Jump to content

Lucy Dies April 26th, 1989


C L A U D E
 Share

Recommended Posts

As i changed my desk calendar, i couldn't believe it has been almost a quarter century since Lucy left us. Twenty Four years to be exact, and one of those days where you remember where you were and what you were doing when you got the news that the Queen of Comedy had exited the world. Then, of course, came the realization that she nevcer will leave us as she left such an amazing and unequaled legacy to keep on entertaining millions around the world for generation after generation till the end of time. I remember seeing her on TV and her saying that se was thrilled she got to leave something as most people go though their entire lives and don`t leave anything behind when they go. And what a life she led, who else can be so proud of their legacy as they exit the world they have entertained for so long.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just today, as i scoured the bookstores lookng for anything Lucy, i found one yet again, a TIME coffee table book that lists her among the 100 most important human beings of this century, the tribute to her inside is four pages long and i wish i could quote it here as it speaks so much better than i ever could. I just find it amazing that just as when i was a kid, i would go through the TV Guide to find out about any appearance she would be making that week, now i still go through stores looking for anything Lucy and they`re still coming out. She is not forgotten and never will be. To make such an impact on the world is one thing buit to defy all the odds on the way is truly amazing. As Joan Rivers once said, there are so many firsts with Lucy. First woman to inject herself into the white man`s club of great comedians, first woman to own and operate her own studio and so many more. I think her greatest impact is knowing not to take no for an answer but to persevere, learn, keep working, being a perfectionist. They told her in acting school, go home, you`re too shy for this business, you have no talent. Fired from her fist acting gigs, but others saw the comedic talent hidden inside her, the great Buster Keaton, Ed Segwick, Lela Rogers, they all knew this girl was better than the material she was handed. But she never said no to a job, never considered anything beneath her, she just kept at it until the parts got bigger and she finally got some recognition.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After working in B pictures, she finally got to the dream factory that was MGM, they were the ones to turn her hair RED, which would become her trademark. Better parts came along and she eventually free lanced when her age became a problem for the powers that be. But after a stay on radio, finally her true talents emerged when she hit television. The greatest television show ever produced, sold and viewed the world over, she became The First Lady of television, the Queen of Comedy in shows that have truly stood the test of time. Yes, it was extremely well written and it had great co stars for her and many great guest stars also, but it all would have been nothing had it not been for her. As Desi once rightly stated, SHE WAS THE SHOW. She then made her marriage last even though there were many obstacles, she had two gorgeous children and lasted 23 years on a medium that eats it`s young. Along the way she got every award, lots of recognition as her shenanigans were viewed by Kings and commoners alike. TV Guide called her the face that had been seen more often by more people than any other human who ever lived. Then she added other series to her repertoire, still found time to make movies and appeared on specials and made guest appearances on other people`s shows, not to mention talk and game shows too.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i barely remember her passing, I'm sure I saw it on the evening news and I do sorta remember my dad (a fan of hers) saying something about it. I was just 9-1/2 and was more interested in ALF I guess. RIP, Lucy, and I'll see you in Jamestown this summer. :)

