‘I Love Lucy’: Lucille Ball Said ‘She Tried Not to Make the Same Mistake Twice’ During Second Marriage

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz enjoyed an instant passionate love. The two I Love Lucy stars eloped months after meeting each other on a movie set.

This was in 1940. The show I Love Lucy came along in 1951 featuring a funny red-head and her Cuban husband, a charismatic bandleader. But by the time of the show’s premiere, the couple’s relationship already was on the rocks. Both worked so much. Plus, Desi Arnaz liked other ladies. Lucille Ball kept the marriage together. She filed for divorce in 1944, but the couple reconciled. She filed for divorce again in 1960.

The two stars of I Love Lucy, which became a TV classic, were the parents of two children and owned a production company. But their marriage no longer worked.

So maybe for that reason, Lucy was hesitant to marry again. And coincidentally, Lucille Ball never played a married woman on TV again. And she met her second — and final — husband in the most normal way possible. A mutual friend introduced them.

After Two I Love Lucy Stars Broke Up, Ball Was in No Hurry to Get Married Again

Lucille Ball’s friend Pam Stewart, whom she met on the Broadway show Wildcat, introduced her to Gary Morton. And Morton, unlike Arnaz, was a comfortable match for the I Love Lucy icon. He was a former comedian and 13 years her junior. But he never had an issue with Lucille Ball owning the limelight.

Ball talked about her marriage to Morton and the lessons she learned from her first marriage. Ball spoke with Houston journalist Warner Roberts about Morton as Ball was doing publicity for her 1974 movie, Mame. She was married to Morton from 1961 until she died in 1989.

“Well, I tried not to make the same mistake twice, which a lot of people do,” the I Love Lucy star said. “Some of them make it five, six times, the same mistake. They kind of have to do the same wrong thing. I didn’t want to do that.

“Gary had been married before, and he felt the same way. We didn’t rush into marriage, we went together for over a year and we weren’t rushing head long into anything. We weren’t even sure we wanted to get married. But my mother, my friends saw him and said “I don’t know what you’re waiting for. This guy is really something. He really is an unusual man.’

She Said Morton Never Minded If Someone Called Him Mr. Ball

Lucy continued:

“But the great thing about Gary is he’s his own man. Always has been. And at no time did he ever have a problem with (being called) Mr. Ball. This is never, very seldom, the gentlemen’s fault. Anyone in that position. It’s not their fault. It’s thoughtlessness on the other person’s part. However, it just hasn’t happened with Gary. And I’m glad. I love the things that Gary does in moderation. And I also like the fact the other things I haven’t tried to change.”

Lucy said Morton didn’t like the cold, so when it came time for vacation, she headed to Colorado and he went to Palm Springs. He also liked to play a lot of golf.

While she stayed married to Johnson, Ball and Arnaz, the two former I Love Lucy stars, stayed friends. Morton died in 2011.

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