‘I Love Lucy’: Lucille Ball Explained How She Gave Kids a Chance to Choose Path in Entertainment

by Anna Dunn

Lucille Ball knew that just because she had kids, that didn’t mean they had to be in the entertainment industry. The I Love Lucy star and producer wanted to give her kids a fair shot at life. While they certainly had a lot of opportunities, she didn’t want them to feel like they had to be Hollywood stars like her.

Ball had two children with her then-husband Desi Arnaz. Now, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz JR are all grown up with unique lives of their own.

In an iconic interview with The Merv Griffin Show, Ball talked about how she raised her kids. She wanted them to be independent and not so “spoiled.”

“I gave them a chance to see if they felt like they belonged in the business by putting them in the show and by letting them go when they first had the opportunity and it worked.”

Both Lucie and Desi had show business careers. Desi landed multiple roles in films such as Joyride. Lucie, meanwhile had lots of success on Broadway. Both of them grew up, however, to forge a very different path than their I Love Lucy starring parents. Desi has focused a lot on his family life while Lucie has done more public work.

Lucie recently toured with Pippin. She continuously looks to preserve and spread her mother’s legacy. Now, she’s working with the production team of Being the Ricardos, a film about her parents that’ll take an intimate look at the Lives Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz lead when the cameras were off.

Lucie Arnaz Has Defended the Casting of ‘Being the Ricardos,’ Saying It Won’t be like ‘I Love Lucy’

Many were disappointed when Nicole Kidman was cast as Lucille Ball in the upcoming Being The Ricardos, citing that she bared little resemblance to the I Love Lucy star and that Kidman wasn’t nearly funny enough to play Ball, but Arnaz was quick to defend the casting choice, saying that this won’t portray Ball as the nation knew her.

“We agreed to the inspired casting choice of Nicole Kidman because she is smart, a first-class, award-winning actress who can play comedy or drama and become anyone she puts her mind to and box office gold (important to big studios these days). She was cast to portray Lucille Ball. Not her fictional TV character, ‘Lucy Ricardo’ and, take my word for it, Lucille Ball and ‘Lucy Ricardo’ were quite different people,” she said in a post.

Hopefully, fans will learn a lot from Being the Ricardos. The film is currently in production, and no release date has been set.