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Ball of Fire: The Tumultuous Life and Comic Art of Lucille Ball

Stefan Kanfer

ISBN 10: 1435291212 / ISBN 13: 9781435291218
Used Condition: GOOD
From OwlsBooks (Toledo, MD, U.S.A.)

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Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; Possibly may have minor marginal notes and or highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 2511852404

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Title: Ball of Fire: The Tumultuous Life and Comic ...

Binding: Library Binding

Book Condition:GOOD

About this title


'Easily the year's best Hollywood biog.' Independent on Sunday 'Ball Of Fire reveals all about house- wife superstar Lucille Ball. She made the top-rated TV show in America before her husband's serial adulteries practically sunk it. Sunday Herald 'A wonderful and poignant book...Kanfer portrays Lucille Ball as insatiably anxious and insecure, a woman whose search for a father figure would only ever find the unlikely and unholdable Desi...Kanfer pulls no punches over Lucy the pain in the neck, but he gives a superb picture of how she and Desi changed television. David Thomson, New Republic


Those expecting a vicious Hollywood tell-all from Stefan Kanfer’s Ball of Fire: The Tumultuous Life and Comic Art of Lucille Ball will be disappointed. Kanfer, whose past work includes a biography of Groucho Marx and a history of the animation industry, comes to his famous red-headed subject with admiration, and readers will be drawn by his exuberance for early film and television history.

Kanfer opens with a brief recounting of Ball's tragic childhood (her father died of typhoid when she was 3 years old) and her early career as an unintentionally starving model in New York City. The significant portion of the book begins, however, when Ball gets her first offer for a stint of film work in California and finds herself launched on a moderately successful film career. Here Kanfer provides details of the inner workings of United Artists, Columbia, and RKO as Ball does battle with Ginger Rogers, Kathryn Hepburn, and a host of other young actresses struggling for screen time. But, as Kanfer notes, it was in television that Ball made her great mark, starring with her husband Desi Arnaz. I Love Lucy debuted in 1951, and readers will delight in Kanfer’s behind-the-scenes details of the show’s production. The first situation comedy to be filmed before a live audience, Lucy offered countless challenge--technical, professional, and personal—for the volatile couple.

Kanfer argues that Ball is one of the few truly enduring television personalities to emerge from the early years of television. His book, entertaining as it is educational, does much to secure her legacy. --Patrick O’Kelley

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