Beloved comedienne Lucille Desiree Ball (1911-1989) was born on this day in Jamestown, New York. She began her Hollywood career as a gorgeous Ziegfeld Girl, appearing in several movies before starring with her husband Desi Arnaz in I Love Lucy (1951-1957).
"I'm not funny," she once said. "What I am is brave."
Everyone loved Lucy. According to Ladies Home Journal, within six months her show was a giant hit, watched by 10 of the 15 million working televisions in America. When her character gave birth to Little Ricky on a classic 1953 episode, 44 million viewers, or 92% of the TV audience, watched.
"I don't know anything about luck. I've never banked on it, and I'm afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: hard work and realizing what is opportunity and what isn't," she explained.
Under Lucy's strong and determined management, her show pioneered television as the first production to film with three-cameras, use a studio audience, and go into syndication.
"One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself."
Is it any wonder that we loved her?
Start by loving yourself, then watch the world fall in line.