I Love Lucy was, and in some households is, one of the most popular shows in history. It began on October 15th, 1951 and lasting through the 1957 season going out while still on top of the charts. The show stared Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley and is considered the #2 most popular television shows by T.V. Guide.
Naturally, the main star was Lucy. Lucille Ball had been a movie actress before taking to the small screen and a story that revolved around her and her real life husband, Desi Arnaz. One of the true Queens of Comedy was born in 1911 and went on after I Love Lucy came to an end with shows like The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy and Life With Lucy. She died in 1989.
Desi Arnaz, alias Ricky Ricardo, played Lucy’s husband both on and off the show. Though their marriage ended they continued to work together and be close friends for a number of years. Desi was born in 1917 and died in 1986. After I Love Lucy he turned mainly to producing shows like Ann Sothern Show and The Untouchables.
Lucy’s friend, Ethel, on I Love Lucy was only 2 years older than Lucy in real life being born in 1909 and passing in 1979 of bone and breast cancer. She continues to perform on The Lucy Show, stared in the movie The Great Race and on Broadway. She made several appearances on Life With Lucy before finding out about her cancer when she retired.
William Frawley was truly the elder of all the cast having been born in 1887. He was actually a bit of a hot head, at one time punching a fellow actor. He was warned by Desi Arnaz when hired for I Love Lucy that he had three chances and after that would be fired. I don’t know how many chances he used up but he did make it to the end of the 1957 season. After I Love Lucy he went on to star in My Three Sons. Frawley died in 1966.
How to celebrate – I Love Lucy is on regularly in re-runs, spend a day catching up with the episodes. Check out all the collectibles continuing to sell from the I Love Lucy Show. With Halloween coming up, consider dressing up at one of the characters.