That ‘Scary’ Lucille Ball Statue Has Finally Been Replaced

Artist Carolyn Palmer’s new statue of comedic actress Lucille Ball (left) is shown next to the one it’s replacing, by artist Dave Poulin. (Facebook/Associated Press)

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The earlier statue was widely mocked for its lack of resemblance to the actress

Lucille Ball fans can rest easy.

A new statue honouring the I Love Lucy star was to be unveiled on Saturday in Celoron, N.Y., on what would have been Ball’s 105th birthday, after residents of her hometown made it clear they did not “love” an unflattering previous version.

The life-size bronze artwork was created by the well-known sculptor Carolyn Palmer, whose proposal was selected from more than 60 submitted by artists around the world.

The statue at Lucille Ball Memorial Park will replace another that was installed seven years ago. Critics panned the sculpture, saying it looked nothing like the iconic redhead, and it eventually became known as “Scary Lucy.”

‘I just hope that all the Lucy fans are pleased and that Lucille Ball herself would have enjoyed this image of her,’ artist Carolyn Palmer said. Here, the actress poses for a photo in 1949 failing to disguise her baby bump. (AFP/Getty Images)

Palmer spent nine months working on the project, including watching countless episodes of I Love Lucy and hiring models to pose in 1950s-style dresses.

“I not only wanted to portray the playful, animated and spontaneous Lucy, but also the glamorous Hollywood icon,” Palmer said in a statement.

The version from 2009, by Dave Poulin, was so hated that it became the subject of a Facebook campaign dubbed “We Love Lucy! Get Rid of this Statue.”

Poulin apologized last year for crafting the memorial park’s original bronze, saying he didn’t mean to “disparage in any way the memories of the iconic Lucy image.”

Palmer has sculpted a number of other famous figures. Her marble statue of Pope Francis stands at the papal residence in New York City, the Pope blessed it during his visit last year.

A bronze version of that statue is being produced for St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

I Love Lucy aired in the 1950s and is considered one of the greatest television comedies ever. Ball played the wife of bandleader Ricky Ricardo, who was portrayed by her real-life husband at the time, Desi Arnaz.

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circa 1955: US comedienne Lucille Desiree Ball (1910 - 1989). She began working in television in 1951, and starred in such domestic comedies as 'I Love Lucy' (1951 - 1955). She later became a production executive. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

circa 1955: US comedienne Lucille Desiree Ball (1910 – 1989). She began working in television in 1951, and starred in such domestic comedies as ‘I Love Lucy’ (1951 – 1955). She later became a production executive. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

American actress Lucille Ball (1911 - 1989) and her husband Desi Arnaz (1917 - 1986) arrive at a CBS party in honour of Johnny Carson, 30th June 1955. (Photo by Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

American actress Lucille Ball (1911 – 1989) and her husband Desi Arnaz (1917 – 1986) arrive at a CBS party in honour of Johnny Carson, 30th June 1955. (Photo by Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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