Before Lucille Ball was known as a brilliant comedic genius, she was a sexy ginger starlet that appeared in a number of musicals, comedies and dramas in the 30’s & 40’s. Appearing alongside other actresses such as Betty Grable, Ann Sothern, Ginger Rogers, Ann Miller and Katherine Hepburn, she never achieved the same kind of status of many of her contemporaries for the roles she played in films. Known as “The Queen of the B’s” in Hollywood, it wasn’t until the late 40’s when Lucille and real-life husband Desi Arnez developed a touring show of “I Love Lucy” based on a character she played in a CBS radio show entitled “My Favorite Husband.” The tour was such a success that CBS adopted the show for their burgeoning television lineup.
The dance number shown above is from the 1940 film Dance Girl, Dance in which her character “Bubbles” shows up for a hula audition fully decked out in a glittering hula skirt and proceeds to wow the (pretty creepy) producer. We get to see a side of Lucille that is not normally associated with the slapstick comedy she so astutely perfected in the 50’s. Here she is sexy, saucy and downright charming. There are so many reasons to love Lucy.