Their characters are legend: Woodward. Austin. Tanna. Little Joe. But the importance of the fictional pales in comparison to that of the near-mythical actors and actresses who breathed life into the roles. Their shows seldom were Emmy-winning, but their work was seen in your household if you owned a set at the time, their names known to you. We salute TV’s true stalwarts — those with the constitution to make it to the set year after year, show after show. This time it’s the turn of comedic giant Lucille Ball.
Life With Lucy, Here’s Lucy, The Lucy Show, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, I Love Lucy
Above all a pioneering spirit, Ball combined beauty with brilliant comic timing and a rubber-faced style borrowed from the silent-film stars and perfected for the small screen.
What didn’t she do? Ball paved the way for funny/pretty TV women to come, while she and husband Desi Arnaz hammered out the blueprint for TV production: I Love Lucy was one of the earliest shows shot live on film and Desilu Studios went on to create hits like The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Untouchables, Mission: Impossible and Star Trek.