Lucille Ball’s Secretary Reveals Important Role Desi Arnaz Played in Her Life

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

With a new movie out about their life, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz find themselves back in the spotlight. Ball’s secretary talks about it.

Wanda Clark, who served as Ball’s personal assistant and secretary for 28 years, talked about how important a role Arnaz played in her life.

Her comments are from a Zoom call she did with actress-comedian Amy Poehler. Pieces of it appeared in an article for the Tulsa World newspaper.

Clark, who lives in Grand Lake, Okla., mentions that Ball continued counting on Arnas for advice. This is true even after they divorced in 1960, she said. Clark adds that Arnaz was the only person Lucille Ball could get a “real answer” from about different things. Why? She was surrounded by “yes” people only interested in pleasing Ball.

Then, Clark shares her own experiences around Arnaz. She said “me too” when it came to needing Arnaz around.

“If she wanted that mountain moved, I tried to move it,” she told Poehler. “Everyone else would just say ‘Whatever Lucy wanted, just do that.’ Whenever she went to Desi, he would say ‘you can’t do that.'”

Lucille Ball Would Go On and Appear In Other Sitcoms After Divorcing Arnaz

Why the renewed interest in the famed couple? Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem are playing Ball and Arnaz, respectively, in the movie Being the Ricardos.

After I Love Lucy ended its run on CBS, Lucille Ball and Arnaz moved along to create The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. This show also included their costars from the earlier sitcom, Vivian Vance and William Frawley. Once this series was done, though, that’s when Ball filed divorce papers.

Ball’s career would go on with other sitcoms in the 1960s and ’70s like The Lucy Show and Here’s Lucy. Arnaz would be involved in directing and producing other shows, such as The Mothers-in-Law starring Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard.

She Would Convince Late Turner Classic Movies Host Robert Osborne To Become Writer

When a lot of people hear the name Robert Osborne, their first memory might be of him as a host on Turner Classic Movies.

Did you know, though, that he was an actor at one time? And that Lucille Ball encouraged him to change careers from being an actor to being a writer?

It’s all true, Outsiders.

Osborne died in 2017 but before that time, he talked about this part of his life in an interview with The Washington Post.

He talked about Ball’s intervention, according to the New York Post.

Osborne said, “I turned out to be very bad as a columnist because I would be told secrets, and I would keep [them]. I knew Rock Hudson had AIDS long before that came out.”