Thursday, March 14, 2013

Watch Lucy this Spring Break!

Lucille Ball (1911-1989) was an American actress on stage, screen and television -- she was also a brilliant comedienne and television executive. Her role in Stage Door (1937), one of her best performances on film, helped her to achieve star status however she was often miscast or put into roles that never tapped into all of her talents. She made pictures for RKO and MGM but the real turn in her career came in 1940 when she married Desi Arnaz. More than a decade later, the couple would find that their marriage would lead them to producing and starring in one of the most successful sitcoms in television history. The show -- appropriately titled I Love Lucy --  focused on the married life of Ricky and Lucy Ricardo -- played by Arnaz and Ball. Ricky Ricardo was a Cuban bandleader and Lucy played the housewife who dreamed of a career in show business. They lived in New York City. The sitcom premiered in 1951 during the early years of television -- when television was beginning to offer more varied programming. The show was a hit for CBS -- staying on the air for six more years. Ball's comedic genius was given full rein. The show also starred Vivian Vance and William Frawley as Ethel and Fred Mertz. There were frequent celebrity guest stars who played themselves on the show. One of the many famous episodes starred Harpo Marx.

Early television was performed before a live audience and generally not recorded. I Love Lucy made television history by shooting the program on film -- using three cameras -- in front of a live audience. The show enjoyed continued success in syndication decades later.

I Love Lucy: the complete series is available on DVD from the Butler Media Collection -- all 34 discs!


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