Main & guest casts of I Love Lucy
The woman who will always be remembered as the crazy, accident-prone, lovable Lucy Ricardo was born Lucille Desiree Ball on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. Her father died before she was four, and her mother worked several jobs, so she and her younger brother were raised by their grandparents...
Desiderio Alberto Arnaz ye de Acha the Third was born in Santiago, Cuba on March 2, 1917. His father was the mayor of Santiago. The 1933 revolution led by Fulgencio Batista
had landed his father in jail and stripped the family of its wealth, property and power. His father was released because of the intercession of U.S...
She was born Vivian Roberta Jones, with a brother and four sisters. After the family moved from Cherryvale to Independence, Kansas, she studied drama under Anna Ingleman and William Inge
. Their next move, to Albuquerque, New Mexico brought her to the Albuquerque Little Theatre, which provided her the money she needed to study under Eva Le Gallienne
in New York...
William Frawley was born in Burlington, Iowa. As a boy he sang at St. Paul's Catholic Church and played at the Burlington Opera House. His first job was as a stenographer for the Union Pacific Railroad. He did vaudeville with his brother Paul, then joined pianist Franz Rath in an act they took to San Francisco in 1910...
Keith Thibodeaux, billed as "Richard Keith" in I Love Lucy
episodes, started playing drums at the age of two in Lafayette, Louisiana. He began touring the United States at the tender age of three and ended up in Hollywood, California auditioning for Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball's popular comedy "I Love Lucy"...
Tennessee Ernie Ford
Tennessee Ernie Ford
s lifetime: Thursday, February 13th, 1919 to Thursday, October 17th, 1991, was 26,544 days, equaling 3,792 weeks exactly. Composer, singer and author, educated at the Cincinnati Conservatory. He appeared at the London Palladium, and made many records. He also owned a cattle ranch in California...
William Holden was born William Franklin Beedle, Jr. in O'Fallon, Illinois, to Mary Blanche (Ball), a schoolteacher, and William Franklin Beedle, Sr., an industrial chemist. He came from a wealthy family (the Beedles) that moved to Pasadena, California, when he was three. In 1937, while studying chemistry at Pasadena Junior College...
Eve was born just north of San Francisco in Mill Valley and was interested in show business from an early age. At 16, she made her stage debut after quitting school to joined a stock company. After appearing in minor roles in two films under her real name, Eunice Quedens, she found that the stage offered her the same minor roles...
Rock Hudson was born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. in Winnetka, Illinois, to Katherine (Wood), a telephone operator, and Roy Harold Scherer, an auto mechanic. He was of German, Swiss-German, English, and Irish descent. His parents divorced when he was eight years old. He failed to obtain parts in school plays because he couldn't remember lines...
Dashing actor Cornel Wilde was born Kornel Lajos Weisz on October 13, 1912, in Prievidza, Hungary (now part of Slovakia), to a Jewish family. In 1920, he immigrated to New York City with his parents, Rayna (Vid) and Vojtech Béla Weisz, and elder sister, Edith. His family Americanized their names and Kornel took the name Cornelius Louis Wilde...
Richard Widmark established himself as an icon of American cinema with his debut in the 1947 film noir Kiss of Death
in which he won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination as the killer "Tommy Udo". Kiss of Death
and other noir thrillers established Widmark as part of a new generation of American movie actors who became stars in the post-World War II era...
Van Johnson was the well-mannered nice guy on screen you wanted your daughter to marry. This fair, freckled and invariably friendly-looking MGM song-and-dance star of the 40s emerged a box office favorite (1944-1946) and second only to heartthrob Frank Sinatra
during what gossipmonger Hedda Hopper
dubbed the "Bobby-Soxer Blitz" era...
