There are only a few celebrities whose quotable phrases contain actual wisdom worth remembering. Off-hand I think baseballer Yogi Bera was the most famous. Also of note, George Carlin and Groucho Marx were actually quite wise men.
Of the ladies from television land, one of the sharpest was Lucille Désirée Ball. Not only was she one of the most famous teevee actresses, she was a fashion model, a film industry executive and a comediane. Anybody with a casual, working knowledge of the television industry is well acquainted with the “I Love Lucy” situation comedy. The program is still quite popular in syndication and on cable.
I came across Lucille Ball as a topic today because I had been searching for information about the medical malady, “dissecting aortic aneurysm”, the cause of my brother’s demise last year on this date. I found out that the actress died of the same problem in 1989 when she was 77 years old.
I’ve long enjoyed Lucy’s antics and acting abilities so I decided to take a look at her from a different angle than is usually shown.
“Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead.”–Lucille Ball
Lucy was famous for her blazing red hair. She was almost infamous for being politically red, too. In 1936, Ball registered to vote and listed her political party affiliation as Communist. She did this in order to sponsor the Communist Party’s candidate to California’s 57th District Assembly position.
Later, in testimony to the House Unamerican Activities Committee, she said she only registered as Communist to please her lefty grandfather. She had actually never voted for any Communist candidates. Actually she had worked for a campaign to re-elect Franklin Roosevelt and later had voted for Republican Dwight Eisenhower.
So, Lucy wasn’t really a “red” nor was she a “natural” redhead. Her red locks came from the magic of chemistry.
“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”–Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball certainly kept her youthful appearance for many years. Her end probably was rushed due to a one-time smoking habit.
“Ability is of little account without opportunity.”–Lucille Ball
She found opportunities during the 1930s with short stints on Broadway. She had many leading roles in “B” grade Hollywood movies. In fact, she was known as the “Queen of the B’s”. In 1940 She met Desi Arnaz, the Cuban bandleader, during filming of Rodgers and Hart’s “Too Many Girls”. The two eloped the same year. Through some stormy periods, the marriage became the foundation for their television empire.
“I think knowing what you cannot do is more important than knowing what you can.”–“The more things you do, the more you can do.”–Lucille Ball
I won’t attempt to write about her showbusiness biography here. It would be the subject of a very long book. I will note that Lucille Ball was the first female head of a production company. Desilu produced some other popular shows, besides “I Love Lucy”. “Mission Impossible”, “My Three Sons”, “I Spy”, “The Andy Griffith Show” and “The Untouchables” were big hit series. Trekkies are well aware of the fact that Desilu produced the original “Star Trek”.
I have one more quote from Lucy that I really like a lot: “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”–Lucille Ball
The Blue Jay of Happiness often recounts this Lucy gem, “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”