Lucille Ball Convinced Robert Osborne To Ditch Acting for Writing Career

by Courtney Blackann

Lucille Ball was a fiercely intelligent woman. As an actress, she had an amazing career, but she was also an icon who established herself as a powerful woman in Hollywood. So it’s no far jump to realize she had a lot of influence. There was a time when she even convinced television presenter Robert Osborne to ditch acting for writing.

Before the film historian passed away in 2017, he gave an interview to the Washington Post about mingling in Hollywood during its Golden Age.

He revealed that Lucille Ball once told him he should pursue writing in lieu of acting, according to the New York Post.

“I turned out to be very bad as a columnist because I would be told secrets, and I would keep [them]. I knew Rock Hudson had AIDS long before that came out,” he says.

The actress’ influence didn’t stop there. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz together made history with “I Love Lucy.” She then went on to star in “The Lucy Show” and “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.” Her famous grape stomping scene is still one of the most-watched in television today. Both onscreen and offscreen, the actress dominated.

She even owned her own production company, Desilu Productions. Throughout her storied career, everyone knew her to be charming, funny and pointedly smart about how she played the “I Love Lucy” character.

Lucille Ball’s Personal Life

But she also had a vibrant personal life. The star once described her teenage antics attempting to run away from home – an incident that sparked many rumors.

“Once I ran away without permission. I got about as far as three blocks and there was my mother with a lunch and an umbrella. She knew I was going, she was watching the whole thing.” Ball said her mother gave her the lunch and umbrella saying, “Here you are. You might need these.”

While the actress experienced wild success beyond anyone’s imagination, she never took it for granted. Always being grateful for every opportunity, she opened up about her fame.

“I was so grateful to be any part of the business that I was unaware of anything else. I was a part of it, I didn’t care what I did. They never had to ask me twice to do anything … I love being a part of it. I’m getting an award Thursday night that is probably the biggest thrill that anyone could have,” Ball said.

Though Ball died in 1989 at the age of 78, her influence lives on. The movie “Being the Ricardos” starring Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball will debut in December. The film highlights both Ball’s success, rise to fame as well as her personal life with husband and co-star Desi Arnaz.