January 27, 2007

Bob Carroll Jr. Passes On

News has been released that Bob Carroll, Jr., one of the writers of many of the I Love Lucy episodes has died. He was born, August 13, 1918.

Bob Carroll, Jr., along with Madelyn Davis wrote many of the episodes of alot of Lucille Ball's TV Comedies from I Love Lucy through Life With Lucy. He also produced one of Lucille's specials, Lucy Calls the President. Most recently he was featured in The Desilu Story in 2003.

Further is a story on Bob Carroll from TV Week.

January 26, 2007

Lucille Ball Actor, Charles Lane Turns 102 Today!

Charles Lane, who co-starred in many of Lucille Ball's I Love Lucy episodes turns 102 today!

Charles Lane, whose first role was in the 1931 film, Smart Money has starred with many of Hollywoods greatest including James Cagney, Jimmy Stewart, Edward Robinson and Lionel Barrymore. Born Charles Gerstle Levison on January 26th, 1905 in San Francisco, he was a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild 74 years ago.

He appeared with Lucy in several I Love Lucy episodes, including the classic show where Lucy gives birth to Little Ricky, "Lucy Goes to the Hospital". Lane played a character he described as "this old guy who is expecting his 10th child or something", in the waiting room with pacing, nervous father-to-be Desi Arnaz. He was also a first-season regular on The Lucy Show where he played the Danfield banker, Mr. Barnsdahl. He first appeared with Lucy in her film, "Miss Grant Takes Richmond".

When he turned 100, he celebrated at the Marina Beach Marriott hotel in Marina del Rey, CA with many of his friends and associates, including those from his "Lucy" days. The party featured many memorabilia, film clips and photos from his long career.

Lucy's Home in Beverly Hills

Check out the interactive map of Lucille Ball's home in Beverly Hills. It's estimated worth is over 5 million!

January 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Little Ricky

On this date in 1953, Lucy Ricardo gave birth to Little Ricky on I Love Lucy in the episode, Lucy Goes to the Hospital! More viewers tuned in to this television show than the presidential inauguration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower the following day! Forty-four million viewers (72% of all U.S. homes with TV) tuned in to watch Lucy on January 19, 1953!

Little Ricky as a child was played by Kieth Thibodeaux, whose stage name was Richard Keith. One little known fact, Lucille Ball gave birth to Desi Arnaz, Jr., the same day that the episode of Little Ricky's birth aired on television. These births made many television viewers think that Little Ricky and Desi Arnaz Jr. were the same people.

A few months later, Desi appeared on the premier cover of the first TV Guide on April 3, 1953. Which helped the new magazine become an instant success and continues today in the U.S. market, the Canadian equivalent has been discontinued this past November, 2006 and is only available on the internet.

As a baby, Little Ricky was played by twins, Michael Mayer and Joseph A. Mayer. Their mother, Eva June Mayer appeared as an extra in the "Homecoming" episode of I Love Lucy

January 18, 2007

Robert Osborn remembers Lucille Ball

In The Evening Class Blog, the author speaks about Robert Osborne, prime time host and anchor of Turner Class Movies cable network.

In speaking about Lucille Ball, Osborne says:

While Osborne was an actor under contract with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, it was Lucy who encouraged him to become a writer. I asked if he could speak a bit about her and why it was he heeded her advice?

Though Lucy was famous for her comedy, Osborne described her as a very serious business woman who suffered a bit for not thinking she was smart, even though she had major street smarts. After interacting with Osborne for a while and noting his great interest in Hollywood history, she suggested he shift into writing because—while there were plenty of actors to go around—there were not as many writers. Further, she wasn't confident that Robert had the necessary street smarts to deal with auditions. There were so many aggressive young actors who could do nothing else with whom Osborne would be competing and Lucy felt he should explore his other talents. He could write. He had a passion for Hollywood's film history. Osborne took Lucy's advice and has never regretted it. To this day he has not seen a play or a movie where he felt he should have played the part. Lucy remained his friend over the years, checking in at least annually to see what he was doing, who he was socializing with, and frequently inviting him over for dinner.

January 17, 2007

Lucille Ball and Tax Time

Getting ready for Tax Time? Here's a great clip featuring Lucille Ball and Gale Gordon that will help you prepare your returns to get them in on time!

