Why Desi Arnaz’s Daughter Spent ‘Many Sleepless Nights Crying’ About Her Dad

by Jeremy Spirogis
Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz Jr., Lucie Arnaz, and Desi Arnaz

Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball catapulted to fame enjoying Lucy and Ricky Ricardo on the hit comedy I Love Lucy. Divorcing in 1960 after 20 years of marriage, the couple continued to co-parent their two children, Lucie and Desi Jr.

Arnaz’s alcoholism was no secret in Hollywood. Lucie beforehand shared how his ingesting affected their household and his profession.

Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz Jr., Lucie Arnaz, and Desi Arnaz
Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz Jr., Lucie Arnaz, and Desi Arnaz | J. Wilds/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Desi Arnaz’s alcoholism impacted his marriage to Lucille Ball

The well-known couple had a tumultuous relationship from the beginning. After fame hit and fixed rumors of Arnaz’s infidelities swirled in Hollywood, their marriage started to disintegrate beneath stress, which solely elevated along with his ingesting.

“He always drank,” Lucie remarked in the e-book Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz by Coyne Steven Sanders and Tom Gilbert. “But like any disease, it takes a while to take its toll with your body, to where your tolerance is less and less.”

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RELATED: How Desi Arnaz’ Old Behaviors Affected His Working Relationship with Ex-Wife Lucille Ball

“Under pressure, he drank more, obviously,” Lucie revealed. “And the worse their relationship was, the more he would drink, just to show her. ‘You’re going to tell me I can’t get drunk? Well, I’ll show you. I’ll get drunker than you’ve ever seen.’ It was just awful.”

‘I Love Lucy’ star additional tarnished his picture

Despite their divorce, Arnaz and Ball maintained an amicable friendship {and professional} relationship. Yet even his connection along with his well-known ex-wife couldn’t protect his profession from his declining conduct and lack of accountability.

“Desi was an alcoholic, although he wouldn’t admit it,” Desilu Productions government Bob Weitzman remarked. “No matter how much you loved him, there was the problem that he did not represent the best qualities for his image, the company’s image, Lucy’s image, and the kids’ image. She’d call him on it. He just wouldn’t change his ways.”

Arnaz usually didn’t obtain the credit score he deserved for constructing the Desilu empire, the place Ball acquired the accolades. With his continued alcoholism, the previous bandleader’s profession spiraled.

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“He was depressed and dissatisfied in later years that that was all there was, I Love Lucy,” Lucie recalled of her dad. “When it was over, the industry didn’t trust him the way they used to. … When you’re drinking and making bad decisions, people lose their trust. Until he could acknowledge that he had a problem, he could never rejuvenate his career. It was such a tragedy.”

Lucie Arnaz mourned for what her father might have been

As Arnaz’s popularity and picture grew extra tarnished, many within the business attributed his failures to his alcoholism and explosive temperament. While Lucie might attest to the negatives of his nature, she felt that his brightest qualities had been usually neglected as a result of his points.

“That’s why I’ve spent many sleepless nights crying about the things that can very well be said about his drinking and his temper,” Lucie defined. “It’s such a disgrace, as is the case with most alcoholics. This mild bear was simply the dearest man. And such a genius, such a superb business individual. I hear all of the tales, and the extra I hear them, the extra I wish to scream, ‘Why, why?”

With extra particulars of Arnaz’s accomplishments in Hollywood coming to gentle over time, Lucie discovered consolation in her father’s achievements lastly receiving some notoriety.

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RELATED: Desi Arnaz Was ‘Extraordinarily Jealous’ of Lucille Ball’s New Husband

“He did a lot, and I think people now do know about it, because it’s been written about,” she instructed Closer Weekly in February 2020. “I don’t know if it was written about enough during his lifetime, but it is now and it’s lovely that people acknowledge that.”

How to get assist: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

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