‘I Love Lucy’: Lucille Ball’s Role Was Groundbreaking for Breaking Ageist Boundaries

by Jeremy Spirogis
‘I Love Lucy’: Lucille Ball’s Role Was Groundbreaking for Breaking Ageist Boundaries

Plenty of basic TV exhibits don’t maintain up by today’s requirements. On the opposite hand, many exhibits that at the moment are a long time previous entice new followers by their timeless portrayal of conditions that also ring true. One factor up to date viewers of older TV exhibits seemingly miss, although, is the delicate progressiveness of many groundbreaking roles. Lucille Ball’s work in I Love Lucy is a chief instance of how one thing that appears innocuous to today’s viewers was pushing the envelope in its personal time. 

I Love Lucy is a progressive present in some ways, and even Ball’s age made her portrayal of the title character noteworthy. 

Lucille Ball had a protracted profession as an actor 

These days, Lucille Ball is most related along with her work in comedy, however the star had a protracted profession within the leisure trade earlier than she captured the hearts of tv followers on I Love Lucy.

According to PBS, Ball first labored as a mannequin in New York City earlier than trekking throughout the nation to offer Hollywood a attempt. There, she discovered work as a showgirl and ultimately started appearing. According to IMDb, she had dozens of uncredited appearances, principally as a showgirl, in movies all through the 1930s. It wasn’t till the 1940s that she began persistently getting credited work in romances like Lover Come Back and dramas like Easy Living

Not till the 1951 premiere of I Love Lucy did Lucille Ball’s fame actually start to develop. And simply two years later, she caught the eye of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Back in 1936, Ball had registered to vote as a Communist. She defined to the committee that the act was solely to appease her grandfather and that she by no means participated within the Communist Party, nevertheless it was sufficient to maintain her on the FBI’s radar for years. 

‘I Love Lucy’ had ties in Lucille Ball’s actual life

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Fans forgave Ball her earlier Communist designation, and her star was on the rise. The sequence starred Ball as Lucy Ricardo, the spouse of a Cuban bandleader, Ricky Ricardo, who was determined for fame. Much of the comedy facilities on Lucy’s clumsiness and her friendship along with her neighbor Ethel. Together, the 2 discover themselves in hilarious predicaments, a lot to the chagrin of their husbands. 

Ball’s real-life husband, Desi Arnaz, performed Ricky Ricardo. They eloped in 1940, the identical 12 months they met. The two had a passionate relationship, however their marriage hit a tough patch. In 1944, Ball filed for divorce; nevertheless, they reconciled earlier than it was finalized. Determined to work on their marriage, which had been strained by time aside, Ball insisted Arnaz be solid as her on-screen husband so they may spend every single day collectively. 

Unfortunately, that try fizzled. The pair divorced in 1960 after 20 years of marriage and two kids. By then, America had fallen in love with their fictional portrayal, however the real-life model of occasions had Ball charging Arnaz with “extreme cruelty.” 

‘I Love Lucy’ was a groundbreaking present

I Love Lucy was groundbreaking in some ways. It featured one of many earliest on-screen portrayals of interracial marriage and in addition pushed the envelope for portraying being pregnant. Critics and followers alike have been taken by Ball’s comedic efficiency. Kathleen Brady, the writer of a biography about Ball, defined to PBS, “There were some serious people who thought that Lucy demeaned women because she was a dingbat housewife constantly being thwarted by her sensible husband. But if we are going to be serious, to me, the underlying theme of that show is the eternal power struggle between the trickster and the powers-that-be. Lucy Ricardo was one of the first female tricksters.”

I Love Lucy was groundbreaking in one other approach, in response to Collider. Lucille Ball was 40 years previous when the present premiered, placing her squarely within the “too old” class for many main women of the time. On prime of that, Arnaz was six years youthful than Ball, and the pairing of an older girl with a youthful man was thought of taboo. But Ball was by no means one to draw back from a controversial portrayal. The present’s enduring legacy proves her fearlessness paid off. 

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