“She told me she dreamt she had died. And she came back as a ghost on Hollywood Boulevard. She’s walking along as a ghost, and no one remembers her. When she died, that was the first thing I thought of, because you never saw such an outpouring of love, almost obsession. I thought, she would be so proud.” - Candy Moore
He wanted to be here tonight. I’d like to read something that he wrote:
‘I Love Lucy’ had just one mission: to make people laugh. Lucy gave it a rare quality. She can perform the wildest, even the messiest physical comedy without losing her feminine appeal. The ‘New York Times’ asked me to divide the credit for its success between the writers, directors and the cast. I told them, ‘Give Lucy 90% of the credit. Divide the other 10% among the rest of us’. Desi concluded: Lucy was the show. Viv, Fred, and I were just props. Damn good props. But props nevertheless. PS- ‘I Love Lucy’ was never just a title.
-Desi Arnaz’s tribute to his ex-wife Lucille Ball, read by Robert Stack at the Kennedy Center Honors on December 7, 1986, five days after Desi had passed away from lung cancer.
“The first lady of television - her face was seen by more people more often than the face of any other human being who has ever lived. Who can forget Lucy? She was like everyone’s next door neighbor, only funnier. Lucille Ball was a national treasure who brought laughter to us all. This nation is grateful to her.” - Inscription for her Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1989
“She had a tenacity, an amazing ability to keep going until she got it right. Bravery. She was the first to do things that women didn’t do. She was gifted. She had genius, like Chaplin. Artistry of the top rank.” - Lucie Arnaz
“I once told Lucy that she was a beautiful clown. She didn’t want to hear it because it embarrased her, but it was true. She might be dressed in a baggy suit and a battered top hat and wearing big, funny shoes but she was still beautiful. And unlike some actresses who worry that they won’t look good, or that their hair will be mussed, Lucy would get into any crazy costume we would think of. She couldn’t wait to black out her teeth or get soaking wet or put on a funny wig.” - Madelyn Pugh Davis, writer for I Love Lucy
“One of the most important things that Lucy showed us was that women could be funny and attractive all at once - a groundbreaking concept for the day. This was particularly admirable considering Lucy was beautiful enough to be a conventional film star. But she shrugged off the persona of a cool beauty, instead reveling in the chance to get a laugh. She was never afraid to look foolish, silly, or even ugly for the sake of a good gag and her public loved her for it. By proving this formula, she paved the way for generations of funny women to come. Think of Carol Burnett, Roseanne, Gilda Radner, and Candice Bergen - they all owe at least part of their success to the amazing Lucy.” - Commentary on her role for women
Happy Birthday, Lucille Ball | August 6, 1911 - April 26, 1989
Lucille Ball’s emotional speech during her 1984 induction into the Television Hall of Fame.
Her co-stars Vivian Vance and William Frawley had both passed away years before the ceremony. Her former husband Desi Arnaz was unable to attend.
Lucy was known for giving her co-stars a lot of credit for her success, especially Desi, which could explain her heartfelt reaction to receiving such an honor:
“I was proud of what he did. He helped the show tremendously. Without him, it wouldn’t have become as big as it is.”
“He built a dynasty. We had sixteen shows on the air. We owned three studios, and Desi did it all. I mean, all I did was have babies and do the show - and loved every minute of it!”
“I wanted to put Desi’s name first, because he worked the hardest.”
“You know, when I was married to the Cuban, I never had to worry about a thing. Desi was so damn smart about everything - scripts, cameras, lighting, costuming, you name it. I would simply waltz in on Monday mornings and the cast and I would read a perfect script, all ready for rehearsal. All I had to do was be Lucy. Desi took care of the rest. We made a great team. Plus, it didn’t hurt that we were crazy about each other.”
“There would be no Lucy without Desi.” (1984)
Two years later, in 1986, upon hearing she was to be one of the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, Lucy was quoted as saying the honor should be for her and Desi.