John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Iowa, to Mary Alberta (Brown) and Clyde Leonard Morrison, a pharmacist. He was of English, Ulster-Scots, and Irish ancestry. Clyde developed a lung condition that required him to move his family from Iowa to the warmer climate of southern California, where they tried ranching in the Mojave Desert...
studied philosophy before he went to the theater where he gave his debut in 1920. Although he had at first no intentions to pursue a career at the movies (his first movie was L'homme du large
by Marcel L'Herbier
) he used his chance in Hollywood after several filming stations all over Europe...
Mary Jane Croft
Diminutive, blond character comedienne whose strident voice and nervy manner made her the perfect foil to Lucille Ball
's madcap antics on TV, at first, occasionally, on I Love Lucy
(as "Betty Ramsay" and "Evelyn Bigsby"), then on a regular basis on The Lucy Show
and Here's Lucy
(as "Mary Jane Lewis")...
He had one of those instantly identifiable mugs that made you laugh as soon as you saw him. And then he'd open his mouth. Veteran character actor Frank Nelson was here, there and everywhere in the 50s and 60s, usually playing a pop-eyed, hot-tempered foil to the likes of TV's top comedy stars such as Lucille Ball and Jack Benny...
Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was born on January 31, 1902 in Huntsville, Alabama. Her father was a mover and shaker in the Democratic Party who served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from June 4, 1936, to September 16, 1940. Tallulah had been interested in acting and, at age 15...
Ann Sothern, born Harriet Lake on January 22,1909 in Valley City, North Dakota, and her film career started as an extra-bit part in the film Broadway Nights
in 1927. She would work as an extra for the next six years. It barely paid the bills. Finally, Ann got her break with Columbia Pictures when they signed her to a contract in 1934...
Fred MacMurray was likely the most underrated actor of his generation. True, his earliest work is mostly dismissed as pedestrian, but no other actor working in the 1940s and 50s was able to score so supremely whenever cast against type. Frederick Martin MacMurray was born in Kankakee, Illinois, to Maleta Martin and Frederick MacMurray...
June Haver was born on June 10, 1926, in Rock Island, Illinois, with the birth name of June Stovenour. Her parents divorced at an early age and she was adopted by Bert Haver, her stepfather. Her mother and new father moved to Cincinnati, where she appeared on the stage for the first time at the age of six in a local theater production of "Midnight in a Toyshop"...
Elizabeth Ruth Grable was born on December 18, 1916 in St. Louis, Missouri, to Lillian Rose (Hofmann) and John Charles Grable, a stockbroker. She had German, English, Irish, and Dutch ancestry. Her mother was a stubborn and materialistic woman who was determined to make her daughter a star. Elizabeth...
Handsome, dapper Argentine-born actor who came to Hollywood as a romantic lead in several colourful MGM extravaganzas and then succeeded in living up to his Latin Lover image in real life. Lamas studied drama at school in his native country and later enrolled in a law course at college. His strong leaning towards athletic pursuits prevailed and he abandoned his studies to take up horse riding...
His heavy French accent, melodic voice and Gallic charm made Maurice Chevalier the prototype of the gallant French monsieur in the American cinema of the 1930s. Before he went to Hollywood he worked as a farmer, circus acrobat, cabaret singer and, starting in 1908, a comical actor in French films, a few times even with the celebrated Max Linder
Poised and lovely Marjorie Lord started her long and varied career on the Broadway stage and in "B" films as a sweet-natured ingénue. Lord was born Marjorie F. Wollenberg in 1918 in San Francisco, California, to Lillian Rosalie (Edgar) and George Charles Wollenberg. Her family transported themselves to New York City when she was fifteen...
The son of a former circus clown turned grocer and a cleaning woman, Red Skelton
was introduced to show business at the age of seven by Ed Wynn
, at a vaudeville show in Vincennes. At age 10, he left home to travel with a medicine show through the Midwest, and joined the vaudeville circuit at age 15...
A rare breed this guy. Paul Douglas became an unlikely middle-aged cinema star by simply capitalizing on his big, burly, brash and boorish appeal to the nth degree. The 5'11", 200 lb. actor was a bold, unabashed risk taker. He forsook an extremely successful career as one of the country's top radio/sports announcers to prove his value as an actor...
