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Television comedienne and film actress. Born on August 6, 1911, in Jamestown, New York, to Henry Durrell Ball and his wife Desiree. The oldest of the couple's two children (a brother Fred, was born in 1915), Lucille's childhood was a bit of a hardscrabble affair, one shaped by tragedy and a lack of money.lucille ball and desi arnazlucille ball i love lucylucille ball wallpaperlucille ball gravelucille ball model.

Ball's father Henry, or Had as he was known to his family, was an electrician and not long after his daughter's birth he relocated the family to Montana for work. Then it was off to Michigan, where Had took a job as a telephone lineman with the Michigan Bell Company.

Life came undone in February 1915 when Had was struck with typhoid fever and died. For Ball, just three years old at the time, her father's death not only set in motion a series of difficult childhood hurdles, but also served as the young girl's first real significant memory.

"I do remember everything that happened," she said. "Hanging out the window, begging to play with the kids next door who had measles the doctor coming, my mother weeping. I remember a bird that flew in the window, a picture that fell off the wall."

Desiree, still reeling from her husband's unexpected death and still pregnant with Fred, packed up and returned to Jamestown, New York, where she eventually found work in a factory and a new husband, Ed Peterson. Peterson, though, wasn't a fan of kids, especially young ones, and with Desiree's blessing, he moved her to Detroit without his wife's young son or daughter. Fred moved in with Desiree's parents while Lucille was forced to make a new home with Ed's folks. For Ball that meant contending with Peterson's stern mother who didn't have much money to lavish on her step-granddaughter. The family, Lucille would later recall, lacked enough money even for school pencils.

Finally, at age 11, Lucille reunited with her mother when Desiree and Ed returned to Jamestown. Even then, Ball had an itching to do something big and when she was 15, she convinced her mother allow her to enroll in a New York City drama school. But despite her longing to make it on the stage, Ball was too nervous to draw much notice.

"I was a tongue-tied teenager spellbound by the school's star pupil, Bette Davis," said Ball. The school finally wrote her mother. "Lucy's wasting her time and ours. She's to shy and reticent to put her best foot forward."

She remained in New York City, however, and by 1927 Ball, who had started calling herself Montana and later Diane Belmont found work as a model, first for fashion designer Hattie Carnegie, and then, after overcoming a debilitating bout of rheumatoid arthritis, Chesterfield cigarettes.

In the early 1930s, Ball, who had dyed her chestnut hair blonde, moved to Hollywood to seek out more acting opportunities. Work soon followed, including a stint as one of the 12 "Goldwyn Girls" to promote the 1933 Eddie Cantor flick, Roman Candles. She landed as an extra in the Ritz Brothers film, The Three Muskateers, and then in 1937, earned a sizeable part in Stage Door, starring Katherine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers.