaced with a vintage TV set that drew the Google logo in a manner similar to the I Love Lucy opening credits. A "Play" button appeared and clicking it brought up a few seconds of various Lucy episodes, including the famous scene featuring Lucy and Ethel working in a candy factory. Flip the "channels" for six Lucy moments, powered by YouTube.

She is remembered as a business powerhouse in Hollywood and partner with her husband, Desi Arnaz.

Remembered as a dizzy sitcom redhead with show business aspirations, Lucille Ball was, in fact, a show business powerhouse and television pioneer. Throughout her teen years, Ball tried unsuccessfully to launch her show business career, finally landing a spot as a "Ziegfeld Girl". She launched her Hollywood career as one of the "Goldwyn Girls", but she moved out from the crowd of starlets to starring roles. With "I Love Lucy" (1951), she and husband Desi Arnaz pioneered the 3-camera technique now the standard in filming TV sitcoms, and the concept of syndicating television programs. She was also the first woman to own her own film studio as the head of Desilu.

As a woman, I love that she demanded Desi play her onscreen husband. She broke taboos by showing bedroom scenes, now completely tame by today's standards. Back then it was twin beds and no racy dialogue. She even filmed while pregnant with her real life son and made it into an episode when he was born. That was unheard of then.

A legend in her own time. Well done.

1 comment:

Beverly said...

She was quite a woman, wasn't she. If we only had good, clean humor like that these days.