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Lucille Ball Essay Research Paper On April

Lucille Ball Essay, Research Paper On April 26, 1989, the world lost an extremely talented comic genius, Lucille Ball. There are so many things to learn about this extraordinary woman: her childhood, her acting career, and her unfortunate death. Lucille Ball will most surely be known as a premiere comedienne of the 20th century.

Lucille Ball Essay, Research Paper

On April 26, 1989, the world lost an extremely talented comic genius, Lucille Ball. There are so many things to learn about this extraordinary woman: her childhood, her acting career, and her unfortunate death. Lucille Ball will most surely be known as a premiere comedienne of the 20th century. Lucille Ball was born in Jamestown, New York on August 6, 1911. She spent her first few years in Anaconda, Montana and Wyandotte, Michigan. When Lucy was three and a half her mother, Desiree, was pregnant with her second child and her father, Had, was stricken with typhoid fever. On February 28, 1915, Had died of his illness. This left Lucy without a single recollection of what he was like. Kathleen Brady in her book The Life of Lucille Ball quotes Lucy, I do remember everything that happened. . . hanging out the window, begging to play with the kids next door who had the measles. . . the doctor coming, my mother weeping. I remember a bird that flew in the window, a picture that fell off the wall (Brady, 7). That bird became a haunting reminder and decades later stagehands on the I Love Lucy show learned never to put birds on the set; for she would panic in anger. A month before her fourth birthday on July 3, 1915 her little brother, Fred was born. A few years later Desiree married again. This time to Ed Peterson on September 17, 1918. Ed did not like children and wouldn’t allow Lucy or Fred to call him ?daddy?. When Lucy was in first grade, Desiree left Lucy with Ed?s parents and Fred with her own. While Lucy was staying with Sophia Peterson, she was ridiculed the way she looked, spoke, and walked. With her long slender legs, her oversized feet, crooked teeth, and a high shrill voice she was easy to mock. Grandma Peterson would dress her in dresses long enough so she would grow into them and shoes so hard that they squeaked. Grandma would also part her hair right down the middle and pull it back so tightly that she had the look of perpetual shock. Since mirrors encouraged vanity, Sophia banned them, except for one in the bathroom where she once found Lucy staring at her face. Lucy was then assigned chores as punishment for her self-importance. Money was so scarce that she did not have a pencil in school, a shame so searing that in her forties she hoarded pencils that were meant for her employees to use. When she was confronted by an executive that asked her where the pencils were going she took him to a back closet and showed him the packages of unwrapped pencils. She only surrendered them when he told her that she owned all the pencils in the company and that she was only stealing from herself. The most important influence on Lucy?s early years was Celeron Park. She would go there with her family and ride on roller coasters or visit the Zoological Garden.

In 1919, when Lucy was eight she was known as a hyperactive child. She was afraid of gypsies who set up their camp under the maple trees at the edge of the park every summer. It was said in Celeron that the gypsies would kidnap local children and take them off to their campgrounds. Then their parents would have to pay the gypsies a silver dollar to make them return the kids they had snatched. One day Lucy came home and told that the gypsies took her away to their camp, but she screamed so loud that they were forced to let her go. This caused paranoia in the family. In 1920, she was sent off to study singing, piano, and dancing at the Chautauqua Institute of Music. After Lucy came back from school her maternal grandmother, Florabelle, died of cancer of the uterus on July 1, 1922. Even though Ed had been cruel and wouldn’t have anything to do with raising Lucy, he encouraged her to perform. Since Ed belonged to the Shriners, he arranged for her to act, dance, and sing at their conventions. In 1923, Ed and Desiree took her to see the celebrated monologist Julius Tannen who was performing in the area. After seeing his performance Lucy said, Tannen was magic. . . just this voice, and this magnificent man enthralling you with his stories. . . his intonations. . . which I never, never forgot! He changed my life. I knew it was a very serious, wonderful thing to be able to make people laugh and cry, to be able to play on their emotions. . . (Higham, 23). Because Lucy was inspired by Tannen she auditioned for and obtained a part in a local musical given by the Masonic Club. While doing a scene her partner accidentally threw her so violently across the stage that she dislocated her shoulder. For the rest of her life she had trouble with that shoulder. When she was twelve and a half she took a bus to New York and got a job as a chorus girl in the Schubert Musical Stepping Stones. She was soon fired and sent home when her true age was discovered. At the age of 14, Lucy was tall and excessively thin and leggy for her age. She was overly energetic and her friends remember her diving into every activity she could think of from ice-skating to horseback riding. In 1925, she entered Celeron High School. There she began organizing a dramatic club and a school band. She directed and starred in plays and musicals.

On July 3, 1927, it was Fred?s twelfth birthday and the eve of the 4th of July. Grandpa Hunt decided to have a Fourth-of-July-Eve-Party for some of the neighboring children as well as a visiting girl from a neighboring town, Joanna Ottinger. Grandpa had bought that afternoon a .22 caliber rifle and foolishly gave it to the kids. It had bullets in it to practice with in the backyard. Fred fired some shots at a tin can. Lucy then followed and finally Joanna picked up the gun. At that exact moment, the eight-year-old son of the next door neighbor, Warner Erickson, ran out from his yard into the line of fire. Joanna was firing and the bullet from the gun went through Warner?s back and lodged in his left lung. He fell to the ground screaming and bleeding. His lower limbs, back, and arms were paralyzed. Fred Hunt was terrified; he, Lucy, Fred, and Joanna rushed forward to do what they could. Then Erickson?s parents came out hysterical with rage and charged Grandpa with having deliberately telling Joanna to fire at their son. Policed were called and a harrowing ordeal followed. Warner was hurried to the hospital unable to move. The boy?s father, Einer Erickson, filed a complaint at his attorney?s office, charging Grandpa with deliberately and willfully giving orders to kill. Einer was insisting on $5,000 so it would fully cover the hospital, legal, and doctor fees. Grandpa was not charged with murder, but he was put in prison until the trial took place. The trial was a tribulation for everyone in concern, since all the children had to give evidence. Even thought the shooting had been an accident, Grandpa?s irresponsibility was punished appropriately. Since Fred Hunt?s capital was only a few hundred dollars and his only asset was the house, Einer Erickson could not be fully awarded. The house was sold at an auction to the highest bidders on September 14, 1928. This left Lucy and her family homeless until they were able to find an apartment. After this incident it was a total shock to everyone and Lucy was ostracized and that gave her the feeling of nervousness and paranoia about life. After the shooting, Ed?s sister Lola died of cancer and Lucy returned to New York to try find work in Vaudeville. She was not very successful. She struggled as an artist?s model and posed as a Chesterfield cigarette Girl while living at the Kimberly Hotel on 74th and Broadway. Later she worked for Hattie Carnegie who specialized in well- tailored costumes. Many celebrated women came into Hattie?s salon. Among those women was Joan Bennett. For some reason, Hattie decided that Lucy resembled Joan. From then on Lucy modeled clothes for her. Lucy even dyed her hair platinum blond to match Joan?s hair color.

