Television cemented her fame as an International Star, but in the 1930s and 40s Lucille Ball struggled to get top billing. As the publicity photo above from Easy to Wed illustrates, the top Stars of the film were Esther Williams and Van Johnson.
MGM had lured Ball away from RKO with promises to make her a big movie star but it never happened. How much do you know about Lucille Ball’s long apprenticeship in the movies?
Let’s see. As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: Lucy started her career in Hollywood as a Goldwyn Girl. True? or False?
2) Question: She was known as Queen of the “B’s” at which studio?
3) Question: Which classic star from the silent era was instrumental in teaching Ball about comedy which until the mid 1940’s was NOT her forte?
4) Question: What was her “breakthrough” film which got MGM interested in buying her contract from her home studio? And who was her co-star in that movie?
5) Question: Ball starred in at least two Film Noir pictures. What were they?
6) Question: After Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz hit it big on TV they returned to the big screen with a two picture deal from her old studio MGM. The first film was based on a best selling book. What was it? The second film, Forever Darling, was not as big a hit and ended their brief film career as a duo.
7) Question: Ball made more films in the 60s and 70s. Facts of Life re-teamed her with an old partner. Who? Then she scored a big hit with another former co-star in a film about blended families. Name it and him.