Lead: Her earliest dreams were of life on the stage, but Lucile Désirée Ball, aka Lucy Montana, aka Diane Belmont, succeeded beyond her remotest imaginings.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Her childhood was not an easy one. Her father died when she was three, her mother for a time abandoned her to the care of her new husband’s mother, a harsh disciplinarian, and then the reunited family lost their home in a legal action. Despite these hardships, Ball never left behind her desire to perform. She studied for a time at the Minton-Anderson School of Drama in New York City, but the introverted Ball, homesick and ironically, intimidated by the school’s star pupil, Bette Davis, departed but she did not give up and remained in the City. Odd-jobs and her own natural physical beauty led eventually to a relatively successful modeling career and finally an offer to film with Eddie Cantor a Hollywood movie, Roman Scandals. Six weeks in Hollywood led to a half century and one of show businesses most successful careers.