| Lucille Désirée Ball Arnaz Morton
(American film, stage, television actress, and studio boss
|Born|| August 6, 1911 |
Chautauqua County, New York
|Died|| April 26, 1989 (aged 77) |
Los Angeles, California
|Spouse|| (1) Desi Arnaz, Sr. (married 1940-1960, divorced)|
(2) Gary Morton (married 1961-1989, her death)
Lucille Désirée Ball Arnaz Morton (born August 6, 1911, in Jamestown, New York – died April 26, 1989, in Los Angeles, California) was an American actress and businesswoman best known for five situation comedy television series which aired, primarily on CBS. The first two series were produced by her long since disbanded Desilu Studios which had been created in partnership with her first husband, the Cuban-born bandleader, Desi Arnaz, Sr. (1917-1986).
In I Love Lucy, set primarily in a New York City apartment building and airing 180 episodes with high ratings from 1951 to 1957, Ball played a zany redheaded housewife, Lucy Ricardo, often an exasperating irritant to her husband, played by Arnaz, Sr., in the role of bandleader Ricky Ricardo. I Love Lucy has been seen for years in syndicated re-runs; CBS has colorized a select number of episodes for airing at the Christmas season. Lucy and Ricky continued with a series of hour-long episodes, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, which aired between 1957 and 1960, when the couple divorced.
In 1962, Ball returned to television in The Lucy Show, which ran for six successful seasons. From 1968 to 1974, her series was revamped as Here's Lucy, with daughter Luci Arnaz and son, Desi, Jr., playing her children on screen. In both The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy, her supporting cast focused on Gale Gordon (1906-1994), a popular character actor of primarily comedy. Gordon played the banker Theodore J. Mooney on The Lucy Show and Harrison Carter, Ball's screen brother-in-law and the owner of an employment agency, on Here's Lucy.
In 1986, after an absence of twelve years from a regular series, Ball returned to television with Life with Lucy on ABC, again with Gale Gordon, at the age of eighty, in the supporting role, this time as co-owner of Lucy's hardware store, which she inherited from her late husband. Life with Lucy lasted for only eight episodes before it was cancelled because of low ratings; five other episodes never aired on ABC. Ball's second husband, Gary Morton (1924-1999), whom she married in 1961, produced her last series.
Ball had a long-term television relationship with Vivian Vance (1909-1979), who played the role of her landlady Ethel Mertz on "I Love Lucy" (with William Frawley (1887-1966) as Ethel's cranky husband, Fred Mertz). Vance was also her sidekick on The Lucy Show, which had prominent guest stars, including Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Mary Jane Croft (1916-1999), and Ann Sothern.