Joi Lansing was born Joyce Renee Brown on April 6, 1929 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was a young lady who developed, physically, early as a teen. Because of her striking good looks, she began to model and was extremely successful throughout the 1940s. It was only natural that her physical assets eventually landed her on the silver screen...
Ida was born in London to a show business family. In 1933, her mother brought Ida with her to an audition and Ida got the part her mother wanted. The picture was Her First Affaire
. Ida, a bleached blonde, came to Hollywood in 1934 and played small and insignificant parts. Peter Ibbetson
was one of her...
Tough, virile, wavy-haired and ruggedly handsome with trademark forlorn-looking brows that added an intriguing touch of vulnerability to his hard outer core, actor Howard Duff and his wife-at-the-time, actress Ida Lupino
, were one of Hollywood's premiere film couples during the 1950s "Golden Age"...
Milton Berle was born Milton Berlinger on July 12, 1908, in New York City. He was educated at New York Professional Children's School and began performing at age 5. His first stage appearance was in "Florodora" in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He appeared at the Palace Theater in New York in 1931, then in nightclubs and theaters...
Effective light comedian of '30s and '40s films and '50s and '60s TV series, Robert Cummings was renowned for his eternally youthful looks (which he attributed to a strict vitamin and health-food diet). He was educated at Carnegie Tech and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Deciding that Broadway producers would be more interested in an upper-crust Englishman than a kid from Joplin...
The scintillating, sultry-eyed blonde (formerly a redhead) star of screen, TV and award-winning stage went on to become best known, however, for her sensual delivery pitching cigars in taunting 60s ads and commercials with her Mae West
ian come-on line, "Why don't you pick one up and smoke it sometime?" This...
Author, actor, comedian, composer and producer. He was educated at the New York School of Theatre, and received the Sylvania Television Award. Joining the American Society of Composers and Publishers in 1957, he composed a number of songs and themes, a number of which were used in his famed television comedy sketches including "Mr...
Rudy Vallee started his career as a saxophone player and singer and later became a band leader. In the 1920s and early 30s he had a hit radio program, The Fleishmann's Yeast Hour (where he was hated by his cast and crew due to his explosive ego-driven personality). In the early 1930's he was ranked with the likes of Bing Crosby
and the tragic Russ Columbo
in the Hit Parade...
Tall, suave and sophisticated Cesar Romero actually had two claims to fame in Hollywood. To one generation, he was the distinguished Latin lover of numerous musicals and romantic comedies, and the rogue bandit The Cisco Kid in a string of low-budget westerns. However, to a younger generation weaned on television...
A prolific radio and TV actress, Ms. Mitchell was a regular on such classic radio series as "Fibber McGee and Molly" and "The Great Gildersleeve," and on television, "Pete & Gladys" (Janet Colton), "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" (Marge Thornton), and "Bachelor Father" (Kitty Deveraux). She also made frequent appearances on other TV shows...
George Reeves was born George Keefer Brewer in Woolstock, Iowa, to Helen Roberta (Lescher) and Donald C. Brewer. He was of German, English, and Scottish descent. Reeves was raised in Pasadena, California, and educated at Pasadena Junior College. He was a skilled amateur boxer and musician. He interned as an actor at the famed Pasadena Playhouse...
Broad-shouldered and beefy Claude Akins had wavy black hair, a deep booming voice and was equally adept at playing sneering cowardly villains as he was at portraying hard-nosed cops. The son of a police officer, Akins never seemed short of work and appeared in nearly 100 films and 180+ TV episodes in a career spanning over 40 years...
Bea Benaderet had a remarkable career in radio and television. In the earlier days of radio, before television, she provided the voice for numerous names of characters on the radio, on shows like "Fibber McGee and Molly," "My Favorite Husband" with Lucille Ball
& the Jack Benny
Show. She was...
provided the quintessential voice of the swooning, overly dramatic teenager for numerous generations -- from the 1940s swinging babysitters to the 1960s groovy chick. A bouncy, perennially-youthful brunette, she was born in Yakima, Washington, and began entertaining in church plays as a youth...
