Love, Lucy by Lucille Ball


NonfictionLove, Lucy by Lucille BallLove, Lucy
Lucille Ball; Thorndike Press 1997

with Betty Hannah Hoffman

During the 1950’s and 60’s Lucille Ball’s television shows were the love of Americans. I Love Lucy with her first husband, Desi Arnaz, was the top television show while it was on air. Lucille Ball started acting in the early 1930’s and was modeling in New York City before that. Her public life seemed wonderful when the television show was on. Reality wasn’t reflected on TV.

According to her daughter Lucie Arnaz, Lucy wrote her autobiography, Love, Lucy, in the early 1960’s. It appears to be a self reflection and cleansing text. It was never published it while she was alive. Instead it was stuck away with documents not discovered until a few years after her death. Although written before her first husband’s biography was published, hers wasn’t published until after their deaths. This text ends after she had married Gary Morton, her second husband.

Love, Lucy is a kind memory of her own life. She doesn’t ignore the bad patches of her life, especially the problems in her first marriage (Lucie calls them drinking, dames, and divorce). She acknowledges reality but doesn’t describe it.

Lucy’s autobiography is a wonderful picture of the heyday of Hollywood motion pictures in the 1930’s and 1940’s. She usually had small parts in A movies and starred in some B movies. She worked with many of the famous names of the time including Ginger Rogers, Katherine Hepburn, Bob Hope, and more. She was fortunate enough to be part of Ginger Rogers’ mother’s actors workshop for two years or so, helping her refine her craft.

Love, Lucy is interesting for its content. She talks about the Hollywood studio system during the years she was involved in it. It has been examined more closely in other documents. At one time Lucy stood up to the system by doing the unexpected, which helped saver her own reputation in the business.

The book itself tends to drag. Lucille Balls glosses over incidents. Her tone is mainly reflective throughout the book. I was glad I read it, but knew the book is not one to stand out. It’s an average text full of interesting facts told from Lucy’s viewpoint.

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