Lucille Ball: 1911-1989: A Zany Redheaded Everywoman:

Lucille Ball: 1911-1989

When her first TV series debuted on Oct. 15, 1951, there was no way to tell that Lucille Ball was beginning an apparently immortal love affair with the American public, and not much reason even to expect commercial success. Ball was a comely redhead with a semisultry voice and knockout legs, but she was also nearly 40 and a veteran of almost two decades in the supporting ranks of show business. She had been a movie actress but hardly a superstar; she had enjoyed moderate success in radio but had only fleeting experience in the new medium of video. She refused...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!