Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo on "I Love Lucy"
|Personal and Family information|
|Alias/Also known as:||Bird Legs, Mrs. Ricardo, Lucita, Cousin Lucy|
|Place of birth:||Jamestown, New York|
|Resides in:||New York City, NY (formerly)|
|Spouse(s):||Ricky Ricardo (husband, married in 1940)|
|Ricky Ricardo (husband)|
Ricky Ricardo, Jr. (son)
Mrs. Ricardo (mother-in-law)
Mrs. Migilicudy (mother)
|Hair color:||Dark Brown (Natural), Red (Dyed)|
|Appeared on:||I Love Lucy|
The "I Love Lucy" Christmas Show
The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour
|Episodes appeared in:||All in both series|
|First seen:||"The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub" (I Love Lucy pilot)|
|Last Seen||"I Love Lucy Christmas Show" (I Love Lucy series finale)|
"Lucy Meets The Mustache" (Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour finale)
|Portrayed by||Lucille Ball|
Lucy McGillicuddy was born and raised in Jamestown, New York (or West Jamestown per episode #138), to an American family of Scottish descent. Her parents are never referred to by name, and only her mother (portrayed by Kathryn Card) is seen over the course of the series. She and Ricky have a son named Little Ricky. Her best friends are the Mertzeses, Fred and Ethel.
In grammar school, she played a petunia in a recital. In high school, she was involved in the drama program, wherein she studied with Miss Hanna and played Juliet Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. She also played the saxophone in high school (as did the real Lucy), though every song she played sounded like "The Glow-Worm." Lucy also knows how to play the ukulele. She is seen playing a ukulele in episodes "Ricky Loses His Voice", "Don Juan is Shelved", and "Little Ricky Gets Stage Fright". A reference to Lucille's attendance at an unnamed junior college is made in the episode "Fan Magazine Interview" (1954); Jamestown Community College, the nearest junior college to Lucy's hometown, did not exist until 1950).
When she was 22, Lucy was set up on a blind date by her friend Marion Strong. Her blind date turned out to be a Cuban conga drummer, Ricky Ricardo. The two fell in love and eventually got married at the Byram River Beagle Club in Connecticut. An alternate scenario given to guest star Hedda Hopper in the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour episode "Lucy Takes a Cruise to Havana," with Lucy and friend Susie McNamara (Ann Sothern), is that Lucy met Ricky while vacationing in Cuba in 1940.
In the early 1940s, Lucy and Ricky moved into an old reconverted brownstone apartment at 623 East 68th Street in New York City (references made during the series date the move to 1940 or 1943). The apartment rented for $105 per month. Their landlords (soon to be best friends) were Fred and Ethel Mertz.
Lucy and Ethel quickly became best friends, even though Ethel was many years older than Lucy. Upon moving to the city, Ricky ended up getting a job headlining the Club Tropicana where they were held over indefinitely. To Lucy, Ricky's career and days seemed so much more exciting than her days of cooking and cleaning. She desperately wanted to be a star and constantly tried to get into Ricky's act. Ricky wanted his wife to stay home and complete her homemaking duties. However, in spite of Ricky's reluctance and usual refusal to give her a part, Lucy usually found a way into the show.
Birth of Little RickyEdit
In 1952, after going to the doctor complaining of feeling "dauncey" (a word her grandmother made up; Lucy's definition of feeling "dauncey" is when you're not really sick but just feel lousy) and gaining weight, she learns that she is pregnant. It is actually Ethel who first suggestcouple to couple trying to find them. Ricky notices Lucy in the audience, and it occurs to him that Lucy may be the one who is expecting. Lucy nods yes, and Ricky is overcome with emotion. They fight happy tears and sing, "We're Having a Baby".
During her pregnancy, Lucy experiences the normal pregnancy woes. She becomes depressed when everyone seems to focus their attention on the impending child and not on Lucy. She cannot decide on a name for the child and is nervous that she won't be a good mother. However, she wants the best for her child and enrollsed herself, Ricky, and the Mertzes in English lessons to make sure her child learns how to speak properly. Finally, she takes up sculpting so she and Ricky can enrich their child's life with art and music.
