‘I Love Lucy’: How Desi Arnaz Reacted After His First Time Meeting Lucille Ball

by Joe Rutland

The relationship between I Love Lucy stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz has received a lot of attention over the years. There are still elements of their partnership that become revealed a little at a time. Some people might think the first time Desi saw Lucy was in the months leading up to their famed classic TV CBS sitcom. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both were busy doing film work for a long time. It was during one flick they both crossed paths.

Ball and Arnaz appeared together in a movie titled Too Many Girls, according to ScreenRant. Ball was supposed to play the ingenue, a young, unsophisticated woman. But during rehearsal, she suffered a black eye. They actually met for the first time in the film studio’s commissary. Well, Arnaz heard she was going to play her role. He would remember much later saying, “She’s gonna be the ingenue? You’re out of your mind!” Later on, Desi happened to see Lucy dressed up and made up for her role. He changed his mind about Ball playing that role.

‘I Love Lucy’ Becomes Important Show For CBS To Air

Their TV series would become one of the most important shows for CBS. I Love Lucy provided laughs to many television viewers in the medium’s early days. Ball, Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley would make the show “must-see TV” before there was such a thing. Recently, actress-comedian Amy Proehler has completed a documentary about the show business couple. This comes on the heels of Aaron Sorkin’s movie Being the Ricardos which starred Nicole Kidman as Ball and Javier Bardem as Arnaz.

It appears, in hindsight, that both Lucy and Desi still loved each other after their breakup in 1960. There were reports for years about Arnaz’s drinking and womanizing during his marriage. Ball was unhappy and upset a lot of the time. But there was a hope, at least, that the TV show would “save our marriage” between them. This is reflected in comments from their daughter, Lucie Arnaz.

“They did the show so they could be together because my dad was always on the road and they never saw each other,” Lucie told People in an interview. “So my parents thought, ‘Well, this is going to save our marriage, and we can have a family.’ They gave the country this wonderful creation, but they never got what they wanted — to stay together. … [But] they loved each other until the end.” While they loved one another, fans all over the world have remained avid viewers of their antics on the show for decade after decade. It’s one of those shows that will stay on TV forever.