One day Lucy was walking across the floor in a new costume and fell to the floor with severe pains in her legs in front of the costumers and staff. Hattie insisted that she see her own physician. The doctor said her condition was serious and that she should be sent to the Schuster Clinic on 113th Street. She was diagnosed with early signs of rheumatoid arthritis. This was quite rare at her age of seventeen. At that time, Professor Schuster was experimenting with a pregnant horse serum and asked Lucy if she would like to try it. She accepted in an instant. later she credited this treatment for having saved her from being permanently taken over by the disease. She still had to give up her modeling and go home. She spent most of her time in bed or in a wheelchair. Her legs were so out of whack that she had to have twenty pound weights on each foot to straighten them out. For the next two years she was in constant pain. She wondered if she would be able to pursue her acting career again. Lucy?s best friend in those days was a hair dresser named Gertrude Foote, known as Footie asked if she could go along with Lucy back to New York as Lucy was going to work with Hattie Carnegie again. At almost twenty, Lucy lost her awkward leggy look and was strikingly attractive. Her hair was a mousy brown and her eyes were an intense blazing blue. A designer, Rose Ruth, who was a favorite at Hattie?s was walking with Lucy when she ran into a friend, Sylvia Hahlo, an actors? agent. Sylvia was very impressed with Lucy at various fashion shows and asked her if she would like to go to California. Lucy asked what she would do there. Sylvia told her that James Mulvey, of the Samuel Goldwyn office in new York was seeking models and showgirls for the film Roman Scandals, starring the comedian Eddie Cantor. These girls would be added to the galaxy of beauties known as the ?Goldwyn Girls?, who were chosen for their looks and popularity at the time. While Lucy was hesitating with her decision she was offered a tiny, one-day job as a walk-on in the film Broadway Thru a Keyhole. Sylvia rushed shots of Lucy in the film to Goldwyn. The representatives in New York signed her to a contract. But when Goldwyn ran tests on her in Hollywood he didn?t like her at all. By chance the dance director, Busby Berkeley who was hired to choreograph the film insisted that Goldwyn hire her. If it hadn?t been for Berkeley, Lucy may have never came to Hollywood.

Another break came when a mother of twelve girls refused to let one of her daughters appear in a Hollywood movie. At the same time Lucy was starting out so was Betty Grable. Betty could sing or pretend to quite effectively, but Lucy couldn?t and that made her feel inferior. Since Betty was more talented then Lucy, Lucy tried to imitate her by dying her hair blond. When Lucy wasn?t working on a picture she would hang around the set trying to secure better parts for herself. During this time Lucy was dating Mack Gray a friend of George Raft. Gray was Raft?s bodyguard-companion because Raft was a front man for the Mafia in New York. Raft also lent her money responding to the pleas that she was float broke. He allowed her to ride in his limousine with a chauffeur. Years later she tried to repay him but he wouldn?t hear of it. Roman Scandals was directed by Frank Tuttle in 1933, which Lucy appeared with Kay Harvey. As Kay Harvey remembers one day, I came on the set one day to find ŒQueen Lucy,? as we called her, riding a beautiful brown horse. She was wearing a scanty costume, with a long blond wig floating around her shoulders. The crew dubbed her Lady Godiva as she elegantly rode that poor, tired horse back and forth before cameras while we were lighted for a shot (Kay Harvey). Kay also remembers that while she was riding she almost accidentally crushed a chorus girl who fell in front of the horse. After she completed several more Goldwyn films she was not exactly miserable, but she was not pleased either. She wasn?t happy with her next film, Blood Money, directed by Rowland Brown. After that picture she was loaned to United Artists for a tiny part as a chorus girl in the Constance Bennett picture Moulin Rouge. She took no interest in her next few pictures: Bottoms Up, Hold That Girl, Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back, The Affairs of Cellini, or Kid Millions. Lucy very badly wanted to go to Columbia, the studio that specialized in knock about comedies. She felt that she could grow there. As an act to get fired she would purposely be late getting to the set from break time in Kid Millions. Lucy finally got her interview with Harry Cohn at Columbia. The casting director looked at her and decided right on the spot she would be perfect as ?a dumb broad.? Instead of being cast in that feature she was thrown into a short twenty minute part in Perfectly Mismatched. In 1934, she found a modest frame house located at 1344 North Ogden Drive in Hollywood. She borrowed the down payment of $65 from George Raft.

She hit rock bottom in Three Little Pigskins, starring the Three Stooges, whose idea of comedy was tweaking noses, smashing pies into peoples faces, and dumping cans of paint on to people?s heads. She didn?t like this kind of comedy. By this time Lucy was unhappy in Hollywood. Columbia had only signed a contract with her to do bits. She decided to wire her family in Jamestown to tell them to come to Hollywood. She told them that she had no career and that she was still poor. They packed their bags and were off to live with Lucy. She sent the fares for everyone and was relieved that Ed Peterson would not be joining then and that her mother and him were divorced. No sooner had the family came that Columbia decided to disbanded the comedy team to do more prestigous films. While Lucy was out taking a walk on the street, she ran into a friend, Dick Gree, who said there was an opening for a showgirl at RKO and were paying $50 a week. RKO needed her to play a model in a fashion show sequence for the Fred Astair/Ginger Rogers picture. Even though she only had to walk down an isle wearing ostrich feathers, it was an honor to her to appear in one of their pictures. Emerging at the same time was Lucy?s RKO rival, Betty Grable, who was more talented than her. To compete with her Lucy dyed her hair red. Not knowing what she was doing on March 19, 1936, Lucy registered with the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters to affiliate with the Communist Party. From this decision, years later during the McCarthy era she was put into the threat of professional ruin and public exposure. She always said that decision was only to please her grandfather. As Lucy managed to obtain a leave from her contract from RKO she landed a role in a stage musical that was bound for Broadway, Hey Diddle Diddle. After the opening on January 21, 1937 of Hey Diddle Diddle at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, New Jersey she received remarks from the Variety saying: ?Miss Ball fattens a fat part and almost walks off with the play. She outlines a consistent character and continuously gives it logical substance. Has a sense of timing and, with a few exceptions, keeps her comedy under control.? (Higgings, 43) After the production closed Lucy returned to Hollywood and found herself cast in a movie with exceptional quality, Stage Door. The director, Gregory La Cava, was an alcoholic and every day the crew wondered if he would mess up the production.

