In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re excited to highlight the incredible accomplishments of a handful of iconic women who changed the face of entertainment. These women, all from different time periods and generations, defied gender, racial, and identity norms to succeed in the face of opposition. They had the guts to put their own careers at risk for what they believed it, and in doing so made history with their boldness!
First up is Hollywood icon Lucille Ball. The lovable redhead started her career early on, and was already entertaining crowds at age 12. Throughout the 30s and 40s, Ball landed small roles in whimsical musicals and B-movies, but didn’t garner major success until the late 40s when her radio show “My Favorite Husband” was developed for television.
The radio show was transformed into the television hit I Love Lucy, and Ball insisted that her real life husband, Cuban-American actor Desi Arnaz star in it with her. Although studio heads were initially hesitant to cast Desi in the role, thinking that audiences wouldn’t accept the interracial couple in their homes, they were proved wrong when the show became an overnight sensation. Lucy and Desi became the first interracial couple featured on television!
Ball wasn’t done yet—not by a long shot! She and Arnaz then formed Desilu Productions in 1950, and Ball became the first woman to run a major Hollywood studio. With Ball at the helm, the company pioneered new techniques like filming in front of a live studio audience and using multiple cameras to capture complimentary action across sets.
Lucille Ball really was the epitome of a modern woman! While acting as the head of Desilu Productions and starring in her own show, she was also raising a family as a working mom. While pregnant with her second child, Ball appeared on I Love Lucy making waves as the first pregnant actress to appear on television.
She was a trailblazer and an entertainer for the ages—Lucille Ball is truly is an icon whose light will never fade!
Stay tuned for next week’s post, where we’ll highlight another incredible entertainment force in celebration of Women’s History Month!