This clip is from Here's Lucy.

January 16, 2007

Desi Arnaz Bandshell Memorial Completed

As reported by The Post-Journal of Jamestown, New York, the Memorial Desi Arnaz Bandshell has now been completed in Celoron, NY in a park that once was known as a popular amusement park. The park, known now as Lucille Ball Memorial Park with it's picnic area and small grove by the Chautaqua River is all that's left of the amusement park.

The idea for the memorial came from Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. when they visited in 2001 and realized that there wasn't alot in the Jamestown area named after their famous father. Lucie donated $20,000 towards the effort.

Pictured above from left, Terry Schrecengost, Celoron highway superintendent; Mayor Tom Bartolo; Ric Wyman, Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center executive director; and Harry Trippett pose in front of the new Desi Arnaz Bandshell in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celoron. Photo by Patrick L. Fanelli.

January 12, 2007

Western New York Loves Lucy

As reported yesterday, WGRZ Daybreak segment's topic was The Desilu Playhouse in Jamestown, New York.

You can hear the show from the link above, hosted by Kevin O'Neill as he tours The Desilu Playhouse. You'll see the actual set from I Love Lucy and some of the props and items from the show!

January 11, 2007

Desilu Playhouse Tour Featured on Radio

Buffalo, New York's Channel 2, WGRZ-TV, will be featuring a special tour of the Desilu Playhouse tomorrow morning between 5am and 7am on their Daybreak morning news show.
Look for WGRZ personality Kevin O'Neill to host two special segments inside this "I Love Lucy" museum in downtown Jamestown!

For those interested but don't live in the Western New York area, the segments will be offered at the WGRZ website later tomorrow afternoon.

January 10, 2007

Two New Lucille Ball Mattel Dolls for 2007!

It seems that there will be two releases by Mattel this year of the Lucille Ball "I Love Lucy" Doll! One is the single Lucy Doll to be released this summer and the other newly announced surprise is a special two doll set will be released as well. As heard in the rumor mill, there is some speculation that it could be Lucy and Ethel from the "Friendship" episode. It could also be another Lucy and Ricky doll in one of there many scenes from "I Love Lucy", or it could even be Lucy and another celebrity character from "I Love Lucy" like Harpo Marx! We don't know at this point and I wouldn't want to speculate as there are so many themes that they could choose from. This set is also expected to be ready something this summer.

Mattel will keep the identity of this doll top secret until they officially unveil the design at the American International Toy Fair in New York City next month! As soon as I hear what it is, it will be posted here!

This would be the 12th and 13th edition of the "I Love Lucy" dolls by Mattel. The complete lineup since they started in 1997 are:

1997: Vitameatavegamin Lucy ("Lucy Does A TV Commercial")
1998: The Candy Factory Lucy ("Job Switching")
1999: Grape Stomping Lucy ("Lucy's Italian Movie")
2000: Lucy & Ricky Boxed Set ("Lucy Is Enceinte")
2001: Carmen Miranda Lucy ("Be A Pal")
2002: Lucy's Paris Gown ("Paris At Last")
2003: Putty Nose Lucy ("L.A. At Last")
2004: Lucy's Polka Dot Dress ("Sales Resistance")
2005: Gypsy Queen Lucy ("The Operetta")
2006: Showgirl Lucy ("Lucy Gets In Pictures")
2006: Special Edition Santa Lucy ("'I Love Lucy' Christmas Special")
2007: I Love Lucy Doll (announcement in February 2007)
2007: Special Edition Boxed Set (announcement in February 2007)

You can view each of these previously released dolls on the Barbie Collector site!

Lucille Ball Carving

Joan Newhall shot a nice picture of the Lucille Ball Carving that used to stand in Celeron Park Grove near Lucy's hometown of Jamestown, New York. Apparently it is not there anymore as it was sold on Ebay.

To the left is the full picture and to the right a close-up image. Just click on the image for a full view.

January 09, 2007

Lucille Ball Interview on Old Time Radio

On an old radio program, Duffy's Tavern, you can hear Lucille Ball being interviewed by Archie. This is actually a podcast, and you can listen to it directly on the site or download the MP3 and listen to it at a later date. The actual interview begins around ID Location 800.


