Lucille Ball dances the hula


Today is Lucille Ball's 100th birthday, commemorated across the web and with an interactive Google doodle that lets you watch clips from "I Love Lucy." Before Lucy, before Desi, before she ran Desilu Studios and before even television, Ball was a showgirl and a blonde bombshell. (57 IMDb credits in the 1930s alone.) The hula clip with her as Bubbles (with Maureen O'Hara at the record player) is from the 1940 film, Dance, Girl Dance. It came out a month before another RKO picture, Too Many Girls, where she appeared with Desi Arnaz for the first time.

Before she and Arnaz moved to Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills, the newlyweds paid $16,900 for a ranch house and five acres on Devonshire Street in Chatsworth. It became a favorite hangout of the 1940s Valleywood colony. Poker and gin rummy regulars included William Holden, Gordon McRae and Francis Lederer and their wives, plus a lot of musicians. "We celebrated Halloween, birthdays, new puppies, salary raises: anything was pretext for a party," Ball said in her autobiography, "Love, Lucy." She died in 1989 of a ruptured artery while at Cedars-Sinai.

Related: Greg Hernandez has a round-up of centennial coverage at his blog, Greg in Hollywood.

After the jump: A 1934 clip of Ball as Daisy Simms in the Three Stooges short, Three Little Pigskins. Other scenes were shot at the brand-new Gilmore Stadium at Beverly and Fairfax, with the Fairfax Theatre visible in some shots.




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