Lucille Ball Biography

Lucille Ball, an American model and actress, is best known for her iconic role in the television sitcom ‘I Love Lucy’. Throughout her career, she excelled as a singer, model, actress, and businesswoman, but above all, she was a perfectionist. Despite facing numerous challenges in her early years, she never let adversity hold her back. With unwavering confidence and ambition, she continuously pursued her dreams with greater strength and determination. Lucille worked as a model for various firms and appeared in numerous movies, Broadway musicals, and sitcoms. However, her most notable achievement was her portrayal of the beloved housewife “Lucy” in the highly acclaimed 1950s sitcom ‘I Love Lucy’. This groundbreaking show not only achieved immense success but also paved the way for future generations of sitcoms. Lucille Ball made history as the first woman to head a film production company, Desilu, which she co-founded with her husband. Remembered for her sincere and extraordinary performances, she was a free spirit who tirelessly pursued her dreams with unwavering dedication.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Lucille Désirée Ball
  • Died At Age: 77
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Desi Arnaz, Gary Morton
    • Father: Henry Durrell Ball
    • Mother: Desiree Evelyn Hunt
    • Siblings: Fredrick Ball
    • Children: Desi Arnaz Jr., Lucie Arnaz
  • Born Country: United States
  • Height: 5’7″ (170 cm), 5’7″ Females
  • Died on: April 26, 1989
  • Place of Death: Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Ancestry: British American, Irish American, French American
  • Cause of Death: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • City: Jamestown, New York
  • U.S. State: New York

Childhood & Early Life

Lucille Ball was born on 6 August, 1911 in Jamestown, New York to Henry Ball and Desiree Hunt. She had a brother named Fred. When she was three years old, her father died of typhoid, leaving the family in a vulnerable state. This event traumatized her and led to her developing a fear of birds. After her father’s death, her mother found a job at a local factory and they went to live with her maternal grandparents in New York. In 1919, her mother married Edward Peterson and they moved to another city, leaving Lucille and her brother in the care of Edward’s Swedish parents. This was a difficult time for Lucille as she rebelled against the restrictions imposed by her grandparents.


In 1928, Lucille changed her stage name to Diane Belmont and worked as a fashion model for Hattie Carnegie. However, her career was put on hold when she fell ill with rheumatic fever. After recovering from the disease in 1932, she resumed her career as a model and also became the Chesterfield cigarette girl. In 1933, she went to Hollywood to pursue her acting career and appeared in several B-grade movies. Some of her more popular movies include ‘The Three Musketeers’ (1935), ‘Stage Door’ (1937), ‘Room Service’ (1938), ‘Too Many Girls’ (1940), and ‘The Big Street’ (1942).

Her husband, Desi Arnaz, persuaded her to work in broadcasting and she got the lead role in the CBS radio program ‘My Favorite Husband’ from 1948 to 1951. CBS then asked her to adapt the show for television, and she agreed on the condition that she could work with her real-life husband. This led to the creation of the show ‘I Love Lucy’ in collaboration with CBS. The show premiered in 1951 and was a huge success, setting the stage for sitcoms that would influence future generations. After ‘I Love Lucy’ ended in 1957, Lucille worked in Broadway musicals, sitcoms, and movies. Her last appearance was in the sitcom “Life With Lucy” in 1986.

Major Works

In 1942, Lucille received critical acclaim for her role in “The Big Street” as a handicapped nightclub singer. However, her most prominent and unmatched achievement was the show ‘I Love Lucy’, which became a household name and the number one rated show within six months of its start. The show had groundbreaking success in the history of sitcoms and influenced future sitcoms in terms of filming with a live audience and set-ups on distinct sets.

Awards & Achievements

Lucille Ball was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. In 1971, she became the first woman to receive the International Radio and Television Society’s Gold Medal. In 1989, she posthumously received the Presidential Medal for Freedom and Women’s International Center’s ‘Living Legacy Award’.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1940, Lucille met Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz and they fell in love. They got married and had two children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. However, their marriage was tumultuous and they divorced in 1960. Lucille then married standup comedian Gary Morton in 1961 and remained with him until her death. She passed away on April 26, 1989 due to complications from aortic rupture.

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