1911: We Love Lucy
It was on this day in 1911 that Lucille Desiree Ball was born in Jamestown New York. When Lucy was just 14 year old, she began a romance with a 23-year-old whom her mother thought was a hoodlum. Her mother arranged to send Lucy to the John Murray Anderson School for Dramatic Arts in New York in an effort to separate the two. While attending school, Lucy met Bette Davis who was also attending the school. She began her long career in 1929 working as model and then later taking the stages of Broadway using the stage name, Diane Belmont. This led her to a few minor film roles during the 1930s and it was during time that Lucille met Desi Arnaz, a Cuban bandleader. The two eloped in November 1940. In 1948, Lucy was cast in the CBS radio show, My Favorite Husband which was big success and CBS wanted to develop the same show for television, a common practice during the early days of TV. Lucy agreed but only if the part of the husband would be played by Desi. It is said that I Love Lucy was not only a hit for the couple on screen but was also an attempt to keep their marriage together as Desi was known to be attracted to other women. It didn’t. The show ended in 1957, their marriage ended in 1960. In 1961, Lucy married Gary Morton and it was also that same year that Lucy became the first woman to run a major TV studio known as Desilu which produced Mission: Impossible, Star Trek and others. Lucy later starred in other TV series: The Lucy Show (1962-1968), Here’s Lucy (1968-1974) and Life with Lucy (1986). Her last public appearance was during the 61st Academy Awards in 1989. She died four weeks later. She is gone, but we are forever in love with Lucy. (Image: Wikimedia)
1956: DuMont Airs its Last Broadcast
Before FOX television network, there was another major network that competed with ABC, NBC and CBS. DuMont was a company that originally created TV sets. On this day in 1956, the network aired its last broadcast featuring a boxing match which might have been shown on only five stations nationwide. At least, that is one theory. There are conflicting reports on that actual end date of the network. The DuMont Broadcasting Corporation’s name was later changed to “Metropolitan Broadcasting Company” to distance the company from what was seen as a major flop. In addition, the DuMont was the only major TV network to cease programming for 50 years before UPN and WB networks shut down in 2006.
- 1911: Lucille Ball (actress)
- 1917: Robert Mitchum (actor)
- 1920: Selma Diamond (actress)
- 1928: Andy Warhol (artist)
- 1970: M. Night Shyamalan (film director)
- 1972: Geri Halliwell (singer)
- 1973: Vera Farmiga (actress)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.