5 Things You Didn't Know About...Lucille Ball 

By: Clare Whitaker

Hollywood’s charmingly hysterical redhead, Lucille Ball (1911-1989), was best known for her starring role in the hit sitcom I Love Lucy. As co-creator and star of the show, Lucy played opposite her on and off screen husband, Desi Arnaz. Over the course of six years portraying Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, Lucille and Desi became the best-known and most-loved couple in the country.

  1. As a young girl Lucille had an imaginary friend named Sassafrassa who made her confident that she’d be a movie star someday.
  2. At age 17 she had rheumatic fever that left her paralyzed from the waist down. It took her two weeks to learn to walk again.
  3. Lucille gave birth to her second child on the same night “Lucy and Ricky” gave birth to their first child, Little Ricky. Over 44 million watched the episode, a record of the time.
  4. Lucille had a notorious fiery temper (which often flared over Desi's constant philandering...). On one particular incident, Lucy was so furious with Desi that she grabbed a pistol and pulled the trigger. Luckily, all that came out of the muzzle was a tiny flame.
  5. Before her acting career took off, she made ends meet modeling. One early gig included a turn as the Chesterfield cigarette girl.