A new exhibition at the Hollywood Museum
celebrates two milestones in the life of Americas Queen of Comedy: Lucille Balls 100th birthday on Aug. 6 and the 60th anniversary of I Love Lucy, her classic TV collaboration with husband Desi Arnaz, which CBS first aired on Oct. 15, 1951.
Lucille Ball at 100 & I Love Lucy at 60, presented in partnership with CBS , will be on display from Aug. 3 to Nov. 30, showcasing memorabilia saluting the careers and romance of Hollywoods most famous lovebirds.
The Hollywood Museum in the Historic Max Factor Building is the perfect venue for this exhibit because it's where Lucille Ball went for makeup and hair treatments from Mr. Factor, says Museum President Donelle Dadigan. It's where Lucy first became a redhead. She had the longest-running contract of all of Mr. Factor's celebrity clients and he frequently used her image in his PR and ad promotions. The Redheads Only Room has been carefully preserved in her memory today. The museums historic connection to Lucy is the reason the U.S. Postal Service chose to unveil its official Lucille Ball commemorative stamp here in 2001.
The exhibit is presented in partnership with CBS DVD and Paramount Home Video, which just released a new DVD set The Best of I Love Lucy featuring 14 classic episodes that have been digitally restored. CBS describes the set, Television's all-time queen of comedy is at her candy-wrapping, grape-stomping, Vitameatavegamin-pushing best in this timeless collection of I Love Lucy episodes. From Hollywood to Europe, from ballet to burlesque to the birth of Little Ricky... its all here in this hilarious 2-disc set. The 14 episodes: The Ballet, The Freezer, Lucy Does a TV Commercial (Vitameatavegamin), Job Switching (The Chocolate Factory), Lucy Is Enceinte (Lucy reveals pregnancy), Lucy Goes to the Hospital, L.A. at Last, Lucy Gets in Pictures, Harpo Marx, The Great Train Robbery, Bon Voyage, Paris at Last, Lucy Gets a Paris Gown, Lucys Italian Movie (Grape Stomping).
The opening of the exhibition will be celebrated at a private party to be held on Aug. 4 with Lucie Arnaz in attendance. On Lucille Ball's 100th birthday, Aug. 6,, the museum will stage a Lucy look-alike contest plus a contest to declare the best birthday cake.
Lucille Ball at 100 & I Love Lucy at 60 Exhibit includes:
Redheads Only Room" where Max Factor worked on Lucys famous look, featuring their original signed contract.
Awards, Certificates, Statuettes/Trophies, Plaques - including the special tribute to Lucy at the 33rd Annual Emmys (1981) and a congratulatory letter from President Ronald Reagan
Original Costume sketches - Halston, Elois Jennsen, Bob Mackie
The famous first national TV Guide (April 3, 1953) featuring Desi, Jr. on the cover as the $50 million baby
Items showcasing the genius of Desi including original editing equipment which allowed for the technical advancement of TV production (3 cameras, live audience, on film)
A huge photography collection spanning Lucys life including her childhood, modelling career, films, radio and TV with some never-before-seen candid personal shots
Lucy's autographed leg cast from her 1972 ski accident at Snowmass, CO
Personal annotated copies of Lucys scripts from TV shows and films
Desi's original recordings + sheet music
Montage of original photos from Lucy and Desis homes and apartments including Palm Springs, NYC and Beverly Hills
Elizabethan gown worn by Lucy opposite guest Tallulah Bankhead (The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, 1957).
Artist smock worn by Lucy opposite guest Danny Thomas ("The Lucy Show," 1965)
Flapper dance costume worn by Lucie Arnaz in duet with Lucy ("Here's Lucy," 1972)
Overalls worn by Lucy in co-star Gale Gordons hardware store ("Life with Lucy," 1986).
