Eleanor Roosevelt an "I Love Lucy" Fan?

Eleanor Roosevelt and Lucille Ball, January 1944

Eleanor Roosevelt and Lucille Ball, January 1944.

For nearly a century now, familiar faces of politics and pop culture have been crossing paths at the mythical corner of Sunset Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue, the boulevard of dreams and the corridor of power, pausing briefly to pose for history. Premiering as a regular feature, this inaugural posting of Hollywood-Meets-Washington unites the “First Lady of the World” and the “First Lady of Television.”

Within a decade of this meeting, both women would be accused of being Communists, the former for her social activism, the latter for once registering with the party to please her old grandpappy who did belong. In truth, neither of them was Red.

Not by one hair.

It was January of 1944 when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt met Lucille Ball. The actress, known for her screwball comedy scenes as well as glamorous showgirl parts, was still seven years and eight months away from her legendary role on television’s I Love Lucy, which she co-produced with her husband and co-star Desi Arnaz, starring as the star-struck 50s housewife. In 1944, Miss Ball had joined about two dozen other actors in a trip to Washington to join the president’s wife on stage and cut the President’s birthday cake at the March of Dimes fundraiser held to annually honor him in the fight against polio.





Categories: Eleanor Roosevelt, First Ladies, Hollywood & The White House, The Roosevelts

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3 replies »

  1. ‘I Love Lucy’ premiered on Oct. 15, 1951, so, it was a little less than 8 years, not 9 years, if this photo is from Jan 1944.

    • Thank you very much for that correction – I will amend the article to include your helpful notation. I associate the show with the night of Eisenhower’s January 20, 1953 Inauguration but realize that is actually the story of how more Americans watched “I Love Lucy” to see the episode in which she has her son than they did to watch the Inauguration.


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