1. The Marriage Didn’t Last, But the Show Did
Lucy wanted to produce the show as a last attempt to save a marriage that was already crumbling if nothing else by preventing her husband from traveling around and “catting around.” The marriage ended shortly after the show stopped filming, but in the years since, I Love Lucy has remained a classic piece of pure Americana. It became the longest continually-running show in 2007 when it had aired for a solid 50 years after the end of its production. On what would have been Lucy’s 100th birthday, Google commemorated her with some of her most iconic scenes. And by the time Lucy died in 1989, she was one of the wealthiest women in the world.
The reality is that the stardom that both Lucy and Desi enjoyed together was not at all reflective of their personal lives. On-screen, they were an idyllic couple living a seemingly perfect life together in their Manhattan apartment. Off-screen, their lives were anything but ideal. Both of their lives were fraught with challenges, many of which they were able to overcome, just not together. Nonetheless, without the tumultuous marriage that ultimately ended in divorce, America (and the rest of the world) would never have loved Lucy.
Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:
“‘They were fighting all the time’: Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s daughter reveals how comedy’s golden couple suffered through a ‘horrible divorce’ while her father battled alcoholism,” by Anneta Konstantinides. Daily Mail. August 7, 2018.