Thought of as a dizzy sitcom redhead with show business aspirations, Lucille Ball was, in fact, a show business powerhouse & a TV pioneer. As a young woman, 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 supporting roles. She was put under contract to RKO & several small roles, including one in Top Hat (1935), followed. She received starring roles in B-pictures & an occasional good role in an A-picture: Stage Door (1937), & The Big Street (1942). While filming Too Many Girls (1940), she met & fell madly in love with a young Cuban actor/musician- Desi Arnaz. Despite different personalities, lifestyles, religions & ages (he was 6 years younger), the couple had a passionate romance, they eloped & were married in November, 1940. Lucy soon switched to MGM, where she got better roles in films such as Du Barry Was A Lady (1943); Best Foot Forward (1943) & the Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy vehicle Without Love (1945).
In 1948, she took a starring role in the radio comedy My Favorite Husband, where she played the scatterbrained wife of a Midwestern banker. In 1950, CBS offered to turn it into a TV series. After convincing the network to let Desi play her husband & to sign over the rights & creative control of the series to them, work began on the most popular & universally beloved sitcom of all time. With I Love Lucy (1951), she & her husband Desi Arnaz pioneered the 3-camera technique of filming TV sitcoms (still the standard), & the concept of syndicating television programs. She was the first woman to own her own film studio as the head of Desilu.
She started me on a lifetime of TV addiction. I Love Lucy was the very first show I simply couldn't live without.
I still watch it. Once this summer I watched 5 episodes in a row (the very odd, but funny Connecticut year). One evening in July, the Husband & I watched The Long Long Trailer ) & talked about how our love for her never fades or falters. She was a TV pioneer, an astute business woman & one of the great comics of all time. As this video proves, she was even mod in swinging 1960s London. I Love Lucy.