Lucy in the Media


The November issue of Out magazine, a gay lifestyle publication, uses I Love Lucy's 50th Anniversary -- and Lee Tannen's new book, "I Loved Lucy: My Friendship with Lucille Ball" as jumping off points to examine the question: is Lucille Ball a "gay icon?"

The author of the article, comedian Bob Smith, put the question to Tannen (photo, right), who replied, "I don't think Lucille Ball is a gay icon. Lucy Ricardo is a gay icon. Lucy Ricardo was the underdog who was always trying to prove herself, and I think many gay men can identify with that."

Smith himself opines, "In some ways Lucy Ricardo was the perfect gay icon for the post-Stonewall generation. She wasn't a tragic victim... (She) wasn't sharp-tongued like Bette Davis or a monster like Joan Crawford; she was beautiful and funny, and she was a comic victim of her own kooky ideas that always seemed to backfire... But I think the main reason Lucy Ricardo is a gay icon is that I Love Lucy was truly romantic."

Smith also confesses that he has always found Lucille Ball herself "inspirational because she reinvented herself and had her greatest artistic success in her 40s."

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