5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Lucille Ball

On March 4, 1960, actress Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz divorced after 20 years of marriage. Here are 5 surprising facts you probably didn’t know about Lucille Ball...

 
ADVERTISEMENT

She Was The First Woman to Run a Major Production Company According to the New York Daily News, after Ball and Desi Arnaz divorced in 1960, she bought out Arnaz’s shares of Desilu for $2.5 million, making her the first female CEO of a major production company. Per the outlet, she later sold her Desilu shares to Paramount Studios for $17 million. Then, in 1967, Ball founded Lucille Ball Productions, according to Turner Classic Movie network.

No, Lucy Did Not Have Red Hair Lucille Ball’s natural hair color was actually brown, but she bleached it blond when she modeled early in her career for Hattie Carnegie, the fashion entrepreneur. She was encouraged to dye her hair red during the early part of the 1950s when she was under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Her hairstylist called the shade “golden apricot,” which was achieved by using a proprietary henna rinse that was kept safely locked away.

 
ADVERTISEMENT

She Wasn’t Always “Lucille Ball” Early in her career, Lucille Desiree Ball went by the stage name Diane Belmont.  “I always loved the name Diane and I was driving past the Belmont race track, and the names seemed to fit together,” she said. But by 1934, when she was cast in a movie starring The Three Stooges called Three Little Pigskins, the blond-haired Ball was using her own name.  

Luci and Desi Were Television’s First Interracial Couple CBS asked Lucille Ball to star in a television version of the radio show "My Favorite Husband" in 1950 with the handsome, blonde-haired actor Richard Denning as her co-star. Ball would have none of it and insisted that her real husband Desi Arnaz, a Cuban-born bandleader and actor, play the part. The show was a big hit and represented the first interracial couple to appear on television.

Her Pregnancy Made History It’s known that I Love Lucy wasn’t allowed to use the word “pregnant” after both Ball and her character got pregnant. She also made headlines by becoming the first pregnant woman to play a pregnant woman on TV. The episode in which she went to the hospital to have a baby got more viewers than the inauguration of Dwight Eisenhower the next day.