Unarguably, the chemistry between the legendary couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz remained even after their split in 1960.
Friends of the couple have always maintained that, although their 20-year marriage came to an end, their love for each other never did.
The unforgettable pair met in 1940 on the set of a movie called Too Many Girls.
Ball, 28, was smitten with the charming and handsome Cuban-born nightclub bandleader Arnaz, who was 23 at the time.
Six short months later they married. However, they spent a good part of their marriage living separate lives as they each tended to their careers, she as a contract actress and he touring with his rumba band.
According to People, in the hopes that their marriage would last, Ball insisted they cast Arnaz as her spouse on the show “I Love Lucy” in 1951 because she knew this would keep him home rather than on the road.
Their on-screen chemistry was magical and the series was a success, but the marriage wouldn’t survive.
Despite having two children, a daughter, Lucie, in 1951 and a son, Desi Jr., in 1953, the marriage ended in 1960 due to alcoholism and infidelity.
Even after they each remarried, though, Ball to comedian Gary Morton and Arnaz to Edie Mack Hirsch, they always had good things to say about one another.
In 1986, before his death, Arnaz shared a special sentiment about Ball in the book Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
He wrote: “Lucy was the show. Viv, Fred and I were just props. Damn good props, but props nevertheless. P.S. ‘I Love Lucy’ was never just the title.”
The director of “I Love Lucy,” William Asher, said, “Maybe I’m the romantic, but there was a great, great love there, there really was. Desi was very unhappy about the breakup, and I think she was too. I don’t think either one of them ever got over it.”
The couple’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, revealed Desi’s last words to her mother to the writers of Desilu.
During their last talk before his death, Desi whispered to Lucy, “I love you too, honey. Good luck with your show.”
From all accounts, theirs was a passionate, romantic love that, although troubled, was no less dimmed by their divorce or the passage of time.
As the saying goes, “Love isn’t complicated, people are.”
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