Lucy's show business aspirations never wane however. She manages to break into Ricky's barbershop quartet number by firing the man who has the part she wants. Finally, on January 19, 1953 (the same day she had her real-life son and actor Desi Arnaz, Jr.), while husband Ricky is performing a voodoo act at his nightclub, Lucy gives birth to Ricky Ricardo, Jr. The Mertzes are named Little Ricky's godparents. Little Ricky grows on a season-by-season basis, and by the sixth season (1957) he has started school and learned to play the drums and speak fluently. Hollywood
In 1954, Lucy's husband is given a role in an upcoming MGM film based on the life of Don Juan. Lucy and the Mertzes followed Ricky on his journey to Hollywood stardom. While in Hollywood, Lucy meets many famous celebrities, including William Holden, Hedda Hopper, Rock Hudson, Cornel Wilde, Harpo Marx, Richard Widmark, Van Johnson, and John Wayne. She reports having spotted 99 celebrities while in Hollywood and finally procures an even 100 when she meets Wilde. Lucy is incredibly starstruck and saves anything that had even come in contact with a celebrity, such as a can smashed by Cary Grant's left rear wheel. However, she doesn't merely hob nob with celebrities; she also gets a few chances to break into show business herself.
Ricky gets her a small role in a film as a showgirl. Lucy's role requires her to wear a large headdress; she also gets a death scene. However, the headdress proves cumbersome, and her part is downgraded. She eventually ends up as a showgirl who is already dead on a stretcher when the scene begins. Lucy's second foray into show business is when she replaces Van Johnson's sick redheaded partner in his act at the hotel. She wants to impress her friend Caroline Appleby (played by Doris Singleton) and successfully coaxes Johnson give her the job through flattery.
Lucy does an excellent job and impresses the crowd. Finally, she has her third shot at stardom when she appears with a Ricky Ricardo dummy at a luncheon for movie executives. Ricky was asked to perform, but he declined in favor of a fishing trip he had planned. Lucy accepted on his behalf and schemed to build the dummy and then pretend that he's ill, and she finishes the show herself. Her plan doesn't go as well as she had hoped, but she's still a smash success and is offered a contract. She declines however, when she realizes that it would take her away from her husband and son.
Very soon after returning home from Hollywood, Ricky's band is given a chance to tour around Europe. Lucy and the Mertzes again tag along on the trip and get a once in a lifetime opportunity. They sail on a cruise ship across the Atlantic, where Lucy wins a ping pong trophy. She also manages to get stuck in a porthole.
After landing in England, Lucy gets the chance to perform for and meet Queen Elizabeth. She also participates in a fox hunt and gets to stay at a real English estate. In Paris, she meets Charles Boyer and is temporarily detained in a French jail after inadvertently trying to use counterfeit money. Also, she stomps on grapes in Turo, a winemaking town in Italy, and wrestles (and is nearly drowned by) her professional grape-stomping partner in a grape vat.
Moving to ConnecticutEdit
In 1956, Lucy and her husband Ricky decide to move to Connecticut after a making trip there, and Lucy falls in love with the area. Before they move in, though, she tries (unsuccessfully) to get out of the deal. Soon the Ricardos decide to raise chickens. Their best friends, Fred Mertz and Ethel Mertz, move into their guest house. (Fred was raised on a farm.) Lucy and Ricky also make close friends while in Connecticut, Betty and Ralph Ramsey (the Ricardos' next door neighbors). After the chicken venture proves unsuccessful, the Ricardos decide to shut their business down.
Lucy is involved in many activities. When living in New York, she was co-president (sharing the title with Ethel) of her women's club, the Wednesday Afternoon Fine Arts League. (She used to be the club treasurer prior to becoming co-president.) Once she moved to Connecticut, she became a member of the Westport Historical Society and the local PTA. She was even chairman of the Yankee Doodle Day Celebration that the Westport Historical Society put together. Lucy is also a long-time member of a bridge club. Lucy loves playing cards in general. She enjoys bridge, canasta, and gin the best. Other interests of Lucy's include shopping for new clothes and hats, doing anything that involves celebrities, gossiping, and (of course) performing in all aspects of show business.
Lucy has many bad personality traits: She is scheming, manipulative, stubborn, very jealous, and always wants to be popular and have many status symbols. She also has a bad habit of stirring her coffee long after the cream is mixed in. But she's a good person overall. Most of her bad traits come from her great passion, ambition, and determination. She is a caring mother, a loyal wife, and (most of the time) a faithful friend. She also was very progressive for her time. While she sometimes would obey Ricky's orders submissively, she usually stood up to her husband and did what SHE wanted. For the conservative, pre-women's lib 1950s, Lucy was very ahead of her time as far as women's rights go.
So far, the list of countries Lucy has been to is as follows: United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Switzerland, Monaco, Japan and Cuba .