Richard Donald Crenna was born in Los Angeles, California, into a modest-income family, the only child of Edith J. (Pollette) and Domenick Anthony Crenna, a pharmacist. His parents were both of Italian descent. His mother managed a small hotel in downtown Los Angeles, where Richard and his family resided...
Hans Conried was born in Baltimore and raised both there and in New York City. He studied acting at Columbia University, and played many major classical roles onstage. After having been a member of Orson Welles
' Mercury Theatre Company, he was heard as Prof. Kropotkin on the radio show "My Friend Irma" and had various roles on the "Edgar Bergen - Charlie McCarthy Show"...
Marco Rizo is best remembered as the musical director for the popular television show I Love Lucy
, during its entire run from 1951 to 1957. He also co-composed the jaunty theme song. Marco was born in 1920 in Santiago, Cuba, and immersed in music from early childhood. His father, chief flutist with the Santiago Symphony Orchestra and...
Philip Ober's bald head, stern bearing and booming voice made him a natural for the roles of business executives, high-ranking military officers and other authority figures he played so well. A Princeton University graduate, Ober spent years as an advertising executive for several different national magazines before switching careers to acting...
Short, dapper Jay Novello specialized in playing ethnic types, sometimes Spanish, Greek or Mexican but usually Italian--not surprising, since his parents were Italian immigrants and he grew up speaking the language before he learned English. Born in Chicago in 1904, he came from a very diverse neighborhood and...
Edward Everett Horton
It seemed like Edward Everett Horton appeared in just about every Hollywood comedy made in the 1930s. He was always the perfect counterpart to the great gentlemen and protagonists of the films. Horton was born in Brooklyn, New York City, to Isabella S. (Diack) and Edward Everett Horton, a compositor for the NY Times...
Hal March, born Harold Mendelson, first came on the scene in 1944 as one half of the comedy duo, Sweeney & March. He and Bob Sweeney had their own radio program, aptly named the "Sweeney and March Show" on CBS radio through 1948. In the early fifties, March sought a variety of venues in which to perform...
From the grand old school of wisecracking, loud and lanky Mary Wickes had few peers while forging a career as a salty scene-stealer. Her abrupt, tell-it-like-it-is demeanor made her a consistent audience favorite on every medium for over six decades. She was particularly adroit in film parts that chided the super rich or exceptionally pious...
Former stage actor Allen Jenkins became a Warner contract player in the early 30s. Mostly he played supporting parts, the hero's side-kick, e.g. for James Cagney.
Hayden Rorke was best known as the ever suspicious "Dr. Alfred E. Bellows" on the 1960s TV series, I Dream of Jeannie
. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Rorke was educated at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and he began his stage career in the 1930s with the Hampden Theatrical Company. A veteran of numerous Broadway shows...
She certainly had the requisite genes for an acting career as her father was the legendary director Sam Wood
and her mother was a stage performer. K.T. Stevens wasted no time either. By the time she was 2 years old, she had made her film debut in her father's silent classic Peck's Bad Boy
, which starred Jackie Coogan
Fiery brunette Andalusian-born singer, dancer and actress, in the U.S. from 1928. Using the stage name "Isabelita", she performed with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra
and was spotlighted at the Mocambo and Ciro's night clubs on the Sunset Strip. There, she came to the attention of up-and-coming movie star (and future husband) Rory Calhoun
and was quickly destined to be in pictures...
The lesser-known sister of Joan Blondell, she performed in around two dozen Hollywood features. First appearing on Broadway in the 1935 "Three Men on a Horse", she made her silver screen debut with 1938's "Daredevil Drivers". Gloria co-starred with Ronald Reagan in "Accidents Will Happen" (1938), then saw most of her work in the 1940s as the voice of Disney's 'Daisy Duck'...
