Lucille Ball played one of the most historic roles in TV history as Lucy Ricardo in I Love Lucy, but that didn’t mean she didn’t want to play other roles. In an America Alive Q&A session at UCLA, Ball talked about some of the roles she would have liked to play.
“I have some [roles] but I don’t want to get into it,” the comedian said. For her, finding roles that she took interest in was hard, because people wanted a specific thing from her: I Love Lucy.
“I won’t say you, but I’ll say your folks won’t buy me. They want to see more Lucy shows, and I just feel like I’m too old to be yelled at by Uncle Harry, you know?” the star joked, but there was definitely a bit of truth to it. It turns out that even the biggest and brightest of stars get typecast.
“I do have a couple of things I would like to do and characters I want to play but they aren’t Á La Lucy. If I was doing a satire of the character, I could do it in a Lucy show,” she said.
The I Love Lucy producer and star did go on to act in some other gigs, however. This includes films like Stone Pillow, Mame, Three for Two, and Happy Anniversary and Goodbye.
Lucille Ball Found A Surprising Friendship in Another Actress after ‘I Love Lucy’
Outside of her wildly successful career starting with I Love Lucy, Ball also fostered some very deep friendships. Lucille Ball and Golden Girls actress Betty White became so close that they called each other family.
In fact, Lucille Ball and Betty White’s mothers also became friends. After Lucille Ball’s mother, Dee Dee, passed away, Ball would send Betty White’s mother flowers every year on what would have been Dee Dee’s Birthday.
Ball and White remained friends for many years. The two met by chance on a set. Ball and White initially bonded as two ambitious women in the film industry. The two both owned production companies, which was incredibly rare for women at the time.
“Betty really looked up to Lucy,” a friend told Closer. “and Lucy saw that she and Betty were cut from the same cloth.”
However, they weren’t just work friends. They began to bond as Ball’s marriage with her husband Desi Arnaz began to fall apart. White had been through two divorces and helped Ball through a very difficult time. From common ground to helping each other through hardship, Ball had a friend in White.
While Ball may not have gotten to play all the roles she wanted to, she still formed one of the most successful and iconic careers in television history.