November 30, 2011

Lucy Gets Married Three Times

Did you know that Lucy was actually married three time, but only had two husbands?

Today is the Anniversary of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. They married for the first time on November 30, 1940 at the Byram River Beagle Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. They met in 1940 while filming the Rodgers and Hart stage hit Too Many Girls. At first, Arnaz was not fond of Lucy. When they met again later that day, the two connected immediately and eloped the same year.  She was a 28-year-old contract player with a string of forgettable films, he, at 23, a dashing, Cuban-horn nightclub bandleader. They married six months later. While she tended a soaring Hollywood career, he toured the country with his rumba band.

They filed for a divorce in 1944 but shortly after Ball obtained an interlocutory decree of divorce, she reconciled with Arnaz.

They were finally divorced on May 4, 1960, just two months after filming the final episode of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.

Until his death in 1986, however, Arnaz and Ball remained friends and often spoke very fondly of each other.  It was said that Desi was Lucy's one true love.

After her divorce from Desi, Lucy married Gary Morton on November 19, 1961 and was with him until her death. On April 26, 1989, after recovering from surgery to correct cardiopulmonary problems, Lucy died unexpectedly at Cedars-Sinai Hospital of a ruptured aorta.

Desi later married Edith Mack Hirsh on March 2, 1963, who died in 1985. After struggling with alcohol problems, Desi only returned briefly in 1982 in a starring role in "The Escape Artist". He later wrote an autobiography entitled "A Book." In 1986, Desi was diagnosed with lung cancer, and died on December 2, 1986 in the arms of his daughter, Lucie.

November 19, 2011

Lucille Ball's Wedding Anniversary

Today would have Lucille Ball's Wedding Anniversary to Gary Morton. Although her first marriage to Desi Arnaz is better known, that marriage actually lasted less then Ball's second marriage.

Lucille Ball and producer Gary Morton, were married in 1961 in New York City. In 1960, Morton met Ball in New York City a few months before she opened on Broadway in the musical "Wildcat." They were married at the Marble Collegiate Church. Morton served as executive producer of Ball's third series "Here's Lucy" and was a co-executive producer of her ill-fated 1986 series "Life With Lucy." The couple was married for more than 27 years when Lucille Ball died in 1989.

In 1961, Lucille Ball did a musical on Broadway, Wildcat, co-starring Paula Stewart. That marked the beginning of a thirty-year friendship between Lucy and Paula Stewart, who introduced her to second husband Gary Morton, a Borscht Belt stand-up comic who was thirteen years her junior. Morton claimed he had never seen an episode of I Love Lucy due to his hectic work schedule. Ball immediately installed Morton in her production company, teaching him the television business and eventually promoting him to producer. Morton also played occasional bit parts on Ball's various series.

Lucy is better known for her first marriage to Desi Arnaz. They were divorced on May 4, 1960, just two months after filming the final episode of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. Until his death in 1986, however, Arnaz and Ball remained friends and often spoke very fondly of each other. They were first married November 30, 1940 at the Byram River Beagle Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. They met in 1940 while filming the Rodgers and Hart stage hit Too Many Girls. At first, Arnaz was not fond of Lucy. When they met again later that day, the two connected immediately and eloped the same year. They filed for a divorce in 1944 but shortly after Ball obtained an interlocutory decree of divorce, she reconciled with Arnaz.

November 10, 2011

Large Collection of Lucille Ball Items Up for Auction

“Luuuuuuuucy, I’m home!” These infamous words have been heard around the world for years and signify one of Hollywood’s leading ladies, Lucille Ball. Regarding the phenomenal actress, Old Town Auctions “has got some ‘splaining to do!”

The weekend prior to Thanksgiving, November 18-20, Old Town Auctions will be having an unforgettable sale that includes a vast amount of Lucy items, primarily featured on Sunday, November 20, 2011 beginning at 12 noon with a 2 hour preview prior.

Included in the sale will be a voluminous collection of TV Guides featuring Lucille Ball and/or Desi Arnaz on the cover, including the very scarce first issue with Desi Jr. In addition to the numerous TV Guides, there will be a large compilation of magazines, both domestic and foreign, sheet music, and other paper ephemera featuring the comedic actress that changed the Hollywood scene for years to come.

There will also be numerous posters, one-sheets, lobby cards, and inserts, promoting films featuring Lucille Ball, as well as a few advertisements for various products such as RC Cola and Philip Morris cigarettes. Also included in the sale is a unique and capturing piece of 3D artwork done by the artist Charles Fazzino that features colorful graphics and other eye-catching crafts.

Not only will there be paper collectibles, but also a wide variety of Lucille Ball dolls and other main characters of the “I Love Lucy” TV show. From the Hamilton Collection to Madame Alexander, the Lucy doll assortment is nearly limitless. The auction also incorporates a pair of very interesting and rare vintage composition dolls representing Lucy and Desi that were purportedly made for display at a DesiLu function. Also included are a few Ricky Jr. dolls to spice things up!

Another featured Lucy item in this sale is a DesiLu Studio spotlight, purportedly used in the making of her show “I Love Lucy.” Also included are items from Lucille Ball’s estate such as a tea cup and saucer, prints from Lucie Arnaz’s graduation from grade school, and framed photos of the iconic lady, Lucille Ball.

