A.K.A. Lucy: The Dynamic and Determined Life of Lucille Ball

Running Pr. Oct. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9780762484263. $29. BIOG
Pop-culture historian Royal (host of the podcast Enough Wicker: Intellectualizing “The Golden Girls”) provides a fresh take on the life and career of one of TV’s most recognizable stars, Lucille Ball, in this delightful, photo-filled account of her groundbreaking accomplishments. Ball (1911–89) believed her drive came from her unconventional childhood. Her father died when she was three, and she and her younger brother were raised by grandparents and a working mother. The book effectively charts the course of her passionate, enduring love with Desi Arnaz; summarizes the most famous episodes of I Love Lucy, which pioneered three-camera filming; and supplies examples of the masterful merchandising of Ball’s likeness on everything from pajamas to furniture. The last episode of I Love Lucy aired in 1957, but reruns still air today, nearly 60 years later. Royal also reflects on Ball’s legacy as the first woman to run a television studio (when she bought Arnaz’s shares after their divorce). In her later years, Ball tackled Broadway, stood up for gay and women’s rights, and offered opportunities and support to up-and-comers such as Carol Burnett.
VERDICT This perfectly supplements the many books about Ball by contributing new insights with heart and humor.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing