“I Love Lucy” star Lucille Ball actually shared the same birthday as her TV character, Lucy Ricardo. No, we’re not kidding. She really did.
According to a 2015 article from the Lompoc (Calif.) Record, Lucille Ball was born on Aug. 6, 1911. Now Lucy Ricardo’s birthday was supposedly on Aug. 6, 1921.
“Accordingly, when the show was filmed during the 1950s, Lucy Ricardo played the part of a woman in her 30s,” the article states. “Lucille Ball, [the] actress playing the role, was actually in her 40s. Lucy Ricardo once commented her astrological sign was Taurus. Given she subsequently identified her birthday as Aug. 6, that would make her a Leo.”
Got all that? Well, the bottom line both Lucys shared the Aug. 6 birth date. “I Love Lucy” was a winning combination for CBS from 1951-57 with Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz, running the show. Their costars, obviously, were Vivian Vance and William Frawley.
That TV show would run for six seasons, then turn into “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.” The show ended in 1960, the same year when Ball divorced Arnaz.
‘I Love Lucy’ Star Would Also Take Part In Three Other Sitcoms
Decades since “I Love Lucy” first aired on CBS, generation after generation has fallen in love with those four characters.
Ball would go on from that show and actually star in two other CBS sitcoms, “The Lucy Show” from 1962-68 and “Here’s Lucy” from 1968-74. She did have one more sitcom in 1986, a short-lived one for ABC called “Life with Lucy.” In all three of these sitcoms, veteran actor Gale Gordon would play foil against any character Lucy was playing at the time. Gordon also came from a radio background, too, so his voice inflections remain memorable for fans of those Lucy sitcoms.
But what probably people don’t realize about Lucille Ball is that she became one of the most powerful people in Hollywood. She owned Desilu Productions at one time, coming on the heels of her divorce from Arnaz. That made her the first woman to head up her own studio and production company.
Desi Arnaz Wasn’t Dumb When It Came to Producing TV Shows
“I Love Lucy” might have been the education Ball needed around the television. Arnaz proved to be a genius himself, being one of the early proponents of the three-camera technique.
It meant that three cameras, one on the left, one in the center, and another on the right, would be used to film episodes. Whatever shots looked good in the editing room would be used in them. There were more options for filming. In addition, Arnaz put the use of reruns to good fortune for him and Ball.
He, too, gained wealth from “I Love Lucy” but his personal issues would cause his marriage to fall apart.
Yet the show is still popular today. Its four-character setup, along with the success of “The Honeymooners” four-character setup, would give future sitcoms a template by which to follow. The writing, timing, and comedic skills of Lucille Ball remain a study for anyone in television comedy.