Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie (1993) - full transcript

Home life of Desi & Lucy Arnaz, from beginning to end, actually, including clips of their early lives & family members.

[music playing]

- I always knew we
had home movies,

and I always knew
we had scrapbooks,

and that my mother
was like a pack rat

and never threw anything away.

But interestingly enough, thehome movies that we saw as kids

were usually the
ones we were in.

It was a surprise to see
so much footage that,

as they say on TV, "never beforeseen" footage, never before

seen even by me.

It's taken us about three yearsto look through the scrapbooks

and research tapes, and
then find all the people

and do all the interviews.

And I wanted people to seethis side of my parents.

Because it was
the personal side.

And even without
sound, the pictures

say so much about who theywere and the joy that they had.

And some of them show fearsthat they had, and the shyness.

[music playing, "without you"][SINGING] I'm so lonely

and blue, when I'm without you.

I don't know what I'd do,sweetheart, without you.

The joy and tears
that love endears

would have no
meaning if I didn't

have you to keep me dreaming.

At the close of a day
when I'm without you.

And my heart kneels to
pray, I pray about you.

You take a star and lead
it far away from heaven

and the start will be lostas I'm lost without you.

[music playing, "without you"][SINGING] [singing in spanish]

- There was a film that cameout around the same time I was

looking at the tapes...

It was...

It exploited their worst faults.

And it didn't explainmuch about them as people.

It didn't even get the historyright of the "I Love Lucy"

shows being created.

And I thought there
must be a better way.

There must be a way to
show these two people,

and be more realistic, andhave more fun watching it.

But also, answer
some questions--

what made her happy?

What was Lucy afraid of?

Was she bitter?

Did she miss him?

Did Desi miss her?

Why couldn't they stay married?

I was often surprised
by people's candor

and how much they were
willing to tell me,

almost as if they hadbottled it up for so long

and they were so glad
somebody finally asked.

People who are never
asked about my parents,

people who worked
with them, people

who were in the
dressing room all day

long, who must know a lot more,and Uncle Fred, and Aunt Cleo,

and Cousin Pam, and
people who were there

when we were growing up.

And I didn't do it becausethey're a famous family.

I did it because I think
family history is just

a fascinating thing to study,why people do what they do,

and how the circle goes on, andthat things just don't happen.

- What is this all about?

Of course, it was
about recovery.

It's about spiritual recovery.

It was about finding
that relationship that

was true in a
family, and wanting

to see if there was such a thingas a loving, happy, lasting


[music playing, "without you"][singing in spanish] I'm lost

without you.

- I think sometimes
we remember things

all blown up out of proportion,either too good or too bad.

I'm trying to put things backinto perspective so there'll

be some objectiveviewpoint about this family

that I can give to my kids.

And they also happen to
be sort of well-known,

so maybe you'll enjoy it, too.

[music playing]

- She was always a goer.

Whatever group she was
in, she was in charge.

- I mean, she could
always entertain,

and she could always
get an audience.

We'd go to a party
and she was it.

She had the part of somekind of a dancing Indian.

She got carried
away with her part.

She got so intense with it,she didn't know where she was

and she ended up in
the orchestra pit.

- I think that people
who have known her

and love to talk
about her are people

who have not realized the depthof her suffering in her life.

They have taken it for grantedthat she was always a clown.

I mean, they haven't
studied clowns.

They don't know that
clowns generally

have a very bad personal life.

There's always big,
big holes in it.

And there certainly
was in Lucille's life.

- Where did you come
from originally?

- I'm from Jamestown, New York.

- And how did you get here?

I mean, did you--

- I walked.

- No.

- Yes, I did.

I hitchhiked from Jamestown.

- She knew Jamestown
wasn't for her.

She was just so differentfrom all the other girls

around there.

- Her life was, I
don't think, very

happy when she was a child.

And I never knew thatbecause she told me all about

how beautiful Jamestown was,and the change of seasons

was what I heard about.

- That's where your mother'slove of Courier and Ives

was, those prints.

Because the lake froze
over in the winter time

and you ice skated andgrandpa built a toboggan.

- I, of course, before Istarted this exploration,

never knew the answers
to any of the questions

about why my mother
worked the way she did,

or what was she
running from, or even

the fact that she was running.

But now, after having talkedto some of these people

and listened to tapes andreread interviews with people,

I think it was an inbredthing in her, first of all.

She came from a
family of people who

had been through great tragedy,great poverty, a lot of death.

- Everyone knows that if alittle girl loses her father

when she's young, it
has a terrible effect

on her the rest of her life.

