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About Lucille Ball Lucille Desiree Ball was born in Jamestown, New York on August 6, 1911. As a teenager Lucy left home for New York City with dreams of becoming an actress. But, with acting jobs scarce, she settled got becoming a model and later an Earl Carroll showgirl.

In New York, after returning to Jamestown for two years because of illness, Lucy was spotted by an agent for Samuel Goldwyn... The year was 1933, Lucy had been chosen as a Goldwyn girl and left for Hollywood to appear in her first movie ("Roman Scandals" with Eddie Cantor).

Lucy appeared in a score of Goldwyn films including "Kid Millions" in 1934, she soon moved on to Columbia and RKO Studios. She had bit roles in many movies including "Top Hat" and in 1936 appeared in the comedy short "So & Sew".

Radio and more movies followed, including "Stage Door" in 1937, Lucy considered it her big break. She co-starred with Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers. The next year, Lucy appeared in the Marx Brothers farce, "Room Service". While filming "Room Service" Lucy tested unsuccessfully for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind".

As 1940 rolled in, a newcomer was signed to RKO Studios that would eventually change Lucy's life around. Desi Arnaz, a Cuban conga player and singer, had just joined the cast of Lucy's latest film, "Too Many Girls". One night when the cast went out dancing at a club, Desi asked Lucy to join him. It was love at first sight.

After a whirlwind courtship, Lucy, 29, wed Desi, 23, in a civil ceremony on November 30, 1940. The newlyweds lived apart most of the time, with Desi touring with his band, and Lucy starring in movies. Finally, during the war, in 1942, they appeared together in a Vaudeville style stage revue in New York. The show that would later inspire "I Love Lucy".

In early 1943, with Desi now in the army, and Lucy just recently signed with MGM, she appeared on Armed Forces Radio with Mel Blanc among others.

Lucy became a redhead for the Technicolor cameras at MGM... it became her permanent trademark.

In 1944, after scoring big with her first few MGM movies, Lucy appeared in "Ziegfeld Follies," it was released in 1946.

It was also in 1944, that Lucy had filed for divorce. Constantly apart because of their careers, combined with consistent rumors of Desi's womanizing, caused the decision. However, the night before the court date, Desi met Lucy and worked things out, Lucy dropped the suit, and for future fans as well as the Arnazes, the best was yet to come!

In 1945, she appeared in a small role as herself in "Abbott & Costello in Hollywood". In 1947 while continuing in movies, Lucy began a successful radio comedy with Richard Denning called "My Favorite Husband".

On June 19, 1949, the marriage going strong, Lucy and Desi married again in a Catholic ceremony. The same year saw the release of "Fancy Pants," her second film co-starred with Bob Hope.

By 1950, Television was getting more and more popular. CBS wanted to transfer "My Favorite Husband" to television. Lucy wanted Desi to co-star, but the network refused, saying "The public won't go for an All-American girl like Lucy married to a Latin." Lucy set out to prove them wrong. She started by successfully touring with Desi in theaters all over the country. The couple also appeared together on TV for the first time ever, on "The Ed Wynn Show".

By 1951, a pilot had been shot starring the couple as man and wife. Two days after receiving it CBS got Philip Morris Co. to act as sponsor and "I Love Lucy" was born. "I Love Lucy" won 5 Emmy Awards with over 20 nominations during its original run.

Lucy had given birth to a daughter, Lucie, in 1951. On January 19, 1953, she had Desi Jr. Born to her the same day little Ricky was on TV! "Lucy Goes to the Hospital" was the most watched show in TV history at the time.

Early 1956 found the release of another movie starring Lucy & Desi (following "The Long, Long Trailer" in 1954), "Forever Darling".

At the end of the 1957 season, "I Love Lucy" stopped production. Lucy and Desi tired of a weekly series, and were getting more involved with other productions through their company Desilu. In fact, by 1958, Desilu had bought RKO Studios and now owned the very lot where they once worked.

The "I Love Lucy" cast continued now in occasional "Lucy-Desi Comedy Hours" as part of "Desilu Playhouse," a weekly anthology series. Thirteen of them were produced by 1960. However, the intense friction grew between the couple. By now, with personal problems and business pressures plaguing the couple, Lucy files for divorce, this time for keeps. The divorce was filed after the final show wrapped.

Following divorce proceedings, Lucy decided to continue her career. She filmed "Facts of Life" with Bob Hope, and then by late 1960, did "Wildcat" on Broadway. While in New York, Lucy was introduced to nightclub comedian Gary Morton. The two fell in love and were married on November 19, 1961. She then appeared in a segment of the "Victor Borge Comedy Theater" with Gale Gordon. The segment was directed by Desi Arnaz.

In 1962, she came back with Vivian Vance in a new TV series on CBS, "The Lucy Show". By the mid-60s she was continuing the series as well as finding time for numerous guest appearances. By 1968 the show became "Here's Lucy" and her children Lucie and Desi Jr. were regular cast members. The show got decent, not great, audience ratings that slipped downward in the second season.

Running Desilu Productions, as executive, Lucille Ball was the mystery lady who coaxed Paramount to produce "Star Trek" and "Mission Impossible" and nudged NBC into picking up both series. The rest is history.

