Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Lucy!

Although more well known for her prowess on the small-screen, Lucille Ball first started out as a hopeful silver screen actress, appearing in a multitude of uncredited chorus girl roles for RKO and MGM. Her non-traditional comedy talent didn't translate to the big screen and she became known as "Queen of the B's" for the many roles she played in lower-level pictures. In 1953, however, Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz would create a little TV show called I Love Lucy, and the world was never the same again. Now firmly ensconced in a television persona, Ball would make fewer forays onto the big screen, including the Vincente Minnelli comedy The Long, Long Trailer (1953) (with Arnaz), Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) (with Henry Fonda), and the movie musical version of Mame (1974) (with Bea Arthur). 
But her links to the Hollywood movie community remained strong and her television show would often feature guest stars who played themselves to the delight of Lucy herself and fans everywhere. Episodes with William Holden, Harpo Marx, Tallulah Bankhead and Joan Crawford are wonderful reminders that the First Lady of Television started off on a much bigger screen. Lucille Ball would have turned 100 today.

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