Lucy Ball’s 100th Birthday Celebration

This past Saturday marked the celebration of the 100th birthday of Lucy Ball. On the 100th anniversary of Lucy Ball’s birthday, her daughter asked fans of the “I Love Lucy” star to be joyous. “They shouldn’t mourn. She had one of the best lives ever,” Lucie Arnaz said. “She is one of the few people we can look at and say she left us something that can help.”

In the “I Love Lucy” stars hometown of Jamestown, New York, 915 Lucy look a likes established the first Guinness world record in her honor. The record was set at the annual Lucy Fest in the upstate town. “This is a once in a lifetime experience. It has to be the best time in my life,” said Cindy Wilson, 22, of Cleveland, Ohio. Some revelers recited the word in unison, others sang “Happy Birthday” in honor of what would have been Ball’s 100th birthday on Aug. 6.

Ball began acting in the 1930s, becoming both a radio actress and B-movie star in the 1940s, and then a television star during the 1950s. She was still making films in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1962, Ball became the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu; a studio that produced many successful and popular television series.

Ball was nominated for an Emmy Award thirteen times, and won four times. In 1977 Ball was among the first recipients of the Women in Film Crystal Award. She was the recipient of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1979, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986 and the Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 1989.

Ball met and eloped with Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz in 1940. On July 17, 1951, at almost 40 years old, Ball gave birth to their first child, Lucie Désirée Arnaz. A year and a half later, Ball gave birth to their second child, Desiderio Alberto Arnaz IV, known as Desi Arnaz, Jr. Ball and Arnaz divorced on May 4, 1960.

On April 26, 1989, Ball died of a dissecting aortic aneurysm at age 77. At the time of her death she was married to her second husband and business partner, standup comedian Gary Morton for more than twenty-seven years.

By: Bill Waters
Published: Aug 8, 2021
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