‘I Love Lucy’ Star Lucille Ball, Her Costars and Famous Friends Out and About Through the Years

The legacy of Lucille Ball stretches far beyond the confines of 1951 to 1957’s I Love Lucy, 1962 to 1968’s The Lucy Show or 1968 to 1974’s Here’s Lucy. This isn’t meant to diminish the accomplishments of any of them (especially I Love Lucy), but there was always something special about her and everybody sensed it. Whether in a wide variety of film roles, on the radio in My Favorite Husband or on television, she was like a magnet for not only the audience, but other celebrities as well.

In his introduction to The Lucy Book: A Complete Guide to her Five Decades on Television, author Geoffrey Mark writes, “From her television debut on a local Los Angles show in 1947 until her television obituaries in 1989, Lucille Ball had the greatest career on television of anyone. Period! No one has ever been, nor probably will ever be, able to come close to the popularity, quality or output of American’s favorite redhead … The legacy of Lucille Ball lies not in her personal travails, but in her professional work, and the enormous effect it had (and still does) on the entire world.”

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United Artists/Kobal/Shutterstock

One of the fascinating things about watching any of her shows is the sheer quality that they attracted in the form of guest stars. And bear in mind that this was long before the “legend of Lucy” arose. I Love Lucy featured people like William Holden, Rock Hudson, Harpo Marx, John Wayne and Orson Welles. On The Lucy Show, we got to see her interact with, among others, Jack Benny, Carol Burnett, George Burns, Joan Crawford, Danny Kaye, Dean Martin and Mickey Rooney. And then on Here’s Lucy there was Ann Margret, Richard Burton, Johnny Carson, Sammy Davis Jr., Helen Hayes, Ginger Rogers, Tony Randall, Danny Thomas and Elizabeth Taylor. How’s that for star power?

And bear in mind that all of that was on screen. Off, she encountered virtually every star in Hollywood, whether from the big screen or the small. For that reason, and in celebration of the enduring memory of Lucille Ball, we’ve gathered a collection of images of her interacting with other celebrities from over the course of her life and career. As such, it’s a wonderful opportunity to travel through the decades with Lucy.

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