In 1974, Lucy starred in her last movie, "Mame". With her weekly series now ended, Lucy had logged 23 years on TV.

From 1974 through 1985, Lucy kept herself busy with occasional guest appearances and TV specials. After appearing in the TV movie "Stone Pillow" in 1985, Lucy made her return to a weekly sitcom in 1986. The show co-starred Gale Gordon. However, with surprisingly low ratings, "Life with Lucy" had only run several weeks before being pulled from the network schedule.

Lucy had been honored dozens of time through the years. She was the first woman inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, an honoree of the Museum of Broadcasting and an Emmy Award winner. Her only failure was an 8 week run of a new Lucy show on ABC, prompted by the success of Golden Girls. Bringing back Gale Gordon as a hardware store owner who employed Lucille, the show wound up dead last in the ratings. Her snub of Groucho Marx the same year as he and she co-hosted an Emmy Award segment didn't bolster her audience approval, either.

Ironically, in March 1989, Lucy appeared on the annual Academy Awards telecast to a standing ovation. It turned out to be her last public performance. Lucy passed away the next month after undergoing heart surgery at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. She was 77 years of age.

After her death the sign next to CBS Studios at Television City in California read: "They needed a laugh in Heaven. Goodbye Lucy". Aside from numerous guest spots and TV specials, Lucy appeared in over 80 movies, 180 "I Love Lucy"'s, 13 "Lucy-Desi Hours", 156 "Lucy Show"'s and 144 "Here's Lucy"'s in a career that spanned over 50 years.


About Carol Burnett Comedienne and actress. Born on April 26, 1933, in San Antonio, Texas. Carol Burnett was one of the most popular comediennes on television during the 1960s and 1970s. After studying at the University of California, Los Angeles, she made her way to New York City.

Carol Burnett made her first television appearance in early 1950s with a short stint on a children’s television show. She became a regular on the Garry Moore Show in 1959 and was also featured on occasional CBS-TV specials over the years. Already a popular performer, she got her own comedy-variety show, The Carol Burnett Show, in 1967. The show featured usually opened with a question and answer session with the audience and the silliness ensued—broad comedy skits and sketches with Burnett using her expressive face to great humorous ends. The show ran for eleven seasons, leaving the air in 1978. Burnett later returned to television with the comedy series Carol & Company in 1990 and The Carol Burnett Show in 1991—neither effort lasted long. Most recently Carol Burnett has made a guest appearance on the hit television series Desperate Housewives in 2006.

In addition to her television work, Carol Burnett has appeared in a number of feature films, including Pete 'n' Tillie (1972), The Front Page (1974), Annie (1982), and Noises Off (1992). She has also done a lot of stage work. She made her Broadway debut in the musical Once Upon a Mattress in 1959. Over the years, Burnett went on to appear in a few other Broadway shows, including Moon Over Buffalo (1995-1996) and Putting It Together (1999-2000). Her 1986 autobiography, One More Time: A Memoir, provided the source material for the play Hollywood Arms, which played on Broadway from October 2002 to January 2003. Burnett co-wrote the piece with her daughter Carrie Hamilton.

Carol Burnett has been married twice. Her first marriage to Don Saroyan lasted from 1955 to 1962. The following year she married Joe Hamilton. The couple has three daughters before divorcing in 1984. Sadly, their daughter Carrie died in 2002, and Burnett has been working to establish the Carrie Hamilton Theatre at the Pasadena Playhouse in her honor.

About Gale Gordon Gale Gordon was the son of vaudeville performers. His father was "quick-change" artist Charles T. Aldrich, and his mother was actress Gloria Gordon (best known for her portrayal of Mrs. O'Reilly on radio's My Friend Irma). Born with a cleft palate, Gordon underwent two excruciating oral operations as a child. By the time he was 17, Gordon's diction was so precise and his "new" voice so richly developed that he was invited to study acting under the aegis of famed actor/manager Richard Bennett.

After several years on stage, Gordon moved to California in 1929, where he worked in Los Angeles radio as a free-lance actor and announcer. He appeared in heroic and villainous "straight" parts on such syndicated radio series as The Adventures of Fu Manchu and English Coronets, but soon found that his true forte was comedy. Gordon played the flustered Mayor La Trivia on Fibber McGee and Molly, several prominent roles on The Burns and Allen Show, and, best of all, pompous principal Osgood Conklin on Our Miss Brooks. In films since 1933 (he played a bit at the end of Joe E. Brown's Elmer the Great), Gordon proved a formidable comic foil in such films as Here We Go Again (1942, again with Fibber McGee and Molly), and Jerry Lewis' Don't Give Up the Ship (1959) and Visit to a Small Planet (1960). It is impossible to have grown up watching television without at least once revelling in the comedy expertise of Gale Gordon. In addition to starring in the 1956 sitcom The Brothers, Gordon was also seen in the video versions of My Favorite Husband, Our Miss Brooks, The Danny Thomas Show, Dennis the Menace--and virtually every one of Lucille Ball's TV projects, including her last, 1986's Life with Lucy. Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


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