July 29, 2003
On Monday I felt one day older -- as a great humanitarian, plus a great entertainer, died at the age of 100. Bob Hope is now with his friends, including Lucille Ball, who was one of his regular leading ladies. I grew up being entertained by Milton Berle, Jackie Gleason, Lucille Ball, Ernie Kovacs, George Jessel, Bing Crosby and Jimmy Durante, plus many more, including Hope. Bless him for everything he did for our troops during all the wars, starting with World War II. May God take care of him. Although he was born in 1903 in England, he became an American citizen and loved and honored this country.
May 4, 2003 |
Find someone with the sadness and brilliance of Beach Boy Brian Wilson? No problem. Hire the very British Jeremy Northam to play the extremely American Dean Martin? Why not? Find two actresses to re-create the fragility of Judy Garland? Done. Producing partners Craig Zadan and Neil Meron -- whose resume includes TV movies about all of those very public figures, to say nothing of the Oscar-winning blockbuster "Chicago" -- are used to difficult casting challenges.
March 31, 2002
Re "TV Legend 'Uncle Miltie' Dies at 93," March 28: Of the times I spent with Milton Berle, which were many I'm happy to say, I never came away without having learned more about show business and as a better professional. Thank you, Miltie. James Prideaux Los Angeles I did not know Milton Berle, but I regret his passing. I'm sure most people don't realize the impact his show had in the early years of television. I remember as a family event gathering around the 10-inch black-and-white Philco to watch "Uncle Miltie."
September 16, 2001
Like many Americans, I grew up watching "I Love Lucy." Like many of the Nielsen households, I have on occasion tuned into "Will & Grace." Carla Hall, Debra Messing is no Lucy ("At Play in Lucy Territory," Sept. 2) and "Will & Grace" is no "I Love Lucy"! Hall's article suggests that beautiful, sexy women cannot be funny. Messing makes a statement that "she [Lucy] doesn't have a sexuality and that's very powerful." Come on Debra, Lucy played as sexual as 1950s television would allow.
September 2, 2001 |
She called it "the black stuff," because the lines were single-spaced and in caps. They were stage directions--the genius of Lucille Ball written out on the page, reduced to a series of actions and gestures. On "I Love Lucy," which ran from 1951 to 1957, the black stuff placed Ball in the comic moment--on an assembly line of chocolates or a window ledge. A different comedian might have committed the directions to memory. But Ball internalized them, rehearsing scenes down to the nub.
September 2, 2001 |
The first time actress Debra Messing heard herself compared to Lucille Ball was during the taping of the pilot episode of "Will & Grace." In the show, Grace's best friend, Will, committed the unpardonable sin of advising her not to marry her fiance, and she'd stalked off, angry and hurt. In a later scene, Grace was to show up at Will's office, attired in a wedding gown and floor-length bridal veil, to tell him she had ditched the fiance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 2001 |
At a crowded ceremony Monday on what would have been Lucille Ball's 90th birthday, the honorary mayor of Hollywood and representatives of the U.S. Postal Service unveiled a first-class stamp with the comic actress' image. It's less the wacky Lucy and more the glam Lucy--the arched thin eyebrows, chandelier earrings, and red lips pursed seductively. You could buy the 34-cent stamp Monday in Los Angeles. Starting today, some 110 million of them are available at post offices across the country.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 19, 2001 |
At this year's Orange County Fair, the most popular attraction might not be the giant Ferris wheel or the Super Slide. It just might be a goofy redhead named Lucy. That's because the "I Love Lucy" 50th Anniversary Experience--complete with Suzanne LaRusch as a Lucy impersonator--is making the Costa Mesa fairgrounds the second stop in its four-year national run.
August 25, 1999 |
Mary Jane Croft Lewis, an actress best remembered as the perennial comedy sidekick of Lucille Ball in two of the late redhead's long-running television series, has died. She was 83. Lewis died Tuesday of natural causes at her home in Century City, said a friend, Madelyn Pugh Davis, the co-creator and writer of "I Love Lucy."
April 1, 1999 |
Gary Morton, stand-up comedian and producer for the post-"I Love Lucy" television shows starring his late wife, Lucille Ball, has died. He was 74. Morton, who was married to the legendary red-haired comedian for nearly 28 years, died of lung cancer Tuesday in Palm Springs, Variety columnist and longtime friend Army Archerd reported Wednesday.