Lucille Ball was the funny lady everyone remembers from the popular 1950s television show I Love Lucy.
She went on from there to star in various comedies, always keeping fans laughing. But her young life was full of difficulty. Huffington Post reports that, when she was young, she suffered from an acute case of arthritis that left her bedridden for three years before mysteriously disappearing.
But perhaps the worst of all was the tragic shooting of her neighbor’s son, Warner Erickson, in 1927. Lucille Ball wrote about the incident in her memoir, Love Lucy. Her grandfather bought a rifle as a birthday present for her brother, Freddy. When teaching him how to shoot, Erickson came over with his friend, Johanna. When Johanna took a turn at shooting, she accidently shot Erickson. Lucille Ball wrote of the tragedy.
“The next few days were a kind of nightmare as we all hung on to bulletins from the hospital. Then we learned the awful news: a.22-caliber bullet is very small, but by fantastic bad luck, the bullet passed right through Warner’s spine, severing the cord.”
Unfortunately, Lucille Ball’s grandfather lost everything, despite being willing to pay for all the medical bills.
“They took our house, the furnishings that [Ball’s mother] DeDe had bought so laboriously on time, week after week, the insurance – everything. My grandfather never worked again. The heart went out of him. It ruined Celoron for us; it destroyed our life together there.”
From there, Lucille Ball went on to fame. People reports that Carol Burnett was good friends with Lucille Ball.
— InTheFame (@InTheFame) September 18, 2015
As People reports, Lucille Ball gave Carol Burnett valuable career advice one night while having dinner together. Apparently, Lucille Ball relied on her then-husband, Desi Arnaz, to take care of most aspects of running the I Love Lucy show, including writing and lighting. When the couple divorced in 1960, she was left holding the bag, and Burnett said Lucille Ball struggled.
“Lucy told me when she got a divorce she had to do all the stuff that Desi did and the first table read on the Lucy Show stunk.”
But Lucille Ball was not one to lie down and take it. She told Burnett she had to take charge.
“She said to me, ‘Kid, that is when they put the ‘S’ on the end of my last name.'”
— ovo krystie (@KrystieLYandoli) January 22, 2016
Of course, Lucille Ball will forever be remembered for her humor and talent. Her memory lives on in a play called I Loved Lucy, which British Theatre reports is a Lee Tannen play that will enjoy its London premiere at Jermyn Street Theatre from February 2-27. Sandra Dickenson will be playing the part of Lucille Ball.
— From the Front Row (@Fromfrontrow) January 18, 2016
The play was originally onstage at the Laguna Playhouse.
Entertainment Weekly reports that there is also a biopic of Lucille Ball in the works. Aaron Sorkin is handling the project, but he declined to comment on it when speaking with the press backstage at the Golden Globe Awards earlier this month.
“I can’t comment about the Lucy/Desi movie publicly, but I can tell you that it’s a very exciting project.”
Entertainment Weekly first announced the Lucille Ball biopic in September of last year. Both of Ball’s children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr., will be producers on the biopic, and Cate Blanchett will star as Lucille Ball. It will be exciting to see the resulting film.
— #ISOtunes (@ISOtunes) December 17, 2015
Lucille Ball is truly legendary. Her ability to make people laugh was a gift that is worthy of recognition in the form of a biopic and on the stage. That way, her gift can continue to inspire people in the 21st century.
[Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images]