‘I Love Lucy’ Star Lucille Ball Wasn’t a Natural Born Redhead

by Joe Rutland
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Lucille Ball was not a natural-born redhead. It’s hard to believe, right? But the “I Love Lucy” star didn’t come into this world as a redhead.

Ball was born a brunette yet movie studio executives reportedly wanted a different look, according to BestLife.

What happened? Well, Lucy changed her hair color and it became that red color people all over the world fell in love with forever.

In the beginning of her movie career at MGM, Lucille Ball dyed her hair blonde. It didn’t work out so well. She found herself in a lot of “Ziegfeld Follies” type of movies, filled with many dance scenes and not much comedy.

Lucille Ball Finds Her Spot Working On TV With Desi Arnaz

It was not until she found herself working on the small screen of television with then-husband Desi Arnaz that the world fell in love with this unnatural redhead.

Of course, people watching on TV at home couldn’t tell if Ball was a redhead or not thanks to black-and-white TVs. But movie-goers actually did get a chance to see Ball and Arnaz in “The Long, Lost Trailer.”

Yes, Ball had already changed to being a redhead and people could see it for themselves.

Maybe you’d like to see the trailer for that 1953 movie, too. Well, you’re in luck because you can take three-plus minutes and watch it for yourself.

Ball Lets Viewers Get Redhead View On ‘The Lucy Show’

Just watching Lucy and Desi in this movie clip gives you a flavor of what they brought over from “I Love Lucy” into this film. They made sure to have comedic elements in it, playing to Ball’s strengths.

Ball’s movie career, though, was shaky at best. She played in a film version of “Mame” in 1974 to horrible reviews. A 1958 movie called “Auntie Mame” starring Rosalind Russell as Mame led to the 1966 Broadway play which, in turn, led to Ball’s movie turn.

Now TV viewers actually did see the full Lucy redhead treatment happen once “The Lucy Show” turned from black-and-white episodes to color episodes.

This was being done regularly across all three major TV networks in the mid-1960s. When Lucy Carmichael showed up in her red hair, Lucille Ball could let everyone at home finally see what only had been seen in pictures or interviews up until that time.

There may be other redheads to turn heads when they walk. Lucille Ball, though, was one redhead who made people laugh thanks to her comedic timing and finding the right medium for her talents in television.

It was a perfect marriage for the “golden age” of television.

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