Well, as a sixty year old plus, let me remind you yet again . . . WHEN SHE DIED AT THAT EARLY MORNING HOUR . . . it made all the newscasts and as everybody said, it was not just a death, but like a death in the family as she had been in everyone`s home for so long. Beloved icon, everybody loved Lucy. There were newspaper headlines around the world that made it seem like a head of state had just passed on. They interviewed her friends for comments and everybody spoke so highly of her. Back when Entertainment Tonight was watchable, they did the whole show about her and i still remember them laughing at the clips they had seen so often before, same thing happened on the three major networks, on their news shows, all the anchors loved her and it showed. There was that CBS special at ten that night, a Bob Hope Special tribute to her later on, an Emmy tribute with their Governor`s award bestowed on her. This went on for a week, but there was no social media back then. The style then was People covers and special magazines paying tribute. The Pressident and ex President commented on her passing. People stopping by one of her STARS on the Walk of Fame to signa long scroll that went on for blocks, leaving flowers at her home. The tributes were many and her shows became popular again as people realized that`s all they had now. The thing that surprises me is that it still goes on today, here for example.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, personally, what i take away from all this is that today, there are no stars that equal her talent, but talent aside, what i admire most about her is that she has lasted in an industry that forgets it`s icons, and she provides so many lessons to us in how to lead one`s life. As Joan Rivers also said, Gilda Radner dying of cancer so young, that was sad, but Lucy dying at 77, surrounded by family and loved by the world is not, how could it be termed sad to leave such a legacy. She accomplished more than her contemporaries, and certainly any of us here. What a life she led and she surely left her imprint on this world. A visit to Jamestown can certainly prove that. And if there is a God, and she is in Heaven, then she knows and she smiles accordingly, she looks down on us and smiles instead of us smiling broadly or laughing uproariously at her antics for all those decades. She`s earned the rest and we are extremely grateful that she was among us for so long, making us forget our troubles, entertaining us with laughter and as Carol Burnett once said, OUR LIVES WOULD HAVE BEEN DECIDEDLY DULLER WITHOUT HER SHINING PRESENCE.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Were her kids inconsolable at the time and weren't interviewed until a few days later? I saw a picture of Lucie on Getty Images which was taken the night before, on April 25th. She had no idea what was coming in a few hours. I was still in my mom's belly. She was like, 8 months pregnant with me. I really wish Miss Ball could've lived to be 85-86 like most of her relatives.

It's weird because Bea Arthur died almost exactly 20 years to the day and they were in Mame together and were great friends off screen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Were her kids inconsolable at the time and weren't interviewed until a few days later? I saw a picture of Lucie on Getty Images which was taken the night before, on April 25th. She had no idea what was coming in a few hours. I was still in my mom's belly. She was like, 8 months pregnant with me. I really wish Miss Ball could've lived to be 85-86 like most of her relatives.

It's weird because Bea Arthur died almost exactly 20 years to the day and they were in Mame together and were great friends off screen.

 

Do you have a photo you can provide of Lucie the night before? Would love to see it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is assuming she HAD to go at some point....(also assumes she was not in too much pain or discomfort that last week)

She went out in perfect style.

Her production number swan song "Comedy Ain't No Joke" is one of the best of her career. She looked great, sang it live and included that applause-inducing Chaplin walk in the choreography. Vibrant and lithe, even at 76. Then there was that heart-felt reprise. Excellent.

Who knows at her age whether the effects of the stroke would have ever been completely overcome. Perhaps they would have gotten worse. As much as I didn't want her to go, I wouldn't want to have seen her hobbling around like post-stroke Bette Davis.

Yes Bob Hope lived to be 100 but he had been out of the public eye for the last 10 years or so of his life, drifting into senility. As revered a public figure as he was (probably Lucy's only male rival), his death was more of a ho-hum, news-wise.

To have that outpouring of love at the Academy Awards may have erased part of the sting she must have felt after being rejected in Live with Lucy.

But had she gone in a split second, she never would have known how much we love her. I've never known anyone else whose hospitalization made headlines and, more uniquely whose progress made the national news NIGHTLY. Again, assuming she wasn't in too much pain, I'm glad she stuck around for a week so she knew how much she was loved....in a way no other public figure had been before or since.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neil you are right on a lot of points. I was only 10 at the time she passed and probably had watched ILL before then. I did not really start taking an interest in Lucy until another 2 years, so I do not remember anything about her passing.

 

I think it was wonderful how the Academy Awards was her last time public appearance. Full on glamour and the standing O very deserved and I think handed out too often these days to those that have not truly deserved it. I have a lot of the coverage on tape that was shown that day including ET, Nightline and the hour long CBS special. The only deaths I remember with that level of fanfare since was Regan and then that was a much beloved president so that was going to happen. The other was Michael Jackson, but that had the element of a very famous, controversial figure that died suddenly and with a lot of unanswered questions as to how.

 

Lucy said herself that she did not want to live to an old age. It’s interesting that so many in her family did. Cleo and Fred were both in their 90’s when they died and wasn’t DeDe in her late 80’s? It’s sad the whole ILL cast went out so young.

