‘I Love Lucy’: Why Lucie Arnaz Didn’t Omit ‘Crossed Out’ Parts of Her Mom’s Journals for Book

by Anna Dunn
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I Love Lucy legend Lucille Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, decided not to omit crossed-out parts of her mom’s journals for her autobiography. Lucie Arnaz has done a lot in recent years to keep memories of her parents alive, including recording and assisting in the publication of both of their memoirs.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz played Lucy and Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy for years. With groundbreaking careers in the entertainment industry and far from perfect personal lives, the two certainly had a lot they could write bout.

When it comes to Lucille Ball’s autobiography, Love, Lucy, Arnaz discovered it by chance.

“We were looking through files with Mom’s lawyer, and there was this manila envelope with “Lucy” scrawled on the front, postmarked 1964 with a return address for Betty Hannah Hoffman. Inside was Mom’s manuscript,” Lucie Arnaz told Palm Springs Life. “We asked friends and relatives, anyone who knew Mom during that time if they remembered anything about it. We agreed it sounded like her, but we had no context.”

Lucie Arnaz Eventually Helped Publish the ‘I Love Lucy’ Stars Memoir

The context, however, lead Lucie down a path she didn’t expect to go on. Apparently, the I Love Lucy star was writing a memoir.

“We tracked Betty down. She had been writing a piece about my mother for Ladies Home Journal, and they met several times. It seems they both enjoyed this process so much my mother insisted that Betty do more and more outside interviews with family and other people to get a more rounded perspective, dig deeper, so Betty eventually said something like, “Well, then let’s do a biography!”

But writing often comes with a cost. Honest autobiographies often can hurt the people featured in them, so Lucille Ball put the manuscript to rest. Ball spent so much time on I Love Lucy with her then ex-husband Desi Arnaz. It would be impossible not to include him in the book.

“Mom answered Betty’s questions on tape, which I still have, and Betty sent the draft to Mom who read it, marked it up, and one day packed it away. ‘It’s going to hurt too many people,’ she said. She meant Dad,” Lucie Arnaz said. But Arnaz used her own judgment after her parent’s deaths.

“When I edited it for publication, I thought about deleting the parts she crossed out, but it really wasn’t offensive in any way. So, I corrected a few things, wrote the forward, and we published it,” she said.

Lucie Now Works on ‘Being the Ricardos’

On top of helping publish her parent’s books, she’s also doing important work in preserving authenticity about the two of them in film. Lucie Arnaz has worked on a highly anticipated film about her parents, Being the Ricardos.

Being the Ricardos follows the behind-the-scenes lives of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz during a week of filming I Love Lucy. It’ll likely take a look at their notoriously tumultuous marriage. Lucie Arnaz has helped with casting the film along with ensuring that the people we see on screen really do seem like her parents.

Being the Ricardos will likely come out sometime next year. Love, Lucy is out now.

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