It has been 30 years since the death of Lucille Ball. The comedy legend, best known for her role as Lucy Ricardo opposite real-life husband Desi Arnaz on the 1950s comedy I Love Lucy, died suddenly on April 26, 1989, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Lucille Ball was 77-years-old when she died of an aortic rupture, according to The Los Angeles Times.
In honor of Lucille Ball, The Hollywood Museum will recall her life and career in a week-long lobby tribute, which will run through May 1. Fans can see mementos from Ball’s career, including her many Emmy Awards, as well as the famous “Redhead Room” where she famously received her flaming locks courtesy of makeup legend Max Factor.
In a taped message played at the opening of the museum tribute, Lucille Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, noted that her mom would be very pleased to know that, 30 years after she “left the building” she is still remembered so fondly.
“All she ever wanted to do was ‘make people laugh,’ to try to make their trials, their tribulations disappear for a few minutes, help them feel a little bit better. How lucky that she was able to make a living doing what she loved. And she has been parsing out that same medicine for close to seventy years,” per an Instagram post.
— CBS (@CBS) April 20, 2019
Lucie Arnaz also said that Lucille Ball would be proud to see how her grandchildren have “embraced and expanded” the entire Lucy Legacy to bring it to a new generation. Arnaz’s daughter, Kate Luckinbill Conner, was on hand to represent the family at the opening night of the Hollywood Museum tribute.
On the 30th anniversary of Lucille Ball’s death, Lucie Arnaz posted a throwback photo to Instagram as a tribute to her beloved mom. The photo, taken in the 1950s, shows Lucille playfully brushing little Lucie’s hair as Desi Jr. stands nearby. Arnaz captioned the sweet pic by saying she’s smiling and thinking of her famous mom with “lots of love” today. Arnaz also used the hashtag “#thirtyyears” to commemorate the date.
Lucille Ball was also remembered by her fans on the 30th anniversary of her death. Many fans posted old photos and quotes from the comedy icon to commemorate the anniversary of her 1989 death.
I'm not funny. What I am is brave.Lucille Ball
— GSWSyndicate (@GSWSyndicate) April 26, 2019
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
— Lucille Ball
— ????????Lexi Miles???????? (@leximilesbooks) April 26, 2019
— Spencer Karter (@SpencerKarter) April 26, 2019
Lucille Ball was a sitcom pioneer and the queen of TV comedy, but she was also a savvy businesswoman. In the early 1950s, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz insisted on using film when producing I Love Lucy, and they negotiated to keep the films to “show their kids ” someday. Instead, the perfectly preserved films were later sold for millions and spawned the idea of the TV rerun.
Ball and Arnaz formed Desilu, one of Hollywood’s major studios which would go on to churn out massive TV hits including The Andy Griffith Show and Star Trek. Lucille Ball went solo to star on The Lucy Show and Here’s Lucy after her divorce from Desi Arnaz. Her final series, Life With Lucy, aired in 1986.
But despite her massive career success, Lucille Ball long said her greatest achievements were her children, Lucie and Desi Jr.