May 9, 1989 |
Otto McCain never met Lucille Ball, although his wife, Harriet, was the late comedian's maid for 22 years. When his wife was hospitalized for three years before she died nine years ago, Ball paid the medical bills. "You hear about (Frank) Sinatra helping people out, but you never hear how kind-hearted Lucille Ball was," said McCain, 82, of South Los Angeles, as he joined an overflow crowd at St. Monica's Catholic Church in Santa Monica on Monday night for a memorial Mass for Ball.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 1989
Lucille Ball was known and loved long before she became a worldwide star in her famous television series. In New York, in 1948, she was a guest panelist on a live television show that I was directing, called "Charade Quiz." It may have been her first TV appearance ever--certainly it was one of her first because there was so little on the air at that time. After the show I got a cab and drove her and her press agent to the Zanzibar, a night club on Broadway where her then boyfriend, Desi Arnaz, was appearing with his orchestra.
May 1, 1989 |
Lucille Ball's husband, Gary Morton, said today he and his late wife's two children bade a solemn, informal farewell to television's first lady of comedy at a private memorial over the weekend. "There were just the three of us," Morton said. "That's what Lucy asked us to do. You couldn't really call it a service. There was no clergyman present." Morton and Ball, who had two children by her previous marriage to Desi Arnaz, were married in 1961. The children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr., joined Morton "to say goodby," Morton said.
April 30, 1989 |
The death of Lucille Ball last Wednesday at 77 tugged the heartstrings of America and indeed the world. Tributes dubbed her the "Queen of Comedy." Former President Ronald Reagan said: "Just the mention of her name brings a smile." Much has been said about Lucille Ball's life, her popularity and her buoyantly dizzy comic style. But what has perhaps been lost in the past few days' outpouring of emotion is the debt that the television industry owes to Ball and her long-time partner, Desi Arnaz.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 1989
Generations of Americans loved Lucy. More than three decades ago, in the adolescence of television, Monday nights belonged to Lucille Ball as she schemed to do what she wanted to do, especially if her husband and "I Love Lucy" co-star Desi Arnaz didn't want her to do it. All these decades later, there is a national outburst of affection and remembrance for the 77-year-old comedienne who died Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. In the main, the outpouring of sentiment focuses on this zany redhead's do-anything nerve.
April 27, 1989 |
Lucille Ball, the leggy showgirl, model and B-grade movie queen whose pumpkin hair and genius for comedy made her an icon of television, died early Wednesday, a week after undergoing emergency heart surgery. The co-creator and star of "I Love Lucy," a product of TV's Golden Age that continues via syndication to be viewed by millions around the world, was 77 and died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of a ruptured abdominal aorta. Known simply as "Lucy" to four decades of smitten television fans, she had undergone surgery at Cedars-Sinai on April 18 to replace part of her aorta and aortic valve and had recovered from the 6 1/2-hour operation to a point where she was eating and even walking around her hospital room.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 14, 1986
Another senseless death due to lung cancer! Why is it that gifted artists like Desi Arnaz and others must destroy themselves in such a prolonged and tortured fashion? These beautiful people have so much to offer us and such a great deal to live for. As a child growing up in the 1950s, I vividly recall how Lucy and Ricky practically became household fixtures as they entered our living rooms, first in live shows and then in years and years of reruns of which we never tired. I would sit before the screen enthralled as Lucy pulled off her latest far-fetched scheme.
December 4, 1986 |
When Lucille Ball was "quite properly" installed in the Television Academy Hall of Fame, I, as a member of the selection committee, asked: "What about Desi Arnaz?" Silence. Sic transit gloria mundi. Only a few years before, Desi Arnaz bestrode the flickering world of television like a colossus.
December 3, 1986 |
Desi Arnaz, a refugee Cuban conga player who loved Lucy for 10 of the most entertaining and profitable years in television history, died early Tuesday of cancer. The bandleader-executive whose business acumen doomed live television and made him and Lucille Ball multimillionaires, was 69 and died in his home in Del Mar, a San Diego suburb. His daughter, Lucie, was at his side. His son Desi Jr. was reportedly en route. Arnaz's doctor, Charles Campbell, said the musician-actor died of lung cancer.
December 2, 1986 |
Desi Arnaz, a refugee Cuban bongo player who loved Lucy for 10 of the most entertaining and profitable years in television history, died early today of cancer. The bandleader-executive whose business acumen doomed live television and made him and Lucille Ball multimillionaires, was 69 and died of cancer in his home in Del Mar, a San Diego suburb. His daughter, Lucie, was at his side. His son, Desi Jr., and Ball were expected later today.