 

But what more would have Lucy really done work wise? If you don’t age in front of the public like Betty White has when you come back out not looking your best, you get the inevitable “so and so is not looking too good these days”, and then the death rumors start. Lucy was happy most when she was working but the string of bad health was starting to make that harder. I think if she really worked physically to get herself back out there and challenged herself with roles she would have done much better in the 80’s. Unfortunally Gary only wanted her to do the safe stuff and nothing that made her look old. It seems liked in the 80’s if you were a legend you could get away with doing the older roles. I think the period we are in now people are starting to realize that again and those over 60, 70, 80 who have been in the business a long time are still out there doing great work. The old Monty Python line ”I’m not dead yet” comes to mind.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lucie's TV Academy interview posted in the other section has her talking about the death of both parents. It' s in part 3.

 

Thanks heaps - watching it now - very interesting and sad. Interesting views about Gary. So true what she says about everything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dede was 84. She was born in 1892 and died in 1977. I don't think she had had her birthday yet.

There's something about Lucy aging and trying to look as good as possible that made people MAD. There may have been another star who suffered this treatment but I can't think of one.

And just a side note: Reagan may have been beloved by some....BUT NOT BY ME.

 

 

Neil you are right on a lot of points. I was only 10 at the time she passed and probably had watched ILL before then. I did not really start taking an interest in Lucy until another 2 years, so I do not remember anything about her passing.

 

I think it was wonderful how the Academy Awards was her last time public appearance. Full on glamour and the standing O very deserved and I think handed out too often these days to those that have not truly deserved it. I have a lot of the coverage on tape that was shown that day including ET, Nightline and the hour long CBS special. The only deaths I remember with that level of fanfare since was Regan and then that was a much beloved president so that was going to happen. The other was Michael Jackson, but that had the element of a very famous, controversial figure that died suddenly and with a lot of unanswered questions as to how.

 

Lucy said herself that she did not want to live to an old age. It’s interesting that so many in her family did. Cleo and Fred were both in their 90’s when they died and wasn’t DeDe in her late 80’s? It’s sad the whole ILL cast went out so young.

 

But what more would have Lucy really done work wise? If you don’t age in front of the public like Betty White has when you come back out not looking your best, you get the inevitable “so and so is not looking too good these days”, and then the death rumors start. Lucy was happy most when she was working but the string of bad health was starting to make that harder. I think if she really worked physically to get herself back out there and challenged herself with roles she would have done much better in the 80’s. Unfortunally Gary only wanted her to do the safe stuff and nothing that made her look old. It seems liked in the 80’s if you were a legend you could get away with doing the older roles. I think the period we are in now people are starting to realize that again and those over 60, 70, 80 who have been in the business a long time are still out there doing great work. The old Monty Python line ”I’m not dead yet” comes to mind.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was working 3 part time jobs and going to community college in 1989.... My frist job of the day was a clothing store.. and before I left that day for work my mother told me about Lucille saying to her daughter (reading from the morning paper..) ... Wouldn't you know today was the day I was to have my hair done.. and we both laughed and off to my first job of the day... Later at that job.. the news report came over the radio and announced that Lucille had died.. all my coworkers were like.. Are you okay?? and the boss said. go home and I will pay you for the day... so I went home... and took to my bed.. Much to my mother's dismay.. she would say.. it is sad.. but not life threatining.. and I just couldn't stand it... I was sooo sad that I never got to meet her.. soon... the phone was ringing off the hook with condolences from people all over the U.S... since most of my friends moved on to other schools...and finally a call from my boss from my night job... he started with .. My condolences for Lucy... and then he said don't worry about coming in tonight and I will pay you for the night... (I was working at a movie theatre at night and the 50th anniversary of Gone With The Wind was out at that time).. he said "get some friends toghether and come watch

GWTW tonight.. I will pay you and you can have whatever you want from the concession stand"... Well... 2 jobs let me off and paid me and provided me with a night of entertainment... my mother was just dumbfounded... This many people didn't do these nice things for you when your grandmother died...and I said.. grandma wasn't LUCY

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...