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Archive for Sunday, July 15, 2001

Postal Service loves Lucy

July 15, 2001

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The U.S. Postal Service is honoring Lucille Ball (1911-1989) with a 34-cent stamp as part of the "Legends of Hollywood" series. The stamp art is based on a 1955 photograph of the actress.

The Lucille Ball stamp is scheduled to be issued next year, and joins stamps in the series honoring Marilyn Monroe (1995), James Dean (1996), Humphrey Bogart (1997), Alfred Hitchcock (1998), James Cagney (1999) and Edward G. Robinson (2000).

Ball appeared on television as Lucille Esmerelda McGuillicuddy Ricardo on "I Love Lucy" from 1951-1957. The popular show teamed Ball with her real-life husband Desi Arnaz. Her other television series included "The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show" (1957-1960), "The Lucy Show" (1962-1968), "Here's Lucy" (1968-1974), and "Life With Lucy" (1986).

Besides her television roles, Ball appeared in more than 70 movies, including "Stage Door" (1937) and "Too Many Girls" (1940), and she performed in the 1960 Broadway musical "Wildcat."

She also was a businesswoman. In 1962, when Desi Arnaz retired as president of Desilu Studios, Ball purchased his holdings and became the first female president of a major Hollywood production company. She later sold it and formed her own company, Lucille Ball Productions.

The new stamp is not the first honoring Ball. In 1999, a stamp commemorating "I Love Lucy" was issued by the USPS as part of the "Celebrate the Century: The 1950s" series. It featured a black-and-white photograph of Lucy and Desi.

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