As the world marks Lucille Ball’s centennial birthday it’s hard to imagine a way to aptly remember a woman of her magnitude. Lucy wasn’t just a comedienne – or even just an actress, for that matter. She was a pillar of female empowerment, a dedicated workwoman and a gal’s gal with a spirit as fiery as her hair (though entirely more genuine). She was the embodiment of so many things and when you stop to think about it you realize just how much she changed this world for the better. The question is, after so long, how do you say ‘thank you’? How do you recognize, in one collective moment, all the laughter and happiness she brought into your life? How do you even begin? Well, I suppose, at the beginning. And for me, the beginning was I Love Lucy.
Lucy meets Bill Holden at the Brown Derby in one of my favorite I Love Lucy moments.
I Love Lucy was my mom’s favorite show growing up and very early on it became mine as well. My mom has handed down a lot of things to me over the years and I Love Lucy is one that I’ll always treasure. There is simply no way to replicate the magic resulting of Lucy, Desi, Vivian Vance and William Frawley working together to bring unbridled happiness to their audience. The four of them, with Lucy’s charm and impeccable humor at the fore, handled comedy with the sort of sophistication and grace that cannot be done today. I’m so happy to have the show to relive even now, all these years later. And I can’t go without noting Lucy’s style on the series. I love the way she brought such glamour into the everyday, always impeccable, and so effortlessly. I Love Lucy is the sort of show that really captures the fashion of the era; it’s just as entertaining as the characters and story of the show itself!
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
Lucy will always serve as a reminder to me that strength of character, heartfelt dedication and honest hard work will take you anywhere you could ever want to go. She went through Hollywood in a blaze of glory and she certainly left her mark: as a comedienne of television and film as well as one of the first female executives in the business. Astonishingly shy at the beginning (or, at least, that’s how she tells it), she grew through her work and shaped her confidence in order to dedicate herself to being the sort of actress and comedienne she knew the world needed. It took ample spirit, which she had; dedication, she had that too; and, perhaps above all, imagination. Lauren Bacall once said that “Imagination is the highest kite one can fly” and I think Lucy is the perfect representation of that. Her impossibly creative imagination and her dedication to making things happen as big and bold and brightly as possible made her an unforgettable star and a true inspiration.
Happy Birthday, Lucy
August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989
Image credits: Love Lucy