It wasn?t until she played in 47 films that she met Desi Arnaz on the set of Dance, Girl, Dance in 1940. Desi and Lucy didn?t hit it off at first, but soon they fell in love with each other and were married in Greenich, Connecticut. From 1940 on she continued to play in movies and films. Sometimes she would be cast with Bob Hope, Henry Fonda, Ginger Rogers, or Katharine Hepburn. Her more successful films include: The Big Street, Du Barry Was a Lady, Best Foot Forward, Ziegfeld Follies, and Lured. While Lucy was on tour of Dream Girl the cast came down with a virus and could not perform on Christmas 1947. In generosity Lucy paid for the casts hospital bills and wages. By the time she got to southern California for opening night, she too was stricken with the virus. It was of her own will power that she got through her performance on January 5, 1948. The review by the Los Angeles Time?s Edwin Schallert was favorable and he wrote: Here is a young lady of the films who could, if she would, have a dazzling footlight career. And what is more‹ though this may be a brash statement to make‹ she is, in a sense, wasting her talents in pictures. . . Miss Ball is a striking presence in the footlight world. She has efficiency as a comedienne. She can tinge a scene delicately with pathos. She has special facility in dealing with sharp-edged repartee. She apparently never overdoes the sentimental side of a role. . . (Higham, 89&90). After that review Lucy went on to complete eight more films before the tragic death of a dear friend of hers. In the spring of 1951, S. Sylvan Simon at the age of forty-one committed suicide for unknown reasons. Lucy told that it was he who inspired the crazy comedy that led to ?I Love Lucy.? Lucy and Desi went on to start their own television series. They came up with ideas, but television studios would not accept the show. After taking out loans, Lucy and Desi founded ?Desilu Productions.? I Love Lucy became the most popular television series of its decade running continuously from 1951 to 1957. In 1960, Lucy divorced Desi. Later she became head of two major television companies and did more ?Lucy? series; The Lucy show (1962-69), Here?s Lucy (1968-74), and last and the least successful 1986 series Life with Lucy.

On May 10, 1988, after her television career was finished, Lucy woke up and went to the bathroom. Suddenly she felt a heavy object fall into her lap. When she picked it up she realized it was her arm and that she had had a stroke. Her then husband, Gary rushed her to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and she spent a few hours in intensive care. She was then released and a nurse, Trudi Arcudi moved in with her. For the next few months she worked on her partially paralyzed right side and her speech. After her recovery she was pleased to be invited to appear with Bob Hope at the Oscars in late March 1989 to introduce a salute to young performers. Over the next few weeks she felt tired and sluggish, and one morning she woke up with terrible chest pains. She was driven to the hospital by Gary. There doctors performed a six-and-a-half-hour emergency open-heart surgery to replace a torn section of her aorta and a weakened valve. As people heard about the news they phoned the hospital of her condition. She received flowers and cards by the ton. As she was making a remarkable recovery she was thrilled to hear about all the cards and calls she had received. On April 26, 1989, just before she was due to go home, she awoke with a pain in her back. Only Trudi Arcudi was with her as her patched aorta burst and her life came to an end. Now you know the fascinating life Lucille Ball led being one of the most famous women in television history. Although her childhood may be shocking to you. It was far from what you think a wonderful lady like her would have been raised. But even the misfortunate live to be extraordinary people. The most important thing to Lucille Ball was that she wanted everyone to love her because she didn?t receive that kind of love as a child. Lucy did die knowing that everyone loved her after all.

On April 26, 1989, the world lost an extremely talented comic genius, Lucille Ball. There are so many things to learn about this extraordinary woman: her childhood, her acting career, and her unfortunate death. Lucille Ball will most surely be known as a premiere comedienne of the 20th century. Lucille Ball was born in Jamestown, New York on August 6, 1911. She spent her first few years in Anaconda, Montana and Wyandotte, Michigan. When Lucy was three and a half her mother, Desiree, was pregnant with her second child and her father, Had, was stricken with typhoid fever. On February 28, 1915, Had died of his illness. This left Lucy without a single recollection of what he was like. Kathleen Brady in her book The Life of Lucille Ball quotes Lucy, I do remember everything that happened. . . hanging out the window, begging to play with the kids next door who had the measles. . . the doctor coming, my mother weeping. I remember a bird that flew in the window, a picture that fell off the wall (Brady, 7). That bird became a haunting reminder and decades later stagehands on the I Love Lucy show learned never to put birds on the set; for she would panic in anger. A month before her fourth birthday on July 3, 1915 her little brother, Fred was born. A few years later Desiree married again. This time to Ed Peterson on September 17, 1918. Ed did not like children and wouldn’t allow Lucy or Fred to call him ?daddy?. When Lucy was in first grade, Desiree left Lucy with Ed?s parents and Fred with her own. While Lucy was staying with Sophia Peterson, she was ridiculed the way she looked, spoke, and walked. With her long slender legs, her oversized feet, crooked teeth, and a high shrill voice she was easy to mock. Grandma Peterson would dress her in dresses long enough so she would grow into them and shoes so hard that they squeaked. Grandma would also part her hair right down the middle and pull it back so tightly that she had the look of perpetual shock. Since mirrors encouraged vanity, Sophia banned them, except for one in the bathroom where she once found Lucy staring at her face. Lucy was then assigned chores as punishment for her self-importance. Money was so scarce that she did not have a pencil in school, a shame so searing that in her forties she hoarded pencils that were meant for her employees to use. When she was confronted by an executive that asked her where the pencils were going she took him to a back closet and showed him the packages of unwrapped pencils. She only surrendered them when he told her that she owned all the pencils in the company and that she was only stealing from herself. The most important influence on Lucy?s early years was Celeron Park. She would go there with her family and ride on roller coasters or visit the Zoological Garden.

In 1919, when Lucy was eight she was known as a hyperactive child. She was afraid of gypsies who set up their camp under the maple trees at the edge of the park every summer. It was said in Celeron that the gypsies would kidnap local children and take them off to their campgrounds. Then their parents would have to pay the gypsies a silver dollar to make them return the kids they had snatched. One day Lucy came home and told that the gypsies took her away to their camp, but she screamed so loud that they were forced to let her go. This caused paranoia in the family. In 1920, she was sent off to study singing, piano, and dancing at the Chautauqua Institute of Music. After Lucy came back from school her maternal grandmother, Florabelle, died of cancer of the uterus on July 1, 1922. Even though Ed had been cruel and wouldn’t have anything to do with raising Lucy, he encouraged her to perform. Since Ed belonged to the Shriners, he arranged for her to act, dance, and sing at their conventions. In 1923, Ed and Desiree took her to see the celebrated monologist Julius Tannen who was performing in the area. After seeing his performance Lucy said, Tannen was magic. . . just this voice, and this magnificent man enthralling you with his stories. . . his intonations. . . which I never, never forgot! He changed my life. I knew it was a very serious, wonderful thing to be able to make people laugh and cry, to be able to play on their emotions. . . (Higham, 23). Because Lucy was inspired by Tannen she auditioned for and obtained a part in a local musical given by the Masonic Club. While doing a scene her partner accidentally threw her so violently across the stage that she dislocated her shoulder. For the rest of her life she had trouble with that shoulder. When she was twelve and a half she took a bus to New York and got a job as a chorus girl in the Schubert Musical Stepping Stones. She was soon fired and sent home when her true age was discovered. At the age of 14, Lucy was tall and excessively thin and leggy for her age. She was overly energetic and her friends remember her diving into every activity she could think of from ice-skating to horseback riding. In 1925, she entered Celeron High School. There she began organizing a dramatic club and a school band. She directed and starred in plays and musicals.

