8 Things You Didn't Know About Lucille Ball
In honor of the beloved comedian's 107th birthday...
It's been nearly three decades since Lucille Ball's death, and yet she's still one of the most beloved actresses and comedians of all time. Her hit 1950s TV show I Love Lucy, which she starred in with her husband Desi Arnaz, continues to be popular among TV enthusiasts of all generations. In honor of the beloved figure's birthday (she would have been 107 years old on August 6th!), here are a few fun facts you may not have known about her.
1. Lucille Ball was not a natural red head.
She was actually a natural-born brunette. She dyed her locks to her trademark flame red for a role in the 1943 musical comedy Du Barry Was a Lady.
2. Lucille Ball was not always known as Lucille Ball.
Her early gigs as a model and actress on Broadway fell under the stage name Diane Belmont or Dianne Belmont.
3. Lucille Ball was 41 years old when I Love Lucy first aired.
The black-and-white series ran for six season between 1951 and 1957.
4. It was rumored that Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance didn't get along.
Ball apparently didn't like Vance playing Ethel Mertz at first. However, the two quickly got over it and grew to become life-long friends.
5. The opening title of I Love Lucy is based on a gift Desi gave Lucy.
The gifts was a diamond-encrusted heart-shaped lapel watch for her 29th birthday. The watch eventually inspired the logo used in the opening title that was created after the show began airing reruns.
6. Ball was pregnant on the show and in real life at the same time.
The show used the word "expecting" instead of "pregnant" as it was afraid of offending people. After all, Lucy and Ricky slept in separate beds.
7. The actress was the first woman in TV to run her own studio company.
Desilu Productions was co-owned by Ball and Arnaz. The company produced I Love Lucy, as well as Star Trek and The Untouchables.
8. There is a terrifying statue of the actress in her hometown of Celeron, New York.
The statue, which was installed in 2009, gained national media attention after local residents petitioned to have the statue removed. If you are wondering, the statue is, in fact, terrifying. It was (thankfully) ultimately replaced with a less-terrifying statue in 2016, on what would have been Ball's 105th birthday.
Want to prove you really love Lucy? Celebrate the late, great actress by taking our I Love Lucy character quiz.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published Aug. 6, 2015 and updated on Aug. 6, 2018.