Lucille Ball was a Hollywood icon during the height of her career, and she is remembered among millions as a comedian, actress, producer, and studio executive. Throughout her life, she created and starred in a number of beloved television shows, the most famous of which is the sitcom I Love Lucy.
Lucille Ball was born on August 6th, 1911, although she didn’t begin her career until 1929, when she found work as a model. From there, she appeared on Broadway, as well as a number of minor film roles. By the 1950s, however, she became known for her work as an actress on television.
Desilu Productions Of Lucille Ball
In 1962, Lucille Ball ran Desilu Productions, a television studio which produced classics such as the Mission: Impossible series, as well as Star Trek. Lucille Ball was the first woman to ever run a major television studio. By the 1960s, her career as an actor had slowed down somewhat, but she wasn’t ready to retire completely. She remained active until her death in 1989. She was 77 years old, and died of a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Fans all over the country mourned the loss of their beloved icon and star. She achieves many accolades throughout her life, and of the fourteen Primetime Emmy Awards she nominates for, she won four. In 1984, she inducts into the Television Hall of Fame, affirming the popular belief that Lucille Ball’s work is truly something special. She also received the Women in Film Crystal Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors, and the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMillie Award.
Decades after her death, people continue to celebrate her life’s work. The widely adored sitcom I Love Lucy still runs in syndication on televisions across the country. Despite airing in the 1950s, it enjoys by people of all ages today. Even children can find the humor in Lucille Ball’s physical comedy, while their parents enjoy the more subtle jokes in the show.
Lucille Ball: Most Appreciated Figures
Today, Lucille Ball remains one of the most widely appreciated figures in the history of American television. People all over the country have found their own ways to honor her, whether it be through plaques, photographs, or even statues.
Unfortunately, not every method used to honor Lucille Ball ended well. In today’s video, we’re going to look at one statue that brought nightmares to the people of Lucille Ball’s hometown. Make sure you stick around, because we’re going to reveal the shocking reason why the statue replaces!
Lucille Ball was born in Jamestown, New York. However, she spent most of her childhood growing up in Celoron, New York, a place that is now very proud to claim itself as Lucille’s hometown. As a tribute to the beloved star, the citizens of Celoron created the Lucille Ball Memorial Park. This lovely little park is located right on the water, and features docks and a public boat launch. The quaint location also has a cute playground, plenty of shelter, a ball field, and picnic tables.
Lucille Ball Memorial Park
However, the people of Celoron felt that the Lucille Ball Memorial Park needed something more to truly honor America’s first lady of comedy. As a result, they privately commissioned sculptor David Poulin to create a statue in her honor.
David Poulin was an extremely gifted metal sculptor, and over the course of his life, he was commissioned to create a total of 120 sculptures. These sculptures are all around the world, although a large amount of his work is in between western New York and northwest Pennsylvania. In fact, 11 of his statues are in the Jamestown area, which is, coincidentally, the birthplace of Lucille Ball. David Poulin was a popular choice for schools, who brought him in to talk about art and creativity to students. He was great at delivering inspiring messages. Later in his life, he found a passion as a teacher, when he worked as a welding instructor at various education centers in his new home in Beaufort, South Carolina.
Because he was such a renowned and well-known sculptor in the area, he seemed an obvious choice to commission for the statue. The citizens of Celoron expects higher for the final product; after all, the statue means to honor one of the most famous actresses in American history.
After commissioning to create the statue, David Pouline works tirelessly to capture her vivacity and humor. For the pose, he chose an iconic moment from her show, I Love Lucy. He chose the episode “Lucy Does a TV Commercial,” when Lucille Ball’s character shills for a patent medicine heavy in alcohol, while under the effects of the tonic herself. It’s a hilarious moment in the sitcom, one that fans still remember many decades after it aired.
David Poulin sculpted Lucille Ball so that she held the tonic in one hand and a spoon in the other, mimicking the exact pose from the episode.
In 2009, the statue unveils in front of a crowd of people, who awaits the display of the statue. The moment the cloth removes, however, they felt a mixture of emotions; shock, disappointment, and revulsion.
The Discrimination Of New Yorker
Poor David Poulin was often praised for his work, but the citizens of Celoron, New York failed to see the resemblance to Lucille Ball. In fact, among the members of the town, the statue became something of a joke, and it earned the popular nickname Scary Lucy. It was infamous within Celoron, but it wasn’t until 2015 that it would earn worldwide notoriety. After visitors to the park spread images of the horrifying statue on social media, people all over the world cried out at the indignation. Most people agreed that a statue honoring Lucille Ball should never look that scary.
The public outcry became so great that Mayor Scott Schrecengost knew he had to do something about it. After spending a bit of time to think about the issue, he announced that the town would seek to commission a new artist. One who, hopefully, would create a statue closer to Lucille Ball’s likeness.
Of course, the Lucille Ball statue saga was far from over. There was still the matter of the old Scary Lucy to contend with. Make sure you stick around until the very end of the video, where we’ll reveal what happened to David Poulin’s horrifying sculpture. And, if you’re enjoying the video so far, please take a moment to like this video and subscribe to our channel for more!
Carolyn D. Palmer
The village of Celoron held a committee, which included Mayor Scott Schrecengost, to determine who the new sculpture would be. A total of 65 talented artists competed for the chance, and the honor was given to Carolyn D Palmer. Palmer is an impressive bronze sculpture artist who has created dozens of impressive busts and full-body sculptures of historical figures.
Palmer worked on the statue for over nine months. It was finally unveiled on August 6th, 2016, which would have been Lucille Ball’s 105th birthday. The town was overjoyed by the beautiful statue. The story even earned media coverage all over the country, as countless people had petitioned to have the old statue replaced.
The new statue of Lucille Ball, known officially as New Lucy, features the beloved actress in a polka dot dress. Her eyes crinkle into a kind and mischievous smile. Not even the people of Celoron, New York could find fault with the beautiful creation. Carolyn Palmer was honored to be chosen for such a role, and she exceeded the town’s wildest expectations. But what about David Poulin? What would be the fate of his Scary Lucy statue?
Public Backlash Of David Poulin
Poor David Poulin was devastated by the public backlash. His wife, friends, and colleagues defended him fiercely, noting that, while that particular statue was not his best work, he was still a talented sculpture. At first, Poulin thought he would be able to brush off the hurtful comments. Over time however, he became overwhelmed. He even quit sculpting altogether, and donated all of his very expensive equipment to the Buffalo Maritime Center.
Poulin spent the rest of his days trying to forget the infamy of his Lucille Ball statue. He died in 59 from a pulmonary embolism. The story of David Poulin is a sad one, but the fate of his infamous statue is a bit more surprising.
While many citizens of the village of Celoron wanted the statue removed, it turned out to be a huge tourist attraction. Ultimately, the mayor decided that both statues should remain in the Lucille Ball Memorial Park. Today, people from all over the world visit the park to take photos of Scary Lucy, as well as the new statue.
It’s an odd story, but based on Lucille Ball’s love and appreciation for comedy, we think she probably would have loved both statues an equal amount.
Even though the old Scary Lucy statue was met with a lot of public outcry, it brings a bit of history to the town. Do you think it was right for the people of Celoron to leave the old statue up, or do you think they should have taken it down? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!