Lucille Ball was American TV's most popular comedienne for over a decade, beloved for her blazing red hair and slapstick situation comedy gags. Lucille Ball starred in five different TV shows during her career; the original, I Love Lucy (1951-57), became one of the great TV landmarks of the 1950s. The show was consistently ranked #1 in the ratings, attracted guest stars like John Wayne and Orson Welles, and continued in reruns for decades. I Love Lucy also starred Ball's real-life husband, Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz; the couple had two children, Desi Jr. and Lucie, and formed a successful TV production company known as Desilu. (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were divorced in 1960, and Ball later married producer and TV personality Gary Morton.) Ball's last series, Life With Lucy, ran briefly in 1986.
Vitameatavegamin, a fictional product hawked by Lucy’s character in a 1952 episode of I Love Lucy, has become an oddly persistent piece of pop culture trivia… A 34-cent U.S. postage stamp honoring Ball was unveiled in August of 2001… Lucille Ball died in 1989 from a ruptured aorta, which she suffered after open heart surgery.