January 08, 2007

Lucille Ball Teapot in Collectors Attic Among Others

The Boston Globe reports on an 88 year old collector of teapots, Ethel Frattaroli who has nearly 5,000 teapots in Newton, MA.

Among her collection is Lucille Ball, Aunt Jemima, Ebenezer Scrogge and Sherlock Holmes. Lucille Ball bursting from a TV-shaped teapot is one for the famous red-head. The collection is probably one for the books. A woman in Kent, England, owned 3,950 teapots when last counted in September 2004, according to Kim Lacey, records manager of Guinness World Records in London.

It all started by accident 40 years ago when Frattaroli spotted a teapot top that matched a 100-year-old pot her mother had given her. Then she received one as a gift. Then another.

XM Radio Classics Presents Lucille Ball

Those of you who have XM Radio will be glad to hear that on Channel 164 (Radio Classics) will be presenting an hour long radio version of the 1939 romantic comedy motion picture, Bachelor Mother. Joining Lucille Ball on the 1951 Screen Director's Playhouse episode will be Robert Cummings.

You can hear this on XM164 on Monday, January 8th at 2pm, and will be repeated on Thursday, January 11th at 6pm and again on Sunday, January 14th at 12pm.

Lucille Ball's Eulogy Appears in Book

Cyrus Copeland, author of two books on eulogies, gave an interview for The Paramus Post.

During the past five years, he's immersed himself in eulogies, the fond speeches delivered at funerals to honor the newly dead. He tracked down 64 eulogies given for famous people - Albert Einstein, Lucille Ball, Dr. Seuss - and turned them into a book, "Farewell, Godspeed," published in 2004. When that book did well, he put together a 50-eulogy sequel, "A Wonderful Life," which came out in 2006. It, too, features legends: Bob Hope, Rosa Parks, Mickey Mantle, Walt Disney.

But now he's decided to give up on his collection of eulogies but he's not wandering far from the worlds of words and death, though. He said he's heading to Southeast Asia soon to do some research for his next book - about belief in the afterlife.

January 04, 2007

Announcement of New Mattel Lucy Doll

Next month, Mattel will be unveiling their 2007 "I Love Lucy" doll design in New York City at the American International Toy Fair, the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere!

The specifics of the 2007 edition are strictly under wraps until then, but you can guarantee you’ll be one of the first Lucy fans to hear about it here!

There’s something special happening with the 2007 edition, which is expected to ship in the early summer!

So stay tuned and you'll be one of the first to hear about the 2007 Mattel Lucille Ball Doll!

January 03, 2007

More News on Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour DVD Release

As previously reported, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour DVD will be released on March 13th and Tom Watson has more information on the first episode, Lucy Takes a Cruise to Havana.

Although the DVD cover is, in my opinion, mislabeled as "I Love Lucy - Seasons 7, 8, & 9" it will have all 13 episodes of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour including the full 75 minutes of the first episode which has never been rebroadcast.

Read his full commentary at Lucy Fan Magazine. You can also read the complete history of all Lucille Ball's TV shows including, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour at "Everything Lucy". Included on the Lucy Desi Comedy Hour video page are video clips of a portion of the removed scenes!

Lucille Ball Stamp Comes in at Number 25!

The 2001 commemorative stamp that features Lucille Ball has ranked as Number 25 in the all time most popular stamp. The Lucille Ball stamp ranks with over 38 million stamps collected! Elvis ranks in at #1 with 124 million collected.

Since 1988, the Postal Service has annually surveyed more than 10,000 households to determine the number and types of stamps purchased versus stamps saved.

The Postal Service receives stamp ideas from about 50,000 people every year, yet only 20 to 25 subjects make the cut. To narrow down the selection, the Postmaster General's Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee - a cross section of designers, historians and academics - reviews the suggestions and make recommendations to the Postmaster General for final approval.

The Postal Service encourages individuals with stamp ideas to submit their suggestions in writing to:

Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee
Stamp Development
U.S. Postal Service
1735 North Lynn St Rm 5013
Arlington VA 22209-6432

To view the top 25 visit the USPS Site!