1001 W 75TH ST. WOODRIDGE, IL 630-427-1880

Hollywood Memorial


Legendary comedic actress, best known for the title role in the hit television sitcom of the 1950’s ‘I Love Lucy.’ She was chosen to be the poster model for Chesterfield Cigarettes in 1933, which got her national exposure for the first time and caught the attention of Hollywood. She started at the bottom, with bit parts in low budget films, but her initial success would lead to bigger and better parts. Ball would appear in over 60 films by the late 1940s. After performing in the musical ‘Too Many Girls,’ in 1940 with popular Cuban band leader, Desi Arnaz, Ball fell in love with her co-star, and married him later that year. The rest is history, from 1951 through 1957, it was the most popular show on television, and Ball was at last firmly established as a megastar. Founding Desilu Studios with her husband, by the end of the 1950s, Desilu became a powerful, respected corporation, producing such hit TV shows as ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Mission Impossible.’ After 20 years of marriage, Ball and Arnaz divorced in 1960. While Arnaz turned to alcohol and was rarely seen in public again, Ball took out a loan for $3 million and bought her ex-husbands half of Desilu Studios. Desilu was then the world’s largest television production facility, so Lucy’s take-over made her the first woman in Hollywood history to hold such a powerful position. Desilu Productions continued to grow and prosper under her leadership, ultimately acquiring RKO Studios, where both Ball and Arnaz had formerly worked as contract players. Her last public appearance was at the 1989 Academy Awards. One week after undergoing open-heart surgery, on April 26, 1989, Lucille Ball suffered a ruptured aorta and died. She was 77 years old. Desi Arnaz died of cancer in 1986. Originally interred at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills (shown), ashes were later moved to her birthplace in New York.