Lucy can be enjoyed year round with the collection of holiday tree ornaments featuring Lucy, Ricky, and other cast members from “I Love Lucy” to decorate your home during the holidays. But the excitement doesn’t stop there- travel to Old Town Auction’s November sale in Hagerstown, Maryland to enjoy some good ole grape stompin’, chocolate makin’ Lucy fun!

The auction will be held at the Grand Venice Hotel, 431 Dual Highway (Route 40), Hagerstown, MD 21740. For more information, please visit or contact Matthew Protos at 301-416-2854.

November 03, 2011

Lucy fan has a perfect dress for the ball

Collector Richard Lucas is donating a dress once worn by Lucille Ball for an auction as part of the Canadian College of Performing Arts' Lucy-themed gala on Friday, November 4th at The Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC, Canada. For any Lucille Ball collector, it was an incredible score. Indeed, some devotees would consider the item a sacred relic.

Richard Lucas has proudly owned of one of Lucy's formal gowns for two decades. It is black, with gold sequins and black ostrich-feather trim. It comes with matching jacket - and a certificate of authenticity. Lucas says Lucy once wore it to a Dean Martin roast. Now, the collector is ready to bid his prized item adieu.

The gown will be displayed at The Lucille Ball Gala, a fundraising event for the Canadian College of Performing Arts happening Friday night. Following the gala, it will be auctioned off, with partial proceeds going to the college and Vancouver's Performing Arts Lodge, a seniors lodge for retired performers. Lucas said he has no idea what the dress will fetch.

Lucas runs Vancouver's Lucas Talent Inc., a talent agency. He also teaches courses in career management and working in film at the Canadian College of Performing Arts.

A North Saanich native who divides his time between homes on the mainland and in Fairfield, Lucas is an avid collector of Lucille Ball memorabilia. His 130-piece cache includes lunch kits, clocks, a signed script and Lucy comic books from the 1950s.

"They're worth a lot of money, the original I Love Lucy comic books," he said. "I have tons of stuff." Lucas bought the gown from Jane Withers, the former child star who later played Josephine the Plumber on TV commercials for Comet cleanser. Lucy had originally donated it as a sale item for a Hollywood fundraising event.

Learning of the upcoming Canadian sale of her mother's gown, Lucy's daughter Lucie Arnaz sent Lucas a letter of support. "She said, 'I know my mother would be thrilled and proud to know her clothing is going to such good use,' " he said.

Lucas, who grew up in North Saanich, met Lucille Ball several times. It was when she was shooting her final television show, the short-lived 1986 sitcom Life With Lucy. Lucas was invited on set by actor Gale Gordon, who'd played Mr. Mooney on I Love Lucy. Lucas and Gordon had become close friends in the mid-'80s performing together in comedy plays for Edmonton's Stage West theatre.

When Lucas met Lucy, she was 75 years old and past her prime. "[The TV series] was just scary and sad and didn't work," he said. "TV Guide called it one of the worst - or maybe the worst - series of all time.

"There was one episode called Lucy and Curtis Up a Tree. You don't have a script that has a 78year-old up a tree. They literally had to climb a tree."

Lucas's Lucy fascination bloomed young. He used to write and act his own Lucy show scripts while attending North Saanich Junior Secondary School."We would always perform them in the lunchroom at lunch time. I would always play Mr. Mooney."

He says he's donating the gown because he's impressed with the high level of teaching and students at CCPA.

Lucas will attend the gala to display items from his collection. Two dozen CCPA students are expected to dress up as Lucy, and the famous scene in which Lucy tries to eat all the chocolates coming down a conveyer belt will be re-enacted.

And an orchestra will play songs associated with Lucy, such as Mame. "I've been to a lot of boring fundraisers," Lucas said, "but this is going to be fun."

What: The Lucille Ball Gala
Where: Fairmont Empress Hotel, 721 Government Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
When: Friday, November 4th - 7 p.m.
Tickets: $115 (250-595-9970)

Among the highlights of what promises to be an unforgettable evening are performances by the Lovely Lucys and students of the College, some of the country’s top young performing artists. As well, guests will enjoy dancing to the music of Victoria’s own Latin band, Kumbia, performing the music of the Ricky Ricardo Orchestra. Event sponsor Rogers Chocolates will also contribute to the fun atmosphere with a recreation of the classic Lucy chocolate conveyor belt scene.

The Lucille Gala Ball is also a kick-off to the international auction of an authenticated Lucille Ball gown which is being donated to CCPA and The Performing Arts Lodge (PAL).

10 tickets or more enters groups into a draw for a special super prize package which includes an up-close and intimate performance by the rising stars of CCPA and special Lucy memorabilia.

There is also a special Star Package of $150 which includes champagne, special musical theatre performances, gifts of Lucy memorabilia, photo opportunities, and a conversation with renowned Talent Manager Richard Lucas who will recount his favourite Lucy memories from being on her set. The public is asked to call the CCPA box office at 250-595-9970 for tickets.

CCPA is owned and operated by The Canadian Heritage Arts Society (CHAS). a non-profit society and a registered charitable organization. It established the college in its endeavour to promote higher education and to support young people who wish to establish careers and contribute to Canadian society.

Click here for the Ticket Order Form.