During this time, she met her first husband, Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz, and the two eloped in November 1940.
She was both a romantic and a realist, a calculating and determined woman with large dreams for her career.
As the childlike but cunning Lucy Ricardo, she embraced an animated low comedy style that made her beloved by millions.
When she was three years old, Lucille Ball was always getting into mischief, and so her mother Désirée tied a leash around her waist and attached it to a pulley on a clothesline.
Love, Lucy, which covered her life into the '60s, was published in 1996.