Lucille Ball is as loved as ever, with fans across the nation celebrating what would have been the red-haired icon’s 100th birthday Saturday.
This year also marks 60 years of the “I Love Lucy” television show.
A sign that persistence pays off, the comedic legend was known as “Queen of the B’s” in Hollywood circles at the beginning of her career. Her career took off after she met band leader Desi Arnaz, and the pair hit the road for a vaudeville act as a wacky wife and her Cuban husband.
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Lucy fans in Hollywood are marking Ball’s centennial with a lookalike contest held at the Hollywood Museum. The museum opened its Ball tribute exhibit Thursday to a red carpet featuring stars the likes of Valerie Harper, Rip Taylor, Carolyn Hennesy and Ruta Lee.
Surviving members of the “I Love Lucy” cast and crew were in attendance as well, including actress Shirley Mitchel (Marion Strong), editor Dann Cahn, music composer Arthur Hamilton, and writer Bob Schiller.
Daughter Lucie Arnaz also crossed the carpet. She shared with The Los Angeles Times the lingering effect her parent’s show has on its viewers. "I hear the same kind of stories from the same age people decade after decade as if it were the film 'Groundhog Day.' It is bizarre to be me," she said.
"I think she would, of course, be extremely honored and proud.”
Google paid tribute Saturday with an interactive 1950s TV set graphic above their search bar, featuring classic clips of “I Love Lucy” scenes.
The festivities will continue nationwide throughout the weekend. The Hallmark Channel is running an “I Love Lucy” marathon, and Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, New York is bracing itself for a potentially record-setting gathering of impersonators.
Comics publisher Bluewater Productions also announced an upcoming Lucille Ball comic, written by Jaymes Reed with art by Patricio Carbajal, set for release Aug. 24. It will chronicle her rise to fame.
"Our goal is to show the little-known events and influences that resulted in Lucille Ball becoming the phenomenon she remains to this day, 100 years after her birth and years after her death,” Bluewater publisher Darren G. Davis said in a statement.
LIFE magazine has also released a slideshow of unpublished sultry, zany, and sweet Lucille Ball photos.
Ball died in 1987 due to heart-related complications in Los Angeles.