Comedian Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons of Avis (Townes), light opera singer, and William Henry Hope, a stonemason from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. His maternal grandmother was Welsh. Hope moved to Bristol before emigrating with his parents to the US in 1908...
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr...
A dainty but nevertheless feisty character actress, southern-bred Elizabeth Patterson started her career over her strict parent's objections and became a member of Chicago's Ben Greet Players, performing Shakespeare at the turn of the century. This followed college at Martin College where she studied music...
Verna Felton had extensive experience on the stage and in radio before she broke into film and television. Her trademarks was her distinctive husky voice and her no-nonsense attitude. She was quite in demand for voiceover work, as evidenced by her roles in Cinderella
, Alice in Wonderland
and Lady and the Tramp
Character actor with a wildly distinctive face. Used real name Oliver Prickett for stage work, especially at the Pasadena Community Playhouse, where he was a longtime fixture and teacher and where his brother was managing director. Used stage name Oliver Blake for scores of small film and television roles. Brother-in-law of actress Maudie Prickett
Spanish-born Josep Lluis Moll studied music in Madrid and at the Paris Conservatoire. Having changed his name to Fortunio Bonanova (which, at the time, would have sounded more becoming of a budding musical star), he went on to make his international opera debut as a baritone in 1922. A protégé of the famous Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin Sr.
Ellen Hansen (aka Ellen Corby aka Grandma Walton) was born June 3, 1911 (or 1913), in Racine, WI. She grew up in Philadelphia, PA, and left for Hollywood in the early 1930s to become an actress, which she became only after working as a script assistant for twelve years. She appeared in over 25 uncredited or small character parts before taking the role of the lovelorn Aunt Trina...
Nancy Kulp wore many hats: Publicity person, actress, linguist, would-be politician and teacher. Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Kulp attended college in Florida, then headed for Hollywood to work in publicity for the movies, not star in them. Soon after arriving in Hollywood, Kulp was convinced...
The daughter of a retired sea captain and his much-younger wife, actress Norma Varden was born and raised in turn-of-the-century London. A piano prodigy, she studied in Paris and appeared in concert in England during her teenage years. Acting, however, became her career of choice, studying at the Guildhall School of Music...
Mean, miserly and miserable-looking, they didn't come packaged with a more annoying and irksome bow than Charles Lane. Glimpsing even a bent smile from this unending sourpuss was extremely rare, unless one perhaps caught him in a moment of insidious glee after carrying out one of his many nefarious schemes...
Short and with a very familiar chubby, chipmunk-like face and even more familiar abrasive tone, Brooklyn-born comedienne Sandra Gould kicked into high gear at a fairly early age. With small Broadway roles and scores of radio programs such as "My Friend Irma" and "Duffy's Tavern", the latter in which she replaced original star Shirley Booth
Eve Whitney ended her career in 1952. After quitting films she became a self-employed real estate lending agent for 20 years.
Brenda wanted to be a film actress, all right; it's just that she didn't want to be Brenda Marshall. Throughout her years in Hollywood, she insisted that her friends and coworkers address her not by her studio-fabricated cognomen, but by her given name of Ardis Ankerson (with the addition of the surname of her first husband...
Frances E. Neal
She was born on June 27, 1921 in Carolltown, Mississippi. The daughter of an army surgeon, she grew up in Texas. She began a modeling career at age 15 and landed a part in "George White's Scandals of '40" on Broadway. After moving to Los Angeles, she was signed by RKO and made her debut in a small part in "Citizen Kane." She became the third wife of actor Van Heflin on May 16...
Natalie Schafer got her start doing Broadway plays then making the move to the big screen. Even before Gilligan's Island
, she was typecast in roles as society women, or elegant, fashionable ladies. It was her role as "Eunice 'Lovey' Wentworth Howell" wife of multi-millionaire Thurston Howell III, that she was best known for...