Irma Kusely

Hair Stylist


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her three-hour Archive interview, Irma Kusely (1914-2009) describes her early work as a wig stylist at MGM. She speaks about her friendship with Lucille Ball and Danny Thomas, which ultimately led to a job at Desilu, where she was the hairstylist on I Love Lucy as well as other Desilu shows including Our Miss Brooks and December Bride. Kusely recalls working almost exclusively with Lucille Ball after the cancellation of I Love Lucy, following her through The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, and Life with Lucy, and traveling with Ms. Ball for all public appearances. Karen Herman conducted the interview on June 14, 2001 in Burbank, CA.

"Lucy's hair was a golden apricot color, and she used a henna rinse to achieve it. She met a very wealthy sheik who had heard about her problem getting the right coloring. He said he would send her a lifetime supply of henna, which he did! We kept it in my garage, locked away in a safe."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Irma Kusely on coloring Lucille Ball's hair for I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on the most important things about hairstyling 
Irma Kusely on various feature films she worked on in her early years in Hollywood
Irma Kusely on career highlights
Irma Kusely on the legacy of Lucille Ball
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on getting involved in the entertainment industry through a job working on wigs at Max Factor; on the process of dressing a wig
On various feature films she worked on in her early years in Hollywood; on doing research for hairstyling jobs; on working with the publicity departments of the studios
On her career turning to television; on meeting Lucille Ball and her friendships with Ball and Katherine Hepburn; on the first time she saw television; on going to work at Desilu

Chapter 2

On being hairstylist for Our Miss Brooks; on being hairstylist for Make Room for Daddy  and The Dick Van Dyke Show;  on being hairstylist for December Bride
On hairstyling for I Love Lucy;  on working with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy;  on coloring Lucille Ball's hair for I Love Lucy
On working with Vivian Vance on I Love Lucy;  on her name being in the credits of I Love Lucy;  on working with various people on the show

Chapter 3

On the birth of "Little Ricky" on I Love Lucy;  on the Harpo Marx episode of I Love Lucy;  on the I Love Lucy  episode "Lucy's Italian Movie"
On the egg crushing incident on I Love Lucy;  on Lucille Ball's changing hairstyle on I Love Lucy;  on her favorite episodes of I Love Lucy
On doing hair for The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour  and her friendship with Lucille Ball; on working on The Lucy Show  with Lucille Ball; on Lucille Ball switching exclusively to wigs on The Lucy Show
On hairstyling for the feature film "Mame"; on doing hair for Lucy Calls the President;  on doing hair for Lucille Ball's final show, Life With Lucy

Chapter 4

On the legacy of Lucille Ball; on the most important things about hairstyling; on career highlights
On b-roll pictures from her career- with Katherine Hepburn; with Katherine Hepburn on the set of "Pat and Mike"; with the cast of I Love Lucy; with Lucille Ball at a picnic; the back of Lucille Ball's head; Lucille Ball with Irma Kusley's son; on the set of Here's Lucy; dressing Lucille Ball's hair in the style of Marilyn Monroe 
Shows

Danny Thomas Show, The aka Make Room for Daddy

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Irma Kusely on being hairstylist for Make Room for Daddy  and The Dick Van Dyke Show

December Bride

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Irma Kusely on being hairstylist for December Bride

I Love Lucy

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Irma Kusely on hairstyling for I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on working with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on doing Lucille Ball's hair for I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on coloring Lucille Ball's hair for I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on working with Vivian Vance on I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on her name being in the credits of I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on working with various people on I Love Lucy and the sponsors of the show 
Irma Kusely on the birth of "Little Ricky" on I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on the Harpo Marx episode of I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on the I Love Lucy episode "Lucy's Italian Movie"
Irma Kusely on the egg crushing incident on I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on Lucille Ball's changing hairstyle on I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on her favorite episodes of I Love Lucy

Life With Lucy

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Irma Kusely on doing hair for Lucille Ball's final show Life With Lucy

Lucy Calls the President

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Irma Kusely on doing hair for Lucy Calls the President

Lucy Show, The

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Irma Kusely on working on The Lucy Show  with Lucille Ball
Irma Kusely on Lucille Ball switching exclusively to wigs on The Lucy Show
Irma Kusely on working with the cast of The Lucy Show  and working with the various guest stars

Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The

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Irma Kusely on doing hair for The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour and her friendship with Lucille Ball

Our Miss Brooks

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Irma Kusely on being hairstylist for Our Miss Brooks
Professions

Hair Stylist

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Irma Kusely on the process of dressing a wig
Irma Kusely on doing research for hairstyling jobs
Irma Kusely on the most important things about hairstyling 

Stylists

View Profession
Irma Kusely on the process of dressing a wig
Irma Kusely on doing research for hairstyling jobs
Irma Kusely on the most important things about hairstyling 
Genres

Comedy Series

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Irma Kusely on being hairstylist for Our Miss Brooks
Irma Kusely on being hairstylist for The Danny Thomas Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show
Irma Kusely on being hairstylist for December Bride
Irma Kusely on working with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy  (Part 1)
Irma Kusely on doing hair for I Love Lucy (Part 2)
Irma Kusely on doing hair for The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour
Irma Kusely on doing hair for The Lucy Show  
Irma Kusely on doing hair for Lucy Calls the President
Irma Kusely on doing hair for Lucille Ball's final show Life With Lucy
People

Desi Arnaz

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Irma Kusely on going to work for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz at Desilu 
Irma Kusely on working with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy

Lucille Ball

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Irma Kusely on her career turning to television, meeting Lucille Ball, and her friendships with Ball and Katherine Hepburn
Irma Kusely on going to work for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz at Desilu 
Irma Kusely on working with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on doing Lucille Ball's hair for I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on coloring Lucille Ball's hair for I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on Lucille Ball's changing hairstyle on I Love Lucy
Irma Kusely on doing hair for The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour  and her friendship with Lucille Ball
Irma Kusely on working on The Lucy Show  with Lucille Ball
Irma Kusely on Lucille Ball switching exclusively to wigs on The Lucy Show
Irma Kusely on doing hair for Lucille Ball's final show, Life With Lucy
Irma Kusely on the legacy of Lucille Ball

Katharine Hepburn

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Irma Kusely on her career turning to television, meeting Lucille Ball, and her friendships with Ball and Katherine Hepburn

Harpo Marx

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Irma Kusely on the Harpo Marx episode of I Love Lucy

Vivian Vance

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Irma Kusely on working with Vivian Vance on I Love Lucy

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