Lucille Ball Was Afraid She Might Die During Iconic ‘I Love Lucy’ Moment

The legendary actress was trending on social media Friday as fans celebrated her birthday.

Lucille Ball was nearly killed while filming one of the most memorable moments in her iconic show, I Love Lucy.

The legendary actress was trending on social media Friday as fans celebrated her birthday.

During a 1974 interview on The Dick Cavett Show, the actress explained that in the classic 1956 episode of her series titled “Lucy’s Italian Movie” what was supposed to be a simulated fight between herself and actress Teresa Tirelli quickly devolved into chaos, and Ball believed she was going to be killed.

Although hilarious to the live studio audience and viewers at home, Ball told Cavett that Tirelli, who only spoke Italian, took the moment too far.

“[Tirelli] was told that there would be a fight, and it was also explained to her that there were times when my legs had to come up in this huge vat of real grapes,” Ball said. “I slipped and when I slipped, I hit her, accidentally. And she took offense. So, she hauled off and let me have it … it took all the wind out of me.”

The fake fight was supposed to take the two actresses down into the vat, out of camera and Ball would have a leg or arm shoot up at times for comedic effect. But since Tirelli was angry and really fighting, that was impossible.

“She kept me down by the throat,” Ball said. “And she was choking me, and I am really beating her to get her off. I was drowning in these grapes. She was killing me.”

Ball was finally able to get Tirelli off of her and call to the director, who also was unaware the situation was out of control and believed he was merely getting comedy gold, the actress said.

“She spent so much time beating the hell out of me in the vat, we had to cut half of it,” Ball said. “To drown in a vat of grapes was not the way I had planned to go.”

Ball and husband Desi Arnaz are the focus of the upcoming Aaron Sorkin film Being the Ricardos, starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem.

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