Bold hounds-tooth wool pant suit worn by Lucy in her last film Mame (1974)
Ivory and lavender beaded gown worn by Lucy in her first MGM film "Dubarry Was a Lady" (1943) opposite co-stars Red Skelton and Gene Kelly
Iconic trench coat worn by Lucy and featured in ads for the classic film noir Lured (1947)
Other personal outfits from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
LUCILLE BALL AND DESI ARNAZ:
Before her television success, Ball made more than 60 films, first as one of the gorgeous Goldwyn Girls, then as a RKO contract player and as a star in the MGM galaxy before becoming a Columbia Pictures headliner. She was also featured in several short-lived radio shows in the 1930s (working with long-time collaborator Gale Gordon for the first time) and returned to radio for CBS in 1948 with My Favorite Husband.
While at RKO, Ball starred in the 1940 film version of the stage hit Too Many Girls. Many of the Broadway cast came west including Desi Arnaz who had caused a sensation singing the title tune. The two were immediately smitten and were married on Nov. 30, 1940.
Arnaz (born March 2, 1917) and his wealthy family had fled Cuba in 1933 during the Batista revolution and relocated to Miami. Pursuing his love of music, he had popularized the Conga dance and even toured the country with his own band. Apart more often than not, Ball and Arnaz decided to work together when CBS moved her radio show to television.
They cofounded a company Desilu Productions and Arnaz proved to have a flair for producing, pioneering the concept of filming a TV show in front of an audience. The creator (Jess Oppenheimer) and writers (Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.) of My Favorite Husband adapted it for TV with Liz Cooper becoming Lucy Ricardo, a housewife desperate to get into showbiz, much to the dismay of her husband, bandleader Ricky Ricardo (Arnaz). Her harebrained schemes often involved their landlords and good friends, Fred and Ethel Mertz (William Frawley and Vivian Vance).
The show was an immediate success and ranked No. 1 for four of its six seasons. Ball -- whose first child Lucie was born on July 17, 1951 just weeks before filming of I Love Lucy began -- became pregnant again at the end of the first season. The decision was made that the Ricardos would have a baby too. Both babies were born on Jan. 19, 1953 with Little Ricky debuting to a record-breaking television audience and Desi Jr. soon appearing on the cover of the first national TV Guide.
Under the astute leadership of Arnaz, Desilu Productions quickly became the biggest producer of TV programs in Hollywood, with hits including Our Miss Brooks, Private Secretary, Make Room for Daddy and The Untouchables. In 1957, the ever-expanding company bought RKO Studios where the couple had first met.
Their 20-year marriage ended in 1960 and each eventually remarried (she to comedian Gary Morton in 1961 and he to socialite Edith Hirsch in 1963). Arnaz sold his interest in Desilu Productions to Ball in 1962 and she became the first woman to head a major Hollywood studio. During her tenure, Desilu Productions produced Mission Impossible and Star Trek as well as her highly rated return to TV, The Lucy Show. Ball sold the company to Paramount in 1967 and formed a self-titled production company to oversee her third successful sitcom Heres Lucy which also ran for six years and co-starred her children Lucie and Desi Jr.
Arnaz, who returned to producing in the late 1960s with The Mothers-In-Law, went on to live a quiet life in Del Mar and died of lung cancer at the age of 69 on Dec. 2, 1986. Five days later, Ball received the Kennedy Center Honors and Robert Stack, star of The Untouchables, read a note from Arnaz which ended with the line: I Love Lucy was never just a title."
Ball died at the age of 77 on April 26, 1989 of a ruptured aorta. She had appeared just four weeks earlier with long-time friend and co-star Bob Hope at the 61st annual Academy Awards where they were greeted with a standing ovation. While she never won an Oscar, among her many honors were four Emmys and the Governors Award from the TV academy, the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Golden Globes and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Hollywood Museum, the official museum of Hollywood, has the most extensive collection of Hollywood Memorabilia in the World. The museum features four floors of breathtaking exhibits and is the home of more than 10,000 authentic showbiz treasures, one of a kind costumes, props, photographs, scripts and vintage memorabilia from favorite movies and TV shows. The museum includes costumes from Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson; Props from Gone With The Wind, Twilight: New Moon, Star Trek, Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen, High School Musical 2, Dancing with the Stars, Glee, and more. The Hollywood Museum is located in the historic Max Factor Building on the corner of Hollywood & Highland, where Max Factor, the legend of movie makeup, worked his magic on motion picture stars since 1935.