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Early Life Edit
Lucy McGillicudy was born August 6th, 1920 in Jamestown West, New York to an American family of Scottish descent. After several family moves to different parts of the U.S. in her early years, her father died when she was four years old, and her mother moved the surviving family to Celoron, New York, in a suburb to the west of Jamestown. Lucille was raised from that point by her mother and grandparents. Her parents were never referred by name, and only her mother is seen. As a child, she was babysat by Helen Erickson, who gave her the nickname "Droopy Drawers" because of baggy bloomers. She was also bitten on the ear by Fred Bigalow's cat. Her childhood doctor was named Dr. Peterson. In grammar school, she played a petunia in a recital. When she was in high school, she was involved in the drama program, where she studied with Miss Hanna and played Juliet Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. She was also known as "Bird Legs" in school. She also played the saxophone, though every song she played sounded like "Glow-Worm". Lucy also knows how to play the ukulele (as seen in Ricky Loses His Voice, Don Juan is Shelved, and Little Ricky Gets Stage Fright). Lucy also attended a junior college (mentioned in Fan Magazine Interview).
When she was 22, Lucy was set up on a blind date by her friend Marion Strong. Her blind date turned out to be a Cuban conga drummer, Ricky Ricardo. The two fell in love and eventually got married at the Byram River Beagle Club in Conneticut. However, an alternate scenario given to the guest star Hedda Hopper in the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour episode Lucy Takes a Cruise to Havana with Lucy and friend Susie McNamara, is that Lucy met Ricky while vacationing in Cuba in 1940.
In the early 40s, Lucy and Ricky moved into an old reconverted brownstone apartment at 623 East 68th Street in New York City. The apartment rented for $105 per month. Their landlords (soon to be best friends) were Fred and Ethel Mertz. Although several years older than Lucy, Ethel soon became her best friend. Upon moving to the city, Ricky ended up getting a job headlining the Club Tropicana where they were held over indefinitely. To Lucy, Ricky's career and days seemed so much more exciting than her days of cooking and cleaning. She desperately wanted to be a star and constantly tried to get into his act. Ricky wanted his wife to stay home and complete her homemaking duties. However, in spite of Ricky's reluctance and usual refusal to give her a part, Lucy usually found a way into the show.
Birth of Little Ricky Edit
In 1952, after going to the doctor complaing of feeling "dauncy" (a word her grandmother made up; Lucy's definition of feeling "dauncey" is when you're not really sick, but you just feel lousy) and gaining weight, she learns that she is pregnant. It was actually Ethel who first suggests to Lucy she may be expecting, even before Lucy heads out to the doctor. She is very excited to tell her husband the exciting news. The Mertzes learn the news first and are sworm to secrecy. When she was younger, Lucy had envisioned how she'd tell her husband that they were going to have a baby. She decides to tell Ricky when he comes home for lunch that afternoon. However, with repeated interruptions from the telephone and the Mertzes, she is unable. She tries to tell him down at his club during rehearsals, but is uncomfortable telling him such a personal thing in front of his band, so she runs out crying. Finally, that evening, while Ricky is performing, Lucy pens a note and passes it to the maître d'hotel. He gives the note to Ricky, and he, from there, reads the note with basically alludes to a wife needing to tell her husband that they were having a baby through one of his songs. Ricky, unaware that the husband mentioned in the note is him, wants to bring the expectant couple up on stage to congratulate them. He goes from couple to couple trying to find them. Ricky notices Lucy is in the audience, she nods, and it occurs to him that Lucy may be toe one who is expecting. Ricky is overcome with emotion, and they fight happy tears as they sing We're Having a Baby.
- In Lucy Tells the Truth, Lucy is forced to admit her age and weight, which is 33 (making her born in 1920) and 129 lbs.
- In The Passports, it is revealed that her birthdate August 6th, 1921 (exactly ten years younger than Lucille Ball).
- Lucy's full name was give in the episodes The Marriage License, Fred and Ethel Fight, and The Passports.