On July 3, 1927, it was Fred?s twelfth birthday and the eve of the 4th of July. Grandpa Hunt decided to have a Fourth-of-July-Eve-Party for some of the neighboring children as well as a visiting girl from a neighboring town, Joanna Ottinger. Grandpa had bought that afternoon a .22 caliber rifle and foolishly gave it to the kids. It had bullets in it to practice with in the backyard. Fred fired some shots at a tin can. Lucy then followed and finally Joanna picked up the gun. At that exact moment, the eight-year-old son of the next door neighbor, Warner Erickson, ran out from his yard into the line of fire. Joanna was firing and the bullet from the gun went through Warner?s back and lodged in his left lung. He fell to the ground screaming and bleeding. His lower limbs, back, and arms were paralyzed. Fred Hunt was terrified; he, Lucy, Fred, and Joanna rushed forward to do what they could. Then Erickson?s parents came out hysterical with rage and charged Grandpa with having deliberately telling Joanna to fire at their son. Policed were called and a harrowing ordeal followed. Warner was hurried to the hospital unable to move. The boy?s father, Einer Erickson, filed a complaint at his attorney?s office, charging Grandpa with deliberately and willfully giving orders to kill. Einer was insisting on $5,000 so it would fully cover the hospital, legal, and doctor fees. Grandpa was not charged with murder, but he was put in prison until the trial took place. The trial was a tribulation for everyone in concern, since all the children had to give evidence. Even thought the shooting had been an accident, Grandpa?s irresponsibility was punished appropriately. Since Fred Hunt?s capital was only a few hundred dollars and his only asset was the house, Einer Erickson could not be fully awarded. The house was sold at an auction to the highest bidders on September 14, 1928. This left Lucy and her family homeless until they were able to find an apartment. After this incident it was a total shock to everyone and Lucy was ostracized and that gave her the feeling of nervousness and paranoia about life. After the shooting, Ed?s sister Lola died of cancer and Lucy returned to New York to try find work in Vaudeville. She was not very successful. She struggled as an artist?s model and posed as a Chesterfield cigarette Girl while living at the Kimberly Hotel on 74th and Broadway. Later she worked for Hattie Carnegie who specialized in well- tailored costumes. Many celebrated women came into Hattie?s salon. Among those women was Joan Bennett. For some reason, Hattie decided that Lucy resembled Joan. From then on Lucy modeled clothes for her. Lucy even dyed her hair platinum blond to match Joan?s hair color.

One day Lucy was walking across the floor in a new costume and fell to the floor with severe pains in her legs in front of the costumers and staff. Hattie insisted that she see her own physician. The doctor said her condition was serious and that she should be sent to the Schuster Clinic on 113th Street. She was diagnosed with early signs of rheumatoid arthritis. This was quite rare at her age of seventeen. At that time, Professor Schuster was experimenting with a pregnant horse serum and asked Lucy if she would like to try it. She accepted in an instant. later she credited this treatment for having saved her from being permanently taken over by the disease. She still had to give up her modeling and go home. She spent most of her time in bed or in a wheelchair. Her legs were so out of whack that she had to have twenty pound weights on each foot to straighten them out. For the next two years she was in constant pain. She wondered if she would be able to pursue her acting career again. Lucy?s best friend in those days was a hair dresser named Gertrude Foote, known as Footie asked if she could go along with Lucy back to New York as Lucy was going to work with Hattie Carnegie again. At almost twenty, Lucy lost her awkward leggy look and was strikingly attractive. Her hair was a mousy brown and her eyes were an intense blazing blue. A designer, Rose Ruth, who was a favorite at Hattie?s was walking with Lucy when she ran into a friend, Sylvia Hahlo, an actors? agent. Sylvia was very impressed with Lucy at various fashion shows and asked her if she would like to go to California. Lucy asked what she would do there. Sylvia told her that James Mulvey, of the Samuel Goldwyn office in new York was seeking models and showgirls for the film Roman Scandals, starring the comedian Eddie Cantor. These girls would be added to the galaxy of beauties known as the ?Goldwyn Girls?, who were chosen for their looks and popularity at the time. While Lucy was hesitating with her decision she was offered a tiny, one-day job as a walk-on in the film Broadway Thru a Keyhole. Sylvia rushed shots of Lucy in the film to Goldwyn. The representatives in New York signed her to a contract. But when Goldwyn ran tests on her in Hollywood he didn?t like her at all. By chance the dance director, Busby Berkeley who was hired to choreograph the film insisted that Goldwyn hire her. If it hadn?t been for Berkeley, Lucy may have never came to Hollywood.

Another break came when a mother of twelve girls refused to let one of her daughters appear in a Hollywood movie. At the same time Lucy was starting out so was Betty Grable. Betty could sing or pretend to quite effectively, but Lucy couldn?t and that made her feel inferior. Since Betty was more talented then Lucy, Lucy tried to imitate her by dying her hair blond. When Lucy wasn?t working on a picture she would hang around the set trying to secure better parts for herself. During this time Lucy was dating Mack Gray a friend of George Raft. Gray was Raft?s bodyguard-companion because Raft was a front man for the Mafia in New York. Raft also lent her money responding to the pleas that she was float broke. He allowed her to ride in his limousine with a chauffeur. Years later she tried to repay him but he wouldn?t hear of it. Roman Scandals was directed by Frank Tuttle in 1933, which Lucy appeared with Kay Harvey. As Kay Harvey remembers one day, I came on the set one day to find ŒQueen Lucy,? as we called her, riding a beautiful brown horse. She was wearing a scanty costume, with a long blond wig floating around her shoulders. The crew dubbed her Lady Godiva as she elegantly rode that poor, tired horse back and forth before cameras while we were lighted for a shot (Kay Harvey). Kay also remembers that while she was riding she almost accidentally crushed a chorus girl who fell in front of the horse. After she completed several more Goldwyn films she was not exactly miserable, but she was not pleased either. She wasn?t happy with her next film, Blood Money, directed by Rowland Brown. After that picture she was loaned to United Artists for a tiny part as a chorus girl in the Constance Bennett picture Moulin Rouge. She took no interest in her next few pictures: Bottoms Up, Hold That Girl, Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back, The Affairs of Cellini, or Kid Millions. Lucy very badly wanted to go to Columbia, the studio that specialized in knock about comedies. She felt that she could grow there. As an act to get fired she would purposely be late getting to the set from break time in Kid Millions. Lucy finally got her interview with Harry Cohn at Columbia. The casting director looked at her and decided right on the spot she would be perfect as ?a dumb broad.? Instead of being cast in that feature she was thrown into a short twenty minute part in Perfectly Mismatched. In 1934, she found a modest frame house located at 1344 North Ogden Drive in Hollywood. She borrowed the down payment of $65 from George Raft.

