Lucille: The Life of Lucille Ball (Paperback)
Everyone loved Lucy, the scheming, madcap redhead who ruled television for more than twenty years. In life, however, Lucille Ball presented a far more complex and contradictory personality than was ever embodied by the television Lucy. In Lucille: The Life of Lucille Ball Kathleen Brady presents the actress as a fully rounded human being, often at odds with the image she presented as an entertainment icon. Brady has gone far beyond the typical celebrity biography to present a funny, unflinching and ultimately moving portrait of Lucille Ball as a performing artist, daughter, mother, friend, colleague, and television mogul. Many think they know the story of Lucille Ball's life, but Brady provides new details and a fresh perspective on this complex woman through a wealth of anecdotes and firsthand accounts. Lucille Ball is revealed not only as a television archetype and influential icon of postwar American culture, but as a driven yet fragile human being who spent her life struggling to create of life of normalcy, but ultimately failed--even as she succeeded in bringing laughter of millions of fans. In researching Lucille, Brady interviewed more than 150 people from her hometown to Hollywood. She spoke with her grade school classmates, and those like Katherine Hepburn and Ginger Rodgers who met her when she arrived in Hollywood in the 1930s. She gained insights from those who knew her before her fame and from those she loved throughout her life. Film, radio and television history come to life with the appearances on these pages of such greats as The Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton, Louis B. Mayer, and of course Desi Arnaz, who march and pratfall through the pages of this outstanding biography.
Kathleen Brady is also the author of Ida Tarbell: Portrait of a Muckraker. In recognition of this work she was named a Fellow of the Society of American Historians. She was featured on the American Masters PBS special on Lucille Ball and she narrated the first installment of the PBS series "The Prize." She also appears on the A&E Biography of the Rockefeller family and has discussed her work on NPR. The 1994 ABC-TV movie, A Passion for Justice, starring Jane Seymour, was based on Brady's research into the life of Mississippi journalist and civil rights activist Hazel Brannon Smith. Brady has contributed opinion pieces about New York City to Newsday and Our Town. Her topics included New York City's flawed bid for the 2012 Olympics, corporate and state hostility toward Gotham's work force, plus shenanigans that compromise the city's electoral clout. Her essay on the city's emergency command center appeared in the anthology America's Mayor: The Hidden History of Rudy Giuliani's New York. Brady was Director of Communications for NYC Employment & Training Coalition. She managed the start-up and reported, wrote, edited, and published the electronic newsletter Workforce Weekly, eight pages of labor market and employment news on city, state, and federal levels. She is the former co-director of the Biography Seminar at New York University and is a former reporter for Time magazine.