Desi & Lucy
He Loved Lucy
and So Did We
| Desi Arnaz was a Cuban bandleader and singer-turned savvy
TV mogul who, after his marriage to comedienne
Lucille Ball in 1940, parlayed their successful "I Love Lucy" series into
the Desilu TV production empire. In its heyday, their company
produced the successful and highly lucrative "The Untouchables" and "Star
Trek" television series.
The only son of a wealthy landowner/politician, Arnaz
fled to Miami from Cuba after Batista's overthrow of the Machado government
in 1933. Performing as a bandleader while in high school, Arnaz was
soon appearing in posh nightclubs where he introduced the conga line and
later his signature "Babalu" number.
His youthful good-looks and engaging presence eventually
won him a featured spot in the 1939 Broadway musical "Too Many Girls."
The following year he was signed by RKO. Arnaz was featured in several
films as a colorful Latin. Joining MGM, he won attention for his sole dramatic
role in the war drama, "Bataan" (1942) but gave up films to tour with his
When his wife Lucille Ball's 1948 radio series "My Favorite
Wife" was turned into a TV series, she insisted her husband co-star with
her. Retitled and revamped as "I Love Lucy" with Arnaz playing a struggling
young bandleader and Lucy playing his starstruck and innocently scheming
wife, the show premiered in 1951 and revolutionized TV broadcasting.
Ball and Arnaz formed their own company, Desilu, to produce
the show. Refusing to move to New York to broadcast the show live,
they compromised by filming episodes in front of a live audience for the
first time in network series history.
The couple also took a salary cut in order to own the
filmed episodes after the initial broadcasts which later netted them a
fortune in the then-unheard-of syndication rights. The show which ran 1951-57
quickly became the number one series on television. Ball and Arnaz starred
in two features during this period: the Vincente Minnelli-directed comedy
hit, "The Long, Long Trailor" (1954) and the disappointing "Forever Darling"
(1956). Arnaz also concentrated on expanding the Desilu facilities,
buying the RKO studio lots and producing or leasing filming space to numerous
After the comedy duo divorced
in 1960, Arnaz still served as executive producer of Ball's first solo
venture, "The Lucille Ball Show" (1962).
| Desi spent the rest of this life struggling with alcohol
and, with the help of his son, he finally stopped drinking entirely. Though
this gave him quality time, the years of abuse had taken their toll. The
last time Lucy and Desi talked was on November 10, 1986, 46 years after
they first exchanged vows. Desi later died on December 2, 1986 at the age
of 69 of cancer. He was cremated.
Lucille Ball's bravery and willingness to take risks worked
for more than 50 years, until 1989 when she underwent open heart surgery.
On April 26th, 1989 Lucille Ball died in Los Angeles, California from a
ruptured aorta suffered as an unforeseen post surgical complication. At
her death, Lucille Ball was survived by her daughter, Lucie Arnaz, her
son Desi Arnaz, Jr., her second husband Gary Morton and several grandchildren.
Ms. Ball left a legacy of over 101 film and television movies, appearances
in 20 television projects, and an autobiography, "Love, Lucy" which was
discovered and published after her death.
Even though her first marriage failed, she was an example
of what the human spirit can accomplish when in love with life and those
who live it. Her marriage to Morton was a happy one and the children
of her first marriage were a continuous joy to her life.
We loved Lucy.
Those who were closest to her loved her, too.
& Gracie Allen
of the Greatest
Teams in Movie
Loved Each Other
Husband & Wife
| Born Nathan Birnbaum in New York on January 20, 1896,
George Burns was one of 12 children. He began entertaining as a child of
seven, singing in bars and tenement blocks with the Peewee Quartet.
Born on July 26, 1905, in San Francisco, California, Grace
Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen came from a family of entertainers. She made
her vaudeville stage debut at age three with her father, the singer and
dancer Edward Allen. At age 14 she dropped out of school to form a vaudeville
act with her sisters, but by the time she met George Burns in the early
1920s she had abandoned her stage career and taken work as a stenographer.
Together, Burns & Allen formed a partnership and were
in 1926. Relying on clever domestic humor--with Burns as the wry, cigar-brandishing
straight man to Allen's malaprop-prone chatterbox--the couple made 13 feature
films together, including The Big Broadcast (1932), International House
(1933), Love in Bloom (1935), and College Swing (1938). Allen also appeared
without Burns in The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939), Mr. and Mrs. North
(1941), and Two Girls and a Sailor (1944). In 1940 she ran for U.S. president
on the Surprise Party ticket. On television, The George Burns and Gracie
Allen Show, a situation comedy about the private lives of a show business
couple, aired from 1950 to 1958. Thereafter Allen retired from show business;
she died on August 27, 1964, in Hollywood, California.
This couple entertained their generation for many years
with their wonderful humor and unique approach to entertainment.
George outlived Gracie and died at 100 years of age. These two people
shared their love for laughing with the world and have gone down as one
of the zaniest and happiest couples to ever grace both the large screen
and the small screen as well.
The world of their time was a better place because of
their love for each other.
The mission of this not-for-profit website is to promote clear insights
and toleration regarding the many variations of primary relationships that
exist in our world. We ask for neither acceptance or approval but
hope that each visitor who reviews the pages of this site will leave them
with a better understanding of the numerous cultural, historical, preferential,
religious, sexual, and sociological approaches to coupling that have always
existed and will continue to exist as long as there are at least two human
beings living on this planet. If the effort put into creating and
maintaining this site results in others coming to the realization that
the basic human need to love and be loved takes on many forms which are
accepted by those who practice them, whether right or wrong as determined
by the personal belief system of others, then it will have served it's