She hit rock bottom in Three Little Pigskins, starring the Three Stooges, whose idea of comedy was tweaking noses, smashing pies into peoples faces, and dumping cans of paint on to people?s heads. She didn?t like this kind of comedy. By this time Lucy was unhappy in Hollywood. Columbia had only signed a contract with her to do bits. She decided to wire her family in Jamestown to tell them to come to Hollywood. She told them that she had no career and that she was still poor. They packed their bags and were off to live with Lucy. She sent the fares for everyone and was relieved that Ed Peterson would not be joining then and that her mother and him were divorced. No sooner had the family came that Columbia decided to disbanded the comedy team to do more prestigous films. While Lucy was out taking a walk on the street, she ran into a friend, Dick Gree, who said there was an opening for a showgirl at RKO and were paying $50 a week. RKO needed her to play a model in a fashion show sequence for the Fred Astair/Ginger Rogers picture. Even though she only had to walk down an isle wearing ostrich feathers, it was an honor to her to appear in one of their pictures. Emerging at the same time was Lucy?s RKO rival, Betty Grable, who was more talented than her. To compete with her Lucy dyed her hair red. Not knowing what she was doing on March 19, 1936, Lucy registered with the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters to affiliate with the Communist Party. From this decision, years later during the McCarthy era she was put into the threat of professional ruin and public exposure. She always said that decision was only to please her grandfather. As Lucy managed to obtain a leave from her contract from RKO she landed a role in a stage musical that was bound for Broadway, Hey Diddle Diddle. After the opening on January 21, 1937 of Hey Diddle Diddle at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, New Jersey she received remarks from the Variety saying: ?Miss Ball fattens a fat part and almost walks off with the play. She outlines a consistent character and continuously gives it logical substance. Has a sense of timing and, with a few exceptions, keeps her comedy under control.? (Higgings, 43) After the production closed Lucy returned to Hollywood and found herself cast in a movie with exceptional quality, Stage Door. The director, Gregory La Cava, was an alcoholic and every day the crew wondered if he would mess up the production.

It wasn?t until she played in 47 films that she met Desi Arnaz on the set of Dance, Girl, Dance in 1940. Desi and Lucy didn?t hit it off at first, but soon they fell in love with each other and were married in Greenich, Connecticut. From 1940 on she continued to play in movies and films. Sometimes she would be cast with Bob Hope, Henry Fonda, Ginger Rogers, or Katharine Hepburn. Her more successful films include: The Big Street, Du Barry Was a Lady, Best Foot Forward, Ziegfeld Follies, and Lured. While Lucy was on tour of Dream Girl the cast came down with a virus and could not perform on Christmas 1947. In generosity Lucy paid for the casts hospital bills and wages. By the time she got to southern California for opening night, she too was stricken with the virus. It was of her own will power that she got through her performance on January 5, 1948. The review by the Los Angeles Time?s Edwin Schallert was favorable and he wrote: Here is a young lady of the films who could, if she would, have a dazzling footlight career. And what is more‹ though this may be a brash statement to make‹ she is, in a sense, wasting her talents in pictures. . . Miss Ball is a striking presence in the footlight world. She has efficiency as a comedienne. She can tinge a scene delicately with pathos. She has special facility in dealing with sharp-edged repartee. She apparently never overdoes the sentimental side of a role. . . (Higham, 89&90). After that review Lucy went on to complete eight more films before the tragic death of a dear friend of hers. In the spring of 1951, S. Sylvan Simon at the age of forty-one committed suicide for unknown reasons. Lucy told that it was he who inspired the crazy comedy that led to ?I Love Lucy.? Lucy and Desi went on to start their own television series. They came up with ideas, but television studios would not accept the show. After taking out loans, Lucy and Desi founded ?Desilu Productions.? I Love Lucy became the most popular television series of its decade running continuously from 1951 to 1957. In 1960, Lucy divorced Desi. Later she became head of two major television companies and did more ?Lucy? series; The Lucy show (1962-69), Here?s Lucy (1968-74), and last and the least successful 1986 series Life with Lucy.

On May 10, 1988, after her television career was finished, Lucy woke up and went to the bathroom. Suddenly she felt a heavy object fall into her lap. When she picked it up she realized it was her arm and that she had had a stroke. Her then husband, Gary rushed her to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and she spent a few hours in intensive care. She was then released and a nurse, Trudi Arcudi moved in with her. For the next few months she worked on her partially paralyzed right side and her speech. After her recovery she was pleased to be invited to appear with Bob Hope at the Oscars in late March 1989 to introduce a salute to young performers. Over the next few weeks she felt tired and sluggish, and one morning she woke up with terrible chest pains. She was driven to the hospital by Gary. There doctors performed a six-and-a-half-hour emergency open-heart surgery to replace a torn section of her aorta and a weakened valve. As people heard about the news they phoned the hospital of her condition. She received flowers and cards by the ton. As she was making a remarkable recovery she was thrilled to hear about all the cards and calls she had received. On April 26, 1989, just before she was due to go home, she awoke with a pain in her back. Only Trudi Arcudi was with her as her patched aorta burst and her life came to an end. Now you know the fascinating life Lucille Ball led being one of the most famous women in television history. Although her childhood may be shocking to you. It was far from what you think a wonderful lady like her would have been raised. But even the misfortunate live to be extraordinary people. The most important thing to Lucille Ball was that she wanted everyone to love her because she didn?t receive that kind of love as a child. Lucy did die knowing that everyone loved her after all.

On April 26, 1989, the world lost an extremely talented comic genius, Lucille Ball. There are so many things to learn about this extraordinary woman: her childhood, her acting career, and her unfortunate death. Lucille Ball will most surely be known as a premiere comedienne of the 20th century. Lucille Ball was born in Jamestown, New York on August 6, 1911. She spent her first few years in Anaconda, Montana and Wyandotte, Michigan. When Lucy was three and a half her mother, Desiree, was pregnant with her second child and her father, Had, was stricken with typhoid fever. On February 28, 1915, Had died of his illness. This left Lucy without a single recollection of what he was like. Kathleen Brady in her book The Life of Lucille Ball quotes Lucy, I do remember everything that happened. . . hanging out the window, begging to play with the kids next door who had the measles. . . the doctor coming, my mother weeping. I remember a bird that flew in the window, a picture that fell off the wall (Brady, 7). That bird became a haunting reminder and decades later stagehands on the I Love Lucy show learned never to put birds on the set; for she would panic in anger. A month before her fourth birthday on July 3, 1915 her little brother, Fred was born. A few years later Desiree married again. This time to Ed Peterson on September 17, 1918. Ed did not like children and wouldn’t allow Lucy or Fred to call him ?daddy?. When Lucy was in first grade, Desiree left Lucy with Ed?s parents and Fred with her own. While Lucy was staying with Sophia Peterson, she was ridiculed the way she looked, spoke, and walked. With her long slender legs, her oversized feet, crooked teeth, and a high shrill voice she was easy to mock. Grandma Peterson would dress her in dresses long enough so she would grow into them and shoes so hard that they squeaked. Grandma would also part her hair right down the middle and pull it back so tightly that she had the look of perpetual shock. Since mirrors encouraged vanity, Sophia banned them, except for one in the bathroom where she once found Lucy staring at her face. Lucy was then assigned chores as punishment for her self-importance. Money was so scarce that she did not have a pencil in school, a shame so searing that in her forties she hoarded pencils that were meant for her employees to use. When she was confronted by an executive that asked her where the pencils were going she took him to a back closet and showed him the packages of unwrapped pencils. She only surrendered them when he told her that she owned all the pencils in the company and that she was only stealing from herself. The most important influence on Lucy?s early years was Celeron Park. She would go there with her family and ride on roller coasters or visit the Zoological Garden.

