Lucille Ball: Better Redhead Than Dead
UCLA's digital photo archive is a wondrous online arcade lined with moments from L.A.'s past. I'm reminded of this whenever perusing images from the city's contentious past, whether it's a picture of the Sleepy Lagoon Murder suspects or of local Reds picketing City Hall. One
endearing image from our radical past is a photo of Lucille Ball's voter registration, which lists her address as 1344 North Ogden Drive, her occupation as Actress and her party affiliation as Communist.
(Lucille Ball voter registration from UCLA Library Digital Collection)
That's right, Lucy was a Red -- or at least, she claimed, her grandfather had talked her into registering as one back in the Great Depression. This all came out in 1953, when Ball was hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee, whose urgent order of business was to learn why she had registered as a member of the CP. (Registering as a Communist voter didn't make one a card-carrying member of the party, a subtle distinction lost on the committee.)
CSUN Mens Soccer
TicketsSat., Oct. 29, 7:00pm
Los Angeles Clippers v Utah JAzz - Verified Resale Tickets
TicketsSun., Oct. 30, 1:30pm
Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns - Verified Resale Tickets
TicketsMon., Oct. 31, 7:30pm
UCLA Bruins Men's Basketball
TicketsTue., Nov. 1, 7:30pm
Not many witnesses called to testify before HUAC left with both their careers and reputations intact, but Lucy, along with Judy Holliday and Lillian Hellman, did. In a rare moment of understanding, HUAC forgave Ball her youthful "indiscretion," despite the fact that gossip columnist Walter Winchell was calling for her red head on a platter.
(Lucille Ball photo from the Museum of Broadcast Communications)
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.