Comedy icon Lucille Ball supported gay
rights in 1980.
Ball died in 1989 at the age of 77; the
100th anniversary of her birth was Saturday.
She is best known as the star of the
sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show,
Here's Lucy and Life With Lucy, many of which she starred
in alongside her husband of 20 years, Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz.
The couple had two children, Lucie Desiree Arnaz and Desiderio
Alberto Arnaz IV, known as Desi Arnaz, Jr.
The year after she divorced Arnaz, she
married actor-producer Gary Morton.
In 1980, Ball
told told People
that she knew many “gifted” people who are gay.
“It's perfectly all right with me,”
she answered when asked how she feel about gay rights. “Some of
the most gifted people I've ever met or read about are homosexual.
How can you knock it?”
Lee Tannent, the author of I
Loved Lucy: My Friendship with Lucille Ball, in 2001 told gay
glossy Out that
Ball's Lucy Ricardo was a gay icon.
“I don't think Lucille Ball is a gay
icon, Lucy Ricardo is a gay icon,” he
said. “Lucy Ricardo was the underdog who was always trying to
prove herself, and I think many gay men identified with that.
(Gay blog Towleroad.com
brought this story to our attention.)