In 1919, when Lucy was eight she was known as a hyperactive child. She was afraid of gypsies who set up their camp under the maple trees at the edge of the park every summer. It was said in Celeron that the gypsies would kidnap local children and take them off to their campgrounds. Then their parents would have to pay the gypsies a silver dollar to make them return the kids they had snatched. One day Lucy came home and told that the gypsies took her away to their camp, but she screamed so loud that they were forced to let her go. This caused paranoia in the family. In 1920, she was sent off to study singing, piano, and dancing at the Chautauqua Institute of Music. After Lucy came back from school her maternal grandmother, Florabelle, died of cancer of the uterus on July 1, 1922. Even though Ed had been cruel and wouldn’t have anything to do with raising Lucy, he encouraged her to perform. Since Ed belonged to the Shriners, he arranged for her to act, dance, and sing at their conventions. In 1923, Ed and Desiree took her to see the celebrated monologist Julius Tannen who was performing in the area. After seeing his performance Lucy said, Tannen was magic. . . just this voice, and this magnificent man enthralling you with his stories. . . his intonations. . . which I never, never forgot! He changed my life. I knew it was a very serious, wonderful thing to be able to make people laugh and cry, to be able to play on their emotions. . . (Higham, 23). Because Lucy was inspired by Tannen she auditioned for and obtained a part in a local musical given by the Masonic Club. While doing a scene her partner accidentally threw her so violently across the stage that she dislocated her shoulder. For the rest of her life she had trouble with that shoulder. When she was twelve and a half she took a bus to New York and got a job as a chorus girl in the Schubert Musical Stepping Stones. She was soon fired and sent home when her true age was discovered. At the age of 14, Lucy was tall and excessively thin and leggy for her age. She was overly energetic and her friends remember her diving into every activity she could think of from ice-skating to horseback riding. In 1925, she entered Celeron High School. There she began organizing a dramatic club and a school band. She directed and starred in plays and musicals.

On July 3, 1927, it was Fred?s twelfth birthday and the eve of the 4th of July. Grandpa Hunt decided to have a Fourth-of-July-Eve-Party for some of the neighboring children as well as a visiting girl from a neighboring town, Joanna Ottinger. Grandpa had bought that afternoon a .22 caliber rifle and foolishly gave it to the kids. It had bullets in it to practice with in the backyard. Fred fired some shots at a tin can. Lucy then followed and finally Joanna picked up the gun. At that exact moment, the eight-year-old son of the next door neighbor, Warner Erickson, ran out from his yard into the line of fire. Joanna was firing and the bullet from the gun went through Warner?s back and lodged in his left lung. He fell to the ground screaming and bleeding. His lower limbs, back, and arms were paralyzed. Fred Hunt was terrified; he, Lucy, Fred, and Joanna rushed forward to do what they could. Then Erickson?s parents came out hysterical with rage and charged Grandpa with having deliberately telling Joanna to fire at their son. Policed were called and a harrowing ordeal followed. Warner was hurried to the hospital unable to move. The boy?s father, Einer Erickson, filed a complaint at his attorney?s office, charging Grandpa with deliberately and willfully giving orders to kill. Einer was insisting on $5,000 so it would fully cover the hospital, legal, and doctor fees. Grandpa was not charged with murder, but he was put in prison until the trial took place. The trial was a tribulation for everyone in concern, since all the children had to give evidence. Even thought the shooting had been an accident, Grandpa?s irresponsibility was punished appropriately. Since Fred Hunt?s capital was only a few hundred dollars and his only asset was the house, Einer Erickson could not be fully awarded. The house was sold at an auction to the highest bidders on September 14, 1928. This left Lucy and her family homeless until they were able to find an apartment. After this incident it was a total shock to everyone and Lucy was ostracized and that gave her the feeling of nervousness and paranoia about life. After the shooting, Ed?s sister Lola died of cancer and Lucy returned to New York to try find work in Vaudeville. She was not very successful. She struggled as an artist?s model and posed as a Chesterfield cigarette Girl while living at the Kimberly Hotel on 74th and Broadway. Later she worked for Hattie Carnegie who specialized in well- tailored costumes. Many celebrated women came into Hattie?s salon. Among those women was Joan Bennett. For some reason, Hattie decided that Lucy resembled Joan. From then on Lucy modeled clothes for her. Lucy even dyed her hair platinum blond to match Joan?s hair color.

One day Lucy was walking across the floor in a new costume and fell to the floor with severe pains in her legs in front of the costumers and staff. Hattie insisted that she see her own physician. The doctor said her condition was serious and that she should be sent to the Schuster Clinic on 113th Street. She was diagnosed with early signs of rheumatoid arthritis. This was quite rare at her age of seventeen. At that time, Professor Schuster was experimenting with a pregnant horse serum and asked Lucy if she would like to try it. She accepted in an instant. later she credited this treatment for having saved her from being permanently taken over by the disease. She still had to give up her modeling and go home. She spent most of her time in bed or in a wheelchair. Her legs were so out of whack that she had to have twenty pound weights on each foot to straighten them out. For the next two years she was in constant pain. She wondered if she would be able to pursue her acting career again. Lucy?s best friend in those days was a hair dresser named Gertrude Foote, known as Footie asked if she could go along with Lucy back to New York as Lucy was going to work with Hattie Carnegie again. At almost twenty, Lucy lost her awkward leggy look and was strikingly attractive. Her hair was a mousy brown and her eyes were an intense blazing blue. A designer, Rose Ruth, who was a favorite at Hattie?s was walking with Lucy when she ran into a friend, Sylvia Hahlo, an actors? agent. Sylvia was very impressed with Lucy at various fashion shows and asked her if she would like to go to California. Lucy asked what she would do there. Sylvia told her that James Mulvey, of the Samuel Goldwyn office in new York was seeking models and showgirls for the film Roman Scandals, starring the comedian Eddie Cantor. These girls would be added to the galaxy of beauties known as the ?Goldwyn Girls?, who were chosen for their looks and popularity at the time. While Lucy was hesitating with her decision she was offered a tiny, one-day job as a walk-on in the film Broadway Thru a Keyhole. Sylvia rushed shots of Lucy in the film to Goldwyn. The representatives in New York signed her to a contract. But when Goldwyn ran tests on her in Hollywood he didn?t like her at all. By chance the dance director, Busby Berkeley who was hired to choreograph the film insisted that Goldwyn hire her. If it hadn?t been for Berkeley, Lucy may have never came to Hollywood.

