Cast of I Love Lucy
Here is a list of the cast members of I Love Lucy. First are the main four we see every episode...most of the time, and then others who appear sometimes....you know, like Little Ricky, Lucy's mom...Mrs. Trumble...by the way, thank you imdb.com for these mini-bios!!
- Lucille Ball- Remembered as a dizzy sitcom redhead with show business aspirations, Lucille Ball was, in fact, a show business powerhouse and television pioneer. Throughout her teen years, Ball tried unsuccessfully to launch her show business career, finally landing a spot as a Ziegfeld Girl. She launched her Hollywood career as one of the Goldwyn Girls, but she moved out from the crowd of starlets to starring roles. With "I Love Lucy", she and husband Desi Arnaz pioneered the 3-camera technique now the standard in filming TV sitcoms, and the concept of syndicating TV programs. She was also the first woman to own her own film studio as the head of Desilu.
- Desi Arnaz- Desidario Alberto Arnaz ye de Acha the Third was born in Santiago, Cuba on March 2, 1917. His father was the mayor of Santiago. The 1933 Batista revolution had landed his father in jail and as well stripped Desi's family of wealth, property and power. His father was released mostly because the U.S. officials believed him to be neutral during the revolt. The family fled to Miami, Florida. One of Desi's first jobs in America consisted of cleaning canary cages. However, after forming his own small band of musicians, he was hired by Xavier Cugat , the "king of Latin music. Desi soon left Cugat, and formed his own Latin band and literally launched the conga craze in America. Desi was cast in the Broadway play "Too Many Girls, " which as well brought Desi to Hollywood to make the film version of the play. It was on the set of "Too Many Girls" that Desi and Lucille Ball met. They soon married and approximately ten years later they formed Desilu Productions and soon began the "I Love Lucy" (1951) shows. Desi and Lucille had two children, Lucie Arnazand Desi Arnaz Jr. At the end of the "I Love Lucy" (1951) run (including the "Lucy and Desi Comedy Hour") the two divorced. Desi later wrote an autobiography entitled "A Book." In 1986, Desi was diagnosed with lung cancer, and died on December 2, 1986.
- Vivian Vance- She was born Vivian Roberta Jones, with a brother and four sisters. After the family moved from Cherryvale to Independence KS, she studied drama under Anna Ingleman and William Inge. Their next move, to Albequerque NM brought her to the Albuquerque Little Theatre, which provided her the money she needed to study under Eva LeGallience in New York. After arriving in 1932 she had trouble finding work until she began a two-year stint in Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's "Music in the Air." She next understudied Ethel Merman in "Anything Goes." Her first starring role was as Kay Thompson's last minute replacement in "Hooray for What!" starring Ed Wynn. Other Broadway costars included Danny Kaye, Eve Arden and Nanette Fabray. In 1945 while starring in a touring company of "Voice of the Turtle" she had a nervous breakdown. After undergoing psychotherapy and limited movie work, she returned to "Voice of the Turtle" at the La Jolla Playhouse, where she was seen by Desi Arnaz who decided she was perfect for the role of Ethel Mertz in the "I Love Lucy" television series. At first she didn't want the part (too frumpy), and she always hated being cast as the wife of William Frawley (she was 39, he was 64; the two never got along). After Lucy ended she divorced her first husband, married again, and moved to Stamford Connecticut. In 1962 she began work on a new Lucy show, but the pressures of long-distance comuting didn't suit her, so after three years she limited her performances to guest appearances. In 1974 she and her husband moved to Belvedere (just north of Francisco Bay) so she could be near her sister. Five years later she died there, of cancer.
- William Frawley- William Frawley was born in Burlington, Iowa. As a boy he sang at St. Pauls' Catholic Church and played at the Burlington Opera House. His first job was as a stenographer for the Union Pacific Railroad. He did vaudeville with his brother Paul, then joined pianist Franz Rath in an act they took to San Francisco. After four years, in 1914 he formed a light comedy act with his new wife Edna Louise Broedt, "Frawley and Louise," touring the Orpheum and Keith circuits until they divorced in 1927. He next moved to Broadway and then, in 1932, to Hollywood with Paramount. By 1951, when he contacted Lucille Ball about a part in her TV show, he had performed in over 100 films. His Fred Mertz role lasted until the show ended in 1960 after which he did a five year stint on "My Three Sons." Poor health forced his retirement. He collapsed of a heart attack on March 3, 1966, aged seventy-nine, walking along Hollywood Boulevard after seeing a movie. He is buried in San Fernando Mission Cemetary.