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Lucille Désirée Ball was an American comedienne, actress, model, and film and television executive. She appeared on stage, screen and radio, but is primarily known as one of the most popular and influential television stars of all time.

Born August 6, 1911, she spent most of her childhood in or near Jamestown, New York. She became involved in show business by performing as a chorus girl in a [[BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats Shriners]] show at age 12. After attending drama school she found work as a fashion model and actress in New York City. In the 1930s she moved to Hollywood and began appearing in small movie roles. Eventually she moved up to starring in [[BMovie B-movies]], so many in fact that she came to be known as "Queen of the B's." She also worked in the theater and in radio.

In 1940 she met and eloped with bandleader Desi Arnaz. 1948 saw her cast in a successful radio program called ''My Favorite Husband'' which Creator/{{CBS}} soon decided to develop for television. She insisted that Arnaz be cast as her husband on the show and, after a [[{{Vaudeville}} vaudeville]] tour to prove that the pairing worked, CBS agreed. ''Series/ILoveLucy'' ensued. It was followed by two more successful sitcoms which extended her television career through 1974. During this time she continued to appear occasionally in movies and on Broadway. She also co-founded Creator/DesiluStudios with Desi.

Attempts at a television come-back in the [[TheEighties 1980s]] failed. She died on April 26, 1989.

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!!Her career provides examples of:
* DyeHard: Born brunette, turned blonde and finally dyed her hair her signature red after a request from MGM.
* {{Elopement}}: How she married Desi Arnaz.
* HideYourPregnancy: While filming the ''ILoveLucy'' pilot.
* HollywoodToneDeaf: She worked a lot in theater, so her singing voice was tolerable, if not stellar, but she could at least carry a tune, totally unlike Lucy Ricardo's wailing screech. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNhvqPPDyI0 Take a listen.]]
* {{Improv}}: Very much averted. Ball rehearsed each scene until it was perfect and stuck to the script. One of the few instances where a scene went sideways and stayed in the final cut was when her fake nose caught on fire and was extinguished by dunking it in a glass of water.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Essentially a real life example with Arnaz, though Ball herself quipped, "It wasn't love at first sight. It took a full five minutes."
* RaisedByGrandparents: After her father died, the family moved in with her grandparents. Later, after her mother remarried, Ball lived for a time with her step-grandparents.
* ReallySeventeenYearsOld: Claimed to be three years younger than she really was while Arnaz added three years to his age, possibly to defray any social stigma around an older woman marrying a younger man.
* SlapstickKnowsNoGender
* StageNames: For a time she called herself Diane Belmont.
* WrittenInInfirmity: Her second pregnancy.