Lucille Ball is still with us, as evidenced by Lucy’s “afterlife” appearances. In the 1950’s Lucille Ball entertained American audiences as a comedian in the innovative television comedy, I Love Lucy. She was the first woman to be head of a production company, Desilu, a studio which also mounted such small screen classics as The Untouchables, Mission: Impossible, and the original Star Trek. Lucy is also the first situation comedy star, to continue performing for the public, after her demise.
The reason Lucille Ball had a career in show business, was because of a forbidden love. When she was fourteen years old, she was romantically involved with Johnny DeVita, who was the son of a notoriuous criminal. Her mother, Desiree, disapproved of this relationship, but could not convince her daughter to end it. After a year, Desiree devised a plan to separate the young lovers, by appealing to Lucy’s ambition to become an actress.
In spite of the family’s lack of money, Desiree enrolled her daughter at a school for the dramatic arts in New York City. One of the other students in Lucy’s class was Bette Davis. When Lucille Ball moved to Hollywood, it was her beauty that earned her a contract with RKO Radio Pictures. Lucy appeared mostly as minor characters, in more than sixty movies, but she never appeared in a role that made her famous.
In 1940 while making a movie, she met the Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz, and soon they were married. Eight years later Lucy finally got noticed, when she performed as a wacky housewife on a CBS radio program. CBS requested that she adapt the program for television. Lucy agreed, on the condition that her husband in real life, would also star. The first show created by Desilu Productions, was the iconic half hour comedy, “I Love Lucy”.
The show business couple bought a modest mansion, with six bedrooms and eight baths, in Beverly Hills, California, 90210. Lucy made this her home for the rest of her life. Jimmy Stewart was her neighbor, and they would trade produce from their vegetable gardens. Jimmy would bring her corn, and she would bring him tomatoes. On Halloween, she would dress in an elegant costume as a witch, and distribute candy to children.
After Lucy and Desi had been married for two decades, they divorced. However they remained friends, and often spoke very fondly of their years together. Lucille Ball went on to star in two more successful comedy series, because of the huge popularity of her wacky TV persona.
At the age of 77 Lucille Ball died, shortly after undergoing heart surgery. Eventually her second husband sold the house in Beverly Hills. The new owners wanted a stucco exterior, so they removed the outer walls of the home. During this renovation, one of Lucille’s friends was driving past the property. He noticed a beautiful woman with red hair, just outside the grounds, gazing through the fence at the the mansion under renovation. She turned her head, and he saw that it was Lucy. She appeared puzzled, and on the verge of distress. He stopped his car, but she walked around the corner, and disappeared.
The new owners of the house have heard booming voices coming from the attic, as if people were talking over loud music. But there is no music, in spite of the fact that it sounds like a party. Often when they investigated this phenomena, they found that boxes in the attic had been moved. They also said some of the boxes disappeared, but reappeared on the next day. When someone suggested that an exorcism be performed, the new owners declined the recommendation. They said they would never do that to Lucy.
The ghost of Lucille Ball is also said to have appeared near her grave, at the Jamestown Cemetery in New York. Also, on the stages that were once a part of Desilu studios in Hollywood, night watchmen have reported the aroma of a delicate perfume, just like the scent that was Lucy’s favorite.
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