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."

Highlights
Irma Kusely on coloring Lucille Ball's hair for I Love Lucy
04:42
Irma Kusely on the most important things about hairstyling 
02:24
Irma Kusely on various feature films she worked on in her early years in Hollywood
02:51
Irma Kusely on career highlights
01:12
Irma Kusely on the legacy of Lucille Ball
01:05
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
14:51
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
07:00
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
06:20

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
05:06
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
16:35
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
07:05

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"
05:14
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
06:31
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
13:03
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
05:31
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 
08:42
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
01:57

December Bride

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Irma Kusely on being hairstylist for December Bride
01:05

I Love Lucy

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Irma Kusely on hairstyling for I Love Lucy
03:14
Irma Kusely on working with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy
06:03
Irma Kusely on doing Lucille Ball's hair for I Love Lucy
02:09
Irma Kusely on coloring Lucille Ball's hair for I Love Lucy
05:09
Irma Kusely on working with Vivian Vance on I Love Lucy
02:27
Irma Kusely on her name being in the credits of I Love Lucy
01:58
Irma Kusely on working with various people on I Love Lucy and the sponsors of the show 
02:36
Irma Kusely on the birth of "Little Ricky" on I Love Lucy
00:56
Irma Kusely on the Harpo Marx episode of I Love Lucy
02:27
Irma Kusely on the I Love Lucy episode "Lucy's Italian Movie"
01:51
Irma Kusely on the egg crushing incident on I Love Lucy
00:26
Irma Kusely on Lucille Ball's changing hairstyle on I Love Lucy
01:45
Irma Kusely on her favorite episodes of I Love Lucy
04:20

Life With Lucy

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Irma Kusely on doing hair for Lucille Ball's final show Life With Lucy
01:38

Lucy Calls the President

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Irma Kusely on doing hair for Lucy Calls the President
00:55

Lucy Show, The

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Irma Kusely on working on The Lucy Show  with Lucille Ball
02:22
Irma Kusely on Lucille Ball switching exclusively to wigs on The Lucy Show
00:57
Irma Kusely on working with the cast of The Lucy Show  and working with the various guest stars
05:26

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
04:16

Our Miss Brooks

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Irma Kusely on being hairstylist for Our Miss Brooks
02:02
Professions

Hair Stylist

View Profession
Irma Kusely on the process of dressing a wig
03:59
Irma Kusely on doing research for hairstyling jobs
03:10
Irma Kusely on the most important things about hairstyling 
02:24

Stylists

View Profession
Irma Kusely on the process of dressing a wig
03:59
Irma Kusely on doing research for hairstyling jobs
03:10
Irma Kusely on the most important things about hairstyling 
02:24
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Irma Kusely on being hairstylist for Our Miss Brooks
02:02
Irma Kusely on being hairstylist for The Danny Thomas Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:57
Irma Kusely on being hairstylist for December Bride
01:05
Irma Kusely on working with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy  (Part 1)
20:26
Irma Kusely on doing hair for I Love Lucy (Part 2)
11:45
Irma Kusely on doing hair for The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour
04:16
Irma Kusely on doing hair for The Lucy Show  
08:47
Irma Kusely on doing hair for Lucy Calls the President
00:55
Irma Kusely on doing hair for Lucille Ball's final show Life With Lucy
01:38
People

Desi Arnaz

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Irma Kusely on going to work for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz at Desilu 
01:03
Irma Kusely on working with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy
06:03

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
03:38
Irma Kusely on going to work for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz at Desilu 
01:03
Irma Kusely on working with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy
06:03
Irma Kusely on doing Lucille Ball's hair for I Love Lucy
02:09
Irma Kusely on coloring Lucille Ball's hair for I Love Lucy
05:09
Irma Kusely on Lucille Ball's changing hairstyle on I Love Lucy
01:45
Irma Kusely on doing hair for The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour  and her friendship with Lucille Ball
04:16
Irma Kusely on working on The Lucy Show  with Lucille Ball
02:22
Irma Kusely on Lucille Ball switching exclusively to wigs on The Lucy Show
00:57
Irma Kusely on doing hair for Lucille Ball's final show, Life With Lucy
01:38
Irma Kusely on the legacy of Lucille Ball
01:05

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
03:38

Harpo Marx

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Irma Kusely on the Harpo Marx episode of I Love Lucy
02:27

Vivian Vance

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Irma Kusely on working with Vivian Vance on I Love Lucy
02:27

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