Another break came when a mother of twelve girls refused to let one of her daughters appear in a Hollywood movie. At the same time Lucy was starting out so was Betty Grable. Betty could sing or pretend to quite effectively, but Lucy couldn?t and that made her feel inferior. Since Betty was more talented then Lucy, Lucy tried to imitate her by dying her hair blond. When Lucy wasn?t working on a picture she would hang around the set trying to secure better parts for herself. During this time Lucy was dating Mack Gray a friend of George Raft. Gray was Raft?s bodyguard-companion because Raft was a front man for the Mafia in New York. Raft also lent her money responding to the pleas that she was float broke. He allowed her to ride in his limousine with a chauffeur. Years later she tried to repay him but he wouldn?t hear of it. Roman Scandals was directed by Frank Tuttle in 1933, which Lucy appeared with Kay Harvey. As Kay Harvey remembers one day, I came on the set one day to find ŒQueen Lucy,? as we called her, riding a beautiful brown horse. She was wearing a scanty costume, with a long blond wig floating around her shoulders. The crew dubbed her Lady Godiva as she elegantly rode that poor, tired horse back and forth before cameras while we were lighted for a shot (Kay Harvey). Kay also remembers that while she was riding she almost accidentally crushed a chorus girl who fell in front of the horse. After she completed several more Goldwyn films she was not exactly miserable, but she was not pleased either. She wasn?t happy with her next film, Blood Money, directed by Rowland Brown. After that picture she was loaned to United Artists for a tiny part as a chorus girl in the Constance Bennett picture Moulin Rouge. She took no interest in her next few pictures: Bottoms Up, Hold That Girl, Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back, The Affairs of Cellini, or Kid Millions. Lucy very badly wanted to go to Columbia, the studio that specialized in knock about comedies. She felt that she could grow there. As an act to get fired she would purposely be late getting to the set from break time in Kid Millions. Lucy finally got her interview with Harry Cohn at Columbia. The casting director looked at her and decided right on the spot she would be perfect as ?a dumb broad.? Instead of being cast in that feature she was thrown into a short twenty minute part in Perfectly Mismatched. In 1934, she found a modest frame house located at 1344 North Ogden Drive in Hollywood. She borrowed the down payment of $65 from George Raft.

She hit rock bottom in Three Little Pigskins, starring the Three Stooges, whose idea of comedy was tweaking noses, smashing pies into peoples faces, and dumping cans of paint on to people?s heads. She didn?t like this kind of comedy. By this time Lucy was unhappy in Hollywood. Columbia had only signed a contract with her to do bits. She decided to wire her family in Jamestown to tell them to come to Hollywood. She told them that she had no career and that she was still poor. They packed their bags and were off to live with Lucy. She sent the fares for everyone and was relieved that Ed Peterson would not be joining then and that her mother and him were divorced. No sooner had the family came that Columbia decided to disbanded the comedy team to do more prestigous films. While Lucy was out taking a walk on the street, she ran into a friend, Dick Gree, who said there was an opening for a showgirl at RKO and were paying $50 a week. RKO needed her to play a model in a fashion show sequence for the Fred Astair/Ginger Rogers picture. Even though she only had to walk down an isle wearing ostrich feathers, it was an honor to her to appear in one of their pictures. Emerging at the same time was Lucy?s RKO rival, Betty Grable, who was more talented than her. To compete with her Lucy dyed her hair red. Not knowing what she was doing on March 19, 1936, Lucy registered with the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters to affiliate with the Communist Party. From this decision, years later during the McCarthy era she was put into the threat of professional ruin and public exposure. She always said that decision was only to please her grandfather. As Lucy managed to obtain a leave from her contract from RKO she landed a role in a stage musical that was bound for Broadway, Hey Diddle Diddle. After the opening on January 21, 1937 of Hey Diddle Diddle at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, New Jersey she received remarks from the Variety saying: ?Miss Ball fattens a fat part and almost walks off with the play. She outlines a consistent character and continuously gives it logical substance. Has a sense of timing and, with a few exceptions, keeps her comedy under control.? (Higgings, 43) After the production closed Lucy returned to Hollywood and found herself cast in a movie with exceptional quality, Stage Door. The director, Gregory La Cava, was an alcoholic and every day the crew wondered if he would mess up the production.

It wasn?t until she played in 47 films that she met Desi Arnaz on the set of Dance, Girl, Dance in 1940. Desi and Lucy didn?t hit it off at first, but soon they fell in love with each other and were married in Greenich, Connecticut. From 1940 on she continued to play in movies and films. Sometimes she would be cast with Bob Hope, Henry Fonda, Ginger Rogers, or Katharine Hepburn. Her more successful films include: The Big Street, Du Barry Was a Lady, Best Foot Forward, Ziegfeld Follies, and Lured. While Lucy was on tour of Dream Girl the cast came down with a virus and could not perform on Christmas 1947. In generosity Lucy paid for the casts hospital bills and wages. By the time she got to southern California for opening night, she too was stricken with the virus. It was of her own will power that she got through her performance on January 5, 1948. The review by the Los Angeles Time?s Edwin Schallert was favorable and he wrote: Here is a young lady of the films who could, if she would, have a dazzling footlight career. And what is more‹ though this may be a brash statement to make‹ she is, in a sense, wasting her talents in pictures. . . Miss Ball is a striking presence in the footlight world. She has efficiency as a comedienne. She can tinge a scene delicately with pathos. She has special facility in dealing with sharp-edged repartee. She apparently never overdoes the sentimental side of a role. . . (Higham, 89&90). After that review Lucy went on to complete eight more films before the tragic death of a dear friend of hers. In the spring of 1951, S. Sylvan Simon at the age of forty-one committed suicide for unknown reasons. Lucy told that it was he who inspired the crazy comedy that led to ?I Love Lucy.? Lucy and Desi went on to start their own television series. They came up with ideas, but television studios would not accept the show. After taking out loans, Lucy and Desi founded ?Desilu Productions.? I Love Lucy became the most popular television series of its decade running continuously from 1951 to 1957. In 1960, Lucy divorced Desi. Later she became head of two major television companies and did more ?Lucy? series; The Lucy show (1962-69), Here?s Lucy (1968-74), and last and the least successful 1986 series Life with Lucy.

