We all know her as America's favorite redhead, but did you know Lucille Ball's hair wasn't really red? Along with that surprising tidbit, here are few more facts you might not know about the Queen of Comedy.
1. At 12, she auditioned for her first role.
After being encouraged by her stepfather, Lucille in the chorus line of a local stage production. Naturally, she won the role, and that experience led her to seek a career in showbiz.
2. She was the first female to run a major Hollywood studio.
Desilu Productions — named for its founders, Lucille and Desi — was . And until its reincorporation into Paramount Television in 1967, it not only produced I Love Lucy, but it also brought Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and The Untouchables to the small screen.
3. She celebrated her 40th birthday before I Love Lucy began airing.
In an industry where women are all too often tossed to the side after 35, Lucy got her biggest break when she was already 40 years old.
4. Desi and Lucy were TV's first interracial couple.
Before her show began production, Lucy insisted that her then-husband, Cuban-American actor Desi Arnaz, be cast as her onscreen husband.
5. Her was brown.
Before she made a big splash in the comedy world, Lucy appeared as a brunette in her earlier head shots.
6. ...And it wasn't actually all that red on I Love Lucy.
Lucy originally dyed her locks for a role in Du Barry Was a Lady, then kept it that way for I Love Lucy. But rather than the vibrant red we all envisioned it to be, her described it as more of a shade.
7. She was an avid gardener.
Just look at these gorgeous, lush plants in this photo taken of in 1950.
8. She nearly drowned during the famous grape-stomping scene.
Apparently, the other actress involved didn't speak English and some direction was lost in translation, so one underneath the grape juice.
9. Lucy was the first pregnant actress to play a pregnant woman on television.
When Lucy was expecting her second child, son Desi Arnaz, Jr., writers instead of hiding it. Of course, they used the word "expecting" rather than "pregnant" to keep everyone happy.
10. She actually had both of her children later in life.
Her first baby, daughter Lucie Désirée Arnaz, was born when she was 40. And her second was born when she was nearly 42. And clearly, she and Desi were so inspired by their own names that , too.
11. She kept her trademark hair color for more than four decades.
Some prefer to go gray as they get older, but Lucy kept her stunning hue all the way until 1989.