By Ball, Lucille; Ball, Lucille; Ball, Lucille; Kanfer, Stefan
A portrait of the comedian icon discusses her lonely early life, discovery of her comedic skills, marriage to and divorce from Desi Arnaz, runaway luck at the "I Love Lucy" convey, and her painful ultimate years.
summary: A portrait of the comedian icon discusses her lonely early life, discovery of her comedic abilities, marriage to and divorce from Desi Arnaz, runaway luck at the "I Love Lucy" exhibit, and her painful ultimate years
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Additional resources for Ball of fire : the tumultuous life and comic art of Lucille Ball
Once in Manhattan she would head to a cheap rooming house on Columbus Circle, buy a copy of Variety, read the notices for open calls, and go to the auditions. Nineteen twenty-eight was not a bad time to be looking in the musical theater. In those flush times audiences paid top prices to see the Ziegfeld Follies, Earl Carroll’s Vanities, and whatever musicals the Shuberts were presenting in their theaters. All of these shows employed chorus lines made up of girls in feathers and furs. The trouble was, producers wanted dancers with experience, and Lucille was as green as the lawns of Jamestown.
Like many children similarly traumatized and oppressed, Lucille sought refuge in fantasy. When Grandma Peterson was off tending her garden, her step-granddaughter played with clothespin dolls, assigning them personalities and speaking to them like intimates. She invented several playmates to console her. Sassafrassa was a smooth amalgam of the silent film actresses Pearl White and Pola Negri. Madeline was a cowgirl inspired by the heroine of Zane Grey’s pulp western The Light of Western Stars. At the library Lucille read what she could find about the state of Montana, a place her mother always spoke of with powerful nostalgia.
The trouble was, producers wanted dancers with experience, and Lucille was as green as the lawns of Jamestown. After a few weeks of total frustration, she presented them with an audacious new persona. Instead of encountering Lucille Ball of upstate New York, they saw a fresh-faced newcomer, “Diane Belmont” of Butte, Montana.