If you were to draw a straight line linking these great comediennes and then travel back along it far enough, you’d inevitably end up at Lucille Ball.
The red-haired firebrand with the impeccable timing would be 100 years old today. And it’s been 60 years since “I Love Lucy” first made its bow — though it will live on forever in reruns.
Travel the world, and you’d probably be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have some memory of Ball tramping gamely through a vat of grapes or who doesn’t smile involuntarily when you exclaim “Lucy … you got some ‘splaining to do!” in an exaggerated Ricky Ricardo voice.
Associated Press television writer Lynn Elber considers Ball’s life and work in a piece published today.
Here’s the take-away:
“But “I Love Lucy,” in all its black-and-white glory, remains a draw worldwide for viewers who certainly weren’t around for its debut. Over the past five decades the sitcom has won new audiences — and introduced Lucy to younger generations — over and over through TV syndication and video sales.”
Though she was best known as a screwball, Elber’s piece also looks at Ball’s pre-“Lucy” career as a model and as her ascension as a power in early television on the order that Oprah Winfrey is today.
Read the full story here.