Friday, October 13, 2006

Lucille Ball Featured in November's Now Playing

Back in August, I first reported that Lucy will be TCM's Star of The Month in November. The November issue of Now Playing Magazine, TCM's monthly programming guide, states on page 5:

A once-in-a-lifetime blend of beauty and comic genius, Lucille Ball (1911-1989) is best remembered for I Love Lucy and its sitcom sequels, which earned her the title of "the preeminent woman in the history of television." But before and during her TV reign, Ball was a bona fide movie star.

The Jamestown, N.Y., native got her start in films as a "Goldwyn Girl" and landed a contract at RKO, where her early films included the Astaire/Rogers Top Hat (1935). She soon became known as "Queen of the B's" for a long succession of low-budget programmers such as musical Too Many Girls (1940), which was important mostly for introducing her to future husband and TV partner Desi Arnaz.

After clicking in a rare dramatic role opposite Henry Fonda in The Big Street (1942), Ball began an association with MGM, where she was dubbed "Technicolor Tessie" because her sensational coloring - bright red hair, blue eyes and creamy skin - photographed to vivid effect in such films as DuBarry Was Lady (1943) and Ziegfeld Follies (1946).

A perfectionist who honed her timing by studying the great silent comics, Ball pioneered the art of TV sitcom and returned to films with glory in MGM's hilarious The Long, Long Trailer (1954), co-starring Arnaz.

She delivered mature performances in the romantic comedies The Facts of Life (1960) opposite Bob Hope and Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) with Henry Fonda.

After her death, frequent co-star Hope paid this tribute: "One of the greatest gifts to mankind is laughter, and one of the greatest gifts to laughter is Lucille Ball. God has her now but thanks to television, we'll have her forever."

Unfortunately, Now Playing opted to feature director John Ford on the magazine's cover instead of Lucy. There are, however, 6 smaller photos of Lucy sprinkled throughout the issue.