Lucille Ball was born Lucille Désirée Ball on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. Although she was the world's most famous red head, she was actually born a burnette.
She was the Queen of Comedy and the First Lady of Television. She was an American comedienne, film, television, stage and radio actress, model, film and television executive. She was one of the most popular and influential stars in America during her lifetime, with one of Hollywood's longest careers, Ball was a movie star from the 1930s who could still be seen making films in the 1960s and 1970s; she was a radio regular in the 1940s.
She was a pioneer for women, she was the first woman to own her own film studio.
She made her film debut as an uncredited Blonde in the movie The Bowery in 1933. She signed a contract with RKO and had several small roles including one in Top Hat in 1935. She later signed with MGM.
Her more known film credits (to name just a few) include Stage Door (1937), The Big Street (1942), Five Came Back (1939), Yours Mine and Ours (1968), Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1950) and The Facts of Life (1960).
While filming Too Many Girls (1940), she met and fell madly in love with a young Cuban actor-musician named Desi Arnaz. Despite different personalities, lifestyles, religions and ages (he was six years younger), he fell hard, too, and after a passionate romance, they eloped and were married in November 30, 1940. She would suffer three miscarriages between 1942 and 1950 before finally becoming a mother one month before her 40th birthday with the birth of Luci Arnaz.
Lucy and Desi Arnaz began I Love Lucy in 1951 in the hopes of saving their crumbling marriage. Although the show was a success, they would later divorce on May 4, 1960. Lucy would marry a second time to Gary Morton on November 19, 1961 and remained married until her death.
Lucille Ball received thirteen Emmy Award nominations and four wins. She was the recipient of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1979, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986 and the Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1989. She also received posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George H.W. Bush on July 6, 1989.
Lucille Ball died on April 26, 1989 at the age of 77 of a dissecting aortic aneurysm.