- Lucy mentions fishing in Chautauqua Lake, a real lake near Celoron, New York.
During her pregnancy, Lucy experienced the normal pregnancy woes. She became depressed when everyone seemed to focus their attention on the impending child and not on Lucy. She couldn't decide on a name for the child and was nervous that she wasn't going to be a good mother. However, she wanted the best for her child and enrolled herself, Ricky and the Mertzes in English lessons to make sure that her child learned how to speak properly. Finally, she took up sculpting so that she and Ricky could enrich their child's life with art and music, respectively.
Lucy's show business aspirations never waned however. She managed to break into Ricky's barbershop quartet number by firing the man who had the part she wanted.
Finally, on January 19, 1953 (the same day she had her real-life son and actor Desi Arnaz, Jr.), while husband Ricky was performing a voodoo act at his nightclub, Lucy gave birth to Ricky Ricardo Jr. The Mertzes were named Little Ricky's godparents. Little Ricky grew on a season-by-season basis and by the sixth season (1957) he had started school and learned to play the drums and speak fluently.
In 1954, Lucy's husband was given a role in an upcoming MGM film based on the life of Don Juan. Lucy and the Mertzes followed Ricky on his journey to Hollywood stardom. While in Hollywood, Lucy met many famous celebrities, including William Holden, Hedda Hopper, Rock Hudson, Cornel Wilde, Harpo Marx, Richard Widmark, Van Johnson and John Wayne. She reported having spotted 99 celebrities while in Hollywood and finally procured an even 100 when she met Wilde. Lucy was incredibly starstruck and saved anything that had even come in contact with a celebrity such as a can that was smashed by Cary Grant's left rear wheel. However, she didn't merely hob nob with celebrities, she also got a few chances to break into show business herself.
Ricky got her a small role in a film as a showgirl. Lucy's role required her to wear a large headdress and she also got a death scene. However, the headdress proved cumbersome and her part was downgraded. She eventually ended up as a showgirl who is already dead on a stretcher when the scene begins. Lucy's second foray into show business was when she replaced Van Johnson's sick redheaded partner in his act at the hotel. She wanted to impress her friend Carolyn Appleby and successfully coaxed Johnson into giving her the job through flattery. She does an excellent job and impresses the crowd. Finally, she has her third shot at stardom when she appears with a Ricky Ricardo dummy at a luncheon for movie executives. Ricky was asked to perform, but he declined in favor of a fishing trip he had planned. Lucy accepted on his behalf and schemed to build the dummy and then pretend that he's ill and she finishes the show herself. Her plan doesn't go as well as she had hoped, but she's still a smash success and is offered a contract. She declines however, when she realizes that it would take her away from her husband and son.
Very soon after returning home from Hollywood, Ricky's band was given a chance to tour around Europe. Lucy and the Mertzes were again given the opportunity to tag along on the trip and get a once in a lifetime opportunity. They sailed on a cruise ship across the Atlantic where Lucy won a ping pong trophy. She also managed to get stuck in a porthole.
After landing in England, Lucy got the chance to perform for and meet Queen Elizabeth. She also participated in a fox hunt and got to stay at a real English estate. In Paris, she met Charles Boyer and was temporarily detained in a French jail after having inadvertently trying to use counterfeit money. Also, she stomped on grapes in Turo, a wine making town in Italy, and wrestled (and was nearly drowned by) her professional grape-stomping partner in a grape vat.
Moving to ConnecticutEdit
In 1956, Lucy and her husband Ricky decided to move to Connecticut. This happened after a trip there and Lucy falling in love with the area. Before they moved in, though, she tried to get out of the deal. Soon they decided to raise chickens. Their best friends, Fred Mertz and Ethel Mertz, moved into their guest house (Fred was raised on a farm). After this was unsuccessful, they decided to shut their business down. Lucy and Ricky also have made close friends while in Connecticut, Betty Ramsey and Ralph Ramsey (the Ricardos' next door neighbors).