I thought I knew everything about Lucille Ball... until I found out that she believed with all of her heart that her role model, Carole Lombard, visited her on a regular basis, after Lombard's untimely death in 1942 in a plane crash.
Indeed, Lucille Ball and Carole Lombard were dear friends. In her early days as a struggling actress, Lucy spent a lot of time on the studio lot observing Lombard, trying to mimic her. Rather than be offended or threatened by the fledgling wannabe, Lombard encouraged Lucy along, giving her a few of her biggest breakthroughs in Hollywood.
In the March 1947 edition of Photoplay, Lucy says to the interviewer that Carole Lombard... "... is my guardian angel.”
“She was?” the interviewer responds. As in, oh, how nice. Her role model helped her along.