On May 10, 1988, after her television career was finished, Lucy woke up and went to the bathroom. Suddenly she felt a heavy object fall into her lap. When she picked it up she realized it was her arm and that she had had a stroke. Her then husband, Gary rushed her to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and she spent a few hours in intensive care. She was then released and a nurse, Trudi Arcudi moved in with her. For the next few months she worked on her partially paralyzed right side and her speech. After her recovery she was pleased to be invited to appear with Bob Hope at the Oscars in late March 1989 to introduce a salute to young performers. Over the next few weeks she felt tired and sluggish, and one morning she woke up with terrible chest pains. She was driven to the hospital by Gary. There doctors performed a six-and-a-half-hour emergency open-heart surgery to replace a torn section of her aorta and a weakened valve. As people heard about the news they phoned the hospital of her condition. She received flowers and cards by the ton. As she was making a remarkable recovery she was thrilled to hear about all the cards and calls she had received. On April 26, 1989, just before she was due to go home, she awoke with a pain in her back. Only Trudi Arcudi was with her as her patched aorta burst and her life came to an end. Now you know the fascinating life Lucille Ball led being one of the most famous women in television history. Although her childhood may be shocking to you. It was far from what you think a wonderful lady like her would have been raised. But even the misfortunate live to be extraordinary people. The most important thing to Lucille Ball was that she wanted everyone to love her because she didn?t receive that kind of love as a child. Lucy did die knowing that everyone loved her after all.

On April 26, 1989, the world lost an extremely talented comic genius, Lucille Ball. There are so many things to learn about this extraordinary woman: her childhood, her acting career, and her unfortunate death. Lucille Ball will most surely be known as a premiere comedienne of the 20th century. Lucille Ball was born in Jamestown, New York on August 6, 1911. She spent her first few years in Anaconda, Montana and Wyandotte, Michigan. When Lucy was three and a half her mother, Desiree, was pregnant with her second child and her father, Had, was stricken with typhoid fever. On February 28, 1915, Had died of his illness. This left Lucy without a single recollection of what he was like. Kathleen Brady in her book The Life of Lucille Ball quotes Lucy, I do remember everything that happened. . . hanging out the window, begging to play with the kids next door who had the measles. . . the doctor coming, my mother weeping. I remember a bird that flew in the window, a picture that fell off the wall (Brady, 7). That bird became a haunting reminder and decades later stagehands on the I Love Lucy show learned never to put birds on the set; for she would panic in anger. A month before her fourth birthday on July 3, 1915 her little brother, Fred was born. A few years later Desiree married again. This time to Ed Peterson on September 17, 1918. Ed did not like children and wouldn’t allow Lucy or Fred to call him ?daddy?. When Lucy was in first grade, Desiree left Lucy with Ed?s parents and Fred with her own. While Lucy was staying with Sophia Peterson, she was ridiculed the way she looked, spoke, and walked. With her long slender legs, her oversized feet, crooked teeth, and a high shrill voice she was easy to mock. Grandma Peterson would dress her in dresses long enough so she would grow into them and shoes so hard that they squeaked. Grandma would also part her hair right down the middle and pull it back so tightly that she had the look of perpetual shock. Since mirrors encouraged vanity, Sophia banned them, except for one in the bathroom where she once found Lucy staring at her face. Lucy was then assigned chores as punishment for her self-importance. Money was so scarce that she did not have a pencil in school, a shame so searing that in her forties she hoarded pencils that were meant for her employees to use. When she was confronted by an executive that asked her where the pencils were going she took him to a back closet and showed him the packages of unwrapped pencils. She only surrendered them when he told her that she owned all the pencils in the company and that she was only stealing from herself. The most important influence on Lucy?s early years was Celeron Park. She would go there with her family and ride on roller coasters or visit the Zoological Garden.

In 1919, when Lucy was eight she was known as a hyperactive child. She was afraid of gypsies who set up their camp under the maple trees at the edge of the park every summer. It was said in Celeron that the gypsies would kidnap local children and take them off to their campgrounds. Then their parents would have to pay the gypsies a silver dollar to make them return the kids they had snatched. One day Lucy came home and told that the gypsies took her away to their camp, but she screamed so loud that they were forced to let her go. This caused paranoia in the family. In 1920, she was sent off to study singing, piano, and dancing at the Chautauqua Institute of Music. After Lucy came back from school her maternal grandmother, Florabelle, died of cancer of the uterus on July 1, 1922. Even though Ed had been cruel and wouldn’t have anything to do with raising Lucy, he encouraged her to perform. Since Ed belonged to the Shriners, he arranged for her to act, dance, and sing at their conventions. In 1923, Ed and Desiree took her to see the celebrated monologist Julius Tannen who was performing in the area. After seeing his performance Lucy said, Tannen was magic. . . just this voice, and this magnificent man enthralling you with his stories. . . his intonations. . . which I never, never forgot! He changed my life. I knew it was a very serious, wonderful thing to be able to make people laugh and cry, to be able to play on their emotions. . . (Higham, 23). Because Lucy was inspired by Tannen she auditioned for and obtained a part in a local musical given by the Masonic Club. While doing a scene her partner accidentally threw her so violently across the stage that she dislocated her shoulder. For the rest of her life she had trouble with that shoulder. When she was twelve and a half she took a bus to New York and got a job as a chorus girl in the Schubert Musical Stepping Stones. She was soon fired and sent home when her true age was discovered. At the age of 14, Lucy was tall and excessively thin and leggy for her age. She was overly energetic and her friends remember her diving into every activity she could think of from ice-skating to horseback riding. In 1925, she entered Celeron High School. There she began organizing a dramatic club and a school band. She directed and starred in plays and musicals.

On July 3, 1927, it was Fred?s twelfth birthday and the eve of the 4th of July. Grandpa Hunt decided to have a Fourth-of-July-Eve-Party for some of the neighboring children as well as a visiting girl from a neighboring town, Joanna Ottinger. Grandpa had bought that afternoon a .22 caliber rifle and foolishly gave it to the kids. It had bullets in it to practice with in the backyard. Fred fired some shots at a tin can. Lucy then followed and finally Joanna picked up the gun. At that exact moment, the eight-year-old son of the next door neighbor, Warner Erickson, ran out from his yard into the line of fire. Joanna was firing and the bullet from the gun went through Warner?s back and lodged in his left lung. He fell to the ground screaming and bleeding. His lower limbs, back, and arms were paralyzed. Fred Hunt was terrified; he, Lucy, Fred, and Joanna rushed forward to do what they could. Then Erickson?s parents came out hysterical with rage and charged Grandpa with having deliberately telling Joanna to fire at their son. Policed were called and a harrowing ordeal followed. Warner was hurried to the hospital unable to move. The boy?s father, Einer Erickson, filed a complaint at his attorney?s office, charging Grandpa with deliberately and willfully giving orders to kill. Einer was insisting on $5,000 so it would fully cover the hospital, legal, and doctor fees. Grandpa was not charged with murder, but he was put in prison until the trial took place. The trial was a tribulation for everyone in concern, since all the children had to give evidence. Even thought the shooting had been an accident, Grandpa?s irresponsibility was punished appropriately. Since Fred Hunt?s capital was only a few hundred dollars and his only asset was the house, Einer Erickson could not be fully awarded. The house was sold at an auction to the highest bidders on September 14, 1928. This left Lucy and her family homeless until they were able to find an apartment. After this inci

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