Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘I Love Lucy’: The Real Story Behind Lucy and Desi’s Romance

‘I Love Lucy’: The Real Story Behind Lucy and Desi’s Romance

Although they ended up divorcing in real life, I Love Lucy stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had a love like no other. And now, we’re taking a look back at the ups and downs of the couple’s incredible romance. 

The iconic actors first met in 1940 while appearing together in Rodgers and Hart’s Too Many Girls. Six months after they met, Arnaz and Ball eloped. However, after four years, Ball filed for divorce and even obtained an interlocutory. Thankfully, she and Arnaz reconciled and went on to have two children, Lucie Désirée Arnaz and Desiderio Alberto Arnaz IV.

Along with starting a family, the couple teamed up for the hilarious sitcom I Love Lucy, which ran from 1951 to 1957. The series followed Ball’s character Lucy as she constantly tried to become a star in the show within the show. This was all despite her lack of talent. Ball and Arnaz starred in the show with Vivian Vance and William Frawley. 

Unfortunately for the couple, their romance came to an end on March 3, 1960, when Ball filed for divorce. During the divorce proceedings, Ball described her relationship Arnaz as being a nightmare for the final three years of their marriage. “He was like Jekyll and Hyde,” Ball was quoted saying in the book Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. “He drank and he gambled, and he went around with other women. It was always the same – booze and broads. I’d seen it coming. I was always hoping things would change. But Desi’s nature is destructive.” 

Despite being divorced, the I Love Lucy stars remained close up until Arnaz’s death in 1986. Ball ended up remarrying to stand-up comedian Gary Morton in 1961 and passed away in 1989 at the age of 77.

Daughter of ‘I Love Lucy’ Stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Reflects on Her Parents’ Love

In February 2022, Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of I Love Lucy stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz spoke about her parents’ relationship, especially after their divorce. She noted that while the actors’ marriage didn’t last as long as their children would have wanted it to, their love for each other lasted forever. 

While at the premiere of Amazon’s Lucy and Desi, Arnaz shared with EW that as she grew up she started to understand what people like the I Love Lucy actors went through in order to stay together. “It’s not easy,” she explained. “And they did it really well and still didn’t really succeed on some levels. But it’s a great thing to look at and say, ‘Well, would I have made those choices? Would I have done it differently? Would I have succeeded?’ You never know.” 

Arnaz couldn’t help but be excited about her parents’ popularity, decades after their show went off the air. “I mean, 70 years after their show went off the air and hundreds of years after they were born, to suddenly be… I don’t want to say reinvented, they’re not reinvented, but rediscovered and re-appreciated and used to teach and to find a better way to live our life [is amazing].”