Before Lucy Ricardo married her Cuban bandleader husband Ricky, the “I Love Lucy” character had a maiden name. What was it?
Well, according to a 2015 article in the Lompoc (Calif.) Record, before Lucy said “I do” and maybe even an “I dun’t” popped out of Ricky’s mouth, her name was purportedly Lucille Esmerelda McGillicuddy from West Jamestown, N.Y. Jamestown makes sense now as that actually was Ball’s hometown.
In some “I Love Lucy” episodes, you can even catch Lucy trying to get out of jams by using her maiden name. You have to be alert, though, because she’ll say it really quick. It’s just another in the long list of things that make “I Love Lucy” worth watching over and over again.
The CBS sitcom ran on the network for six seasons, making Ball and Arnaz into show business powerhouses. The wealth they gained from “I Love Lucy” would go to developing Desilu Studios as well as purchasing real estate properties around California.
‘I Love Lucy’ Star Ended Up Running Desilu Productions
When Ball divorced Arnaz in 1960, she would soon find herself in a position to take over Desilu Studios. It didn’t officially happen until 1962, but Ball ran Desilu Productions [as it became known]. The “I Love Lucy” star would eventually sell off the property, which was next to Paramount Studios, to Paramount for $17 million in 1967. That’s a lot of money for those days, friends.
Yet the “I Love Lucy” star wasn’t done with acting at all. She did three more sitcoms, appeared in movies, and would receive accolades ranging from Emmy Awards to the Kennedy Center Honors.
One year after divorcing Arnaz, Ball married comedian Gary Morton in 1961. They remained married until Ball’s death on April 26, 1989, at 77 years old.
Comedy Legends Ball, Gleason Might Have Had Roles In Growth Of CBS
It might be fair to say that two comedy stars helped build CBS into the network it became in the 1950s. One would, of course, be Lucille Ball and the other one, arguably, could be Jackie Gleason. Both stars held true power over their shows and could make CBS executives answer to their whims.
Ironically, on Ball’s third sitcom with CBS called “Here’s Lucy,” Gleason makes a cameo appearance during an episode featuring Ball and comedy legend Jack Benny. Gleason, best known for his bus driver character Ralph Kramden, reprised that role when Benny calls out for the bus driver to get some food in Benny’s backyard. It’s the only time the two CBS superstars appeared in a sitcom together.
“I Love Lucy” and “The Honeymooners” have been rerun staples for decades. That isn’t about to stop anytime soon. New generations are always coming around to see Lucy, Ricky, Ethel [Vivian Vance], and Fred [William Frawley] in all sorts of situations.
Everybody still loves Lucy.