‘I Love Lucy’: How Lucille Ball and Betty White’s Mothers’ Friendship Was Priceless

by Will Shepard

Betty White and the star of the I Love Lucy show developed a strong friendship over the years. The two became very close. And, interestingly, so did their mother’s.

Their mothers became fast friends just as their daughters did. In fact, they were such good friends that it carried on past the death of Lucille Ball’s mother.

According to Variety, “[Betty White] and Lucille Ball were good friends, and so were their mothers, Tess White and DeDe Ball. After DeDe died in 1977, Lucy sent violets every year to Tess on DeDe’s birthday.”

The bond between the four women was certainly a close one. It is an incredible testament to the thoughtfulness of the star of I Love Lucy that she would send flowers to her mother’s friend on her mother’s own birthday every year.

The “I Love Lucy” Star Actress and Betty White’s Friendship Became a Familial Relationship

Betty White and Lucille Ball’s friendship was incredibly well known. But, for them, it was more than a friendship – the two became family. This is part of the reason why the I Love Lucy star would send Tess White flowers.

Nonetheless, the two actresses’ met by chance in a studio one day. Both women were filming separate shows and happened to meet. From then on, they were practically inseparable. It was clear to Betty White that she had found her mentor in life and acting.

When Betty was getting breaking into Hollywood, I Love Lucy was already a massive hit. It had made Lucille Ball one of the biggest actresses in the world. So, White wanted to gain every bit of knowledge she could from Ball.

Friends of the two women said that they watched Lucille take a liking to the younger actress. Ball took White under her wing to show her the ropes.

“Betty really looked up to Lucy,” a friend of theirs said, “and Lucy saw that she and Betty were cut from the same cloth.”

Closer Magazine reported the two Hollywood legends were far ahead of the times in terms of their comedy. They also reported that both women-owned their production companies. At the time, this was an exceedingly rare thing for women to possess. But, looking back, owning their companies showed an incredible drive from the two women to succeed.

Ann Dusenberry, who worked on Super Password with both actresses, talked about their commitment to succeeding. She said, “Their bond was their common accomplishment as businesswomen in a male-dominated industry.”

However, the two women connected on a much deeper level than just over business. According to Closer, “Lucy and Betty’s relationship spanned more than just being show business acquaintances. They considered each other family.”