Arago: Exhibits

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Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz

Whether she was stomping around in a pit of grapes, frantically stuffing her face with chocolates, or slurring her way through a Vitameatavegamin commercial, she was never at a loss for ways to keep her audience laughing. “Luuuucy!” as her husband Ricky Ricardo would yell when another harebrained scheme ended in hilarity, was the sitcom personality of Lucille Ball.

But off screen, Lucy was far from a blundering housewife. She and husband Desi Arnaz (her real-life and TV partner) were a powerful force, she as a female comedian and he as a Cuban bandleader who had fled political turmoil in his home country to make it big in the U.S. with his musical talent. Not only did this wacky fictional couple dominate primetime, but the real Lucy and Desi became TV business moguls with their production company Desilu.

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The 33-cent TV Entertains America stamp, part of the Celebrate The Century Series, was issued February 18, 1999.