7 surprising things we learned about Lucille Ball from 'Stuff You Missed in History Class'

We could have been watching "I Love Diane" instead.

Image: Everett Collection

Could you imagine I Love Lucy being called "I Love Diane"? It could've happened.

Lucille Ball was such a massive icon, it seems like we know everything about her.

Last week, the informative podcast "Stuff You Missed in History Class" published an episode on the comedy legend. The hosts dug deep into the actress' childhood, her early career in Hollywood and how she morphed into a trailblazing television executive.

The podcast made us realize several things about the actress we didn't already know. Perhaps you'll be surprised to learn these things, too.

Listen to the full podcast here

1. She was incredibly shy


Ball was incredibly shy while attending drama school in New York City. In fact, the school even wrote to the comedy legend's mother saying her child was too timid for the stage. Later in her life, Ball said, "All I learned in drama school was how to be frightened."

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2. She went to school with Bette Davis


No wonder Ball was so nervous! She attended drama school with the legendary Bette Davis.

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3. She had a stage name


After Ball left drama school, she adopted the stage name Diane Belmont.

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4. She met Desi Arnaz at the studio's commissary


Ball met her future husband while filming Dance, Girl, Dance for RKO Radio Pictures in 1940. They appeared together in Ball's next film, Too Many Girls.

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5. 'I Love Lucy' was originally a stage show


When CBS denied Ball and Arnaz's pitch for a husband-wife series, they took the show on the road in the form on a vaudeville act. The tour was so successful, CBS decided to give the couple a shot on television.

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6. She was a perfectionist


Although some moments on the show seem like improv, they were actually thoroughly rehearsed. Ball rehearsed each moment to perfection to make it seem like she was always in the moment.

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7. Her hair color was a secret


Ball used a henna rinse to achieve her famous hair color. The actress actually met a sheikh who sent her a lifetime supply of the dye. 

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