- Your mother was not
yet four years old

and DeDe was pregnant
with Freddie.

And her young husband, hecontracted typhoid fever.

And I don't know how long aperiod he was ill, but he died.

- My father died
before I was born.

So mother's father, mygrandfather, he brought us up.

Grandpa Hunt was of course
the patriarchal figure.

It was his home in which
we were all raised.

And he, of course, had a greatdeal of influence on all of us.

He was the daddy figure.

- He was a benevolent despot.

That is, he ruled thefamily and everybody in it.

But while he was deeply lovedby his family, and, of course,

called daddy, he was notpopular around the village,

mainly, of course,because of his affiliation

with the socialist party.

- Grandfather always hadleanings towards the working


Because after all,
he was a working man

before there were unions toprotect them or anything else.

- We didn't play.

We worked.

And Lucy and I and Cleo,we took care of the house,

including animals and chickens
and pigs and so forth.

- Her mother worked, and
they were out evenings,

and Lucille was on her own.

That was all there was to life.

She was a non-existent
mother, you might say.

She'd just come up maybe
on Sunday or something.

- Her mother wasn't there.

I didn't know that.

I didn't know that DeDewasn't there all the time.

When I grew up,
DeDe was "St. DeDe."

She was so needed, and wanted,and loved in our family.

She was the most lovedperson in our whole family.

And it's hard for me
to believe that DeDe

would leave her childrenalone for those long stretches

of time.

She went away for a
year or two or something

with her second husband.

- Ed did not, very frankly,want to be a stepfather.

He didn't want to be
held down by children.

He wanted a young wife.

He wanted to party.

And so they had toquestion, "Well, what are we

going to do with Lucille?"

And so they thought theobvious answer was put her

with Grandma Peterson.

She never told me that
she missed her father

being with her or that sheresented her mother abandoning

her, as you might say.

But I know that these were very,very traumatic things for her.

- My grandmother
DeDe was somethin'.

She was a real no-nonsensekind of person.

DeDe always used to tell me,she said, "I married Ed Peterson

because he wore nice hats.

But he didn't like my kidsand he drank so we left him."

But then they all had to moveback in with Grandpa Hunt.

- My grandfather used to takeus to vaudeville every Saturday.

I grew to love it.

So all I knew is I wantedto be in vaudeville

and I wanted to
make people laugh.

I certainly didn't want tomake them cry, you know?

- Celoron Park, that was avery important part of my life

and Lucy's life, too.

- It was just a wonderful,wonderful place.

Oh, and that big Phoenix Wheel?

And of course we would go tothe theater when we could.

Lucille, of course,
had more freedom

than any of the rest of us.

- Oh, she was full
of hell all the time.

- Her reputation wasthat she was a wild girl.

- I ran away from home so manytimes that my mother finally

said, "Well, that's
it, I've had it."

- And you came to New York?

- So she sent me to a
dramatic school here,

and they kept me
about three months.

And they said,
"You've got nothing,

go home and get
married or something."


And I went back to
school for a while.


- It was the tragedy thatbroke up the whole home life

and sent everyone in
different directions.

And it happened that Grandpa wasin possession of a .22 rifle.

- And we were target practicing.

And this girlfriend of minehad the rifle, aimed it,

and the little
Erickson boy, who was

sitting on the ground,the neighbor, jumped up--

Just as Ruth shot the gun.

And the bullet lodged
right in his spine.

- The child was paralyzedfor life and in a wheelchair.

- Grandpa was charged.

- And he was held responsiblefor allowing minors

to shoot a gun.

- As a result of that, Grandpalost the house, and everything,

and every dime that they had.

- My mother saw what
happened to the family,

and especially to her
daddy, to Grandpa Hunt.

I think that she felt
now it was up to her

to bring the whole familyback together again.

So she went back to New
York for a few years

where she could get
work as a model.

- I became a model
so I could eat.

And I was a good model.

And I worked at
Hattie Carnegie's.

[music playing]

- There was a man by the nameof T. Henry Black, who was

the photographer in Jamestown.

He made the famous last
words, when he said,

It was very difficult to geta satisfactory picture of Miss

Ball because the young ladyjust is not photogenic."

- Then Mr. Goldwyn
needed some poster girls

for "Roman Scandals."

And I was walking down
the street one day,

and this lady, who was anagent, said, "How would you

like to go to California?"

And I said, "Now?"

And she said, "Saturday."

That was a Wednesday.

I said, "Well, what wouldI do in California?"

And she said, "I just camefrom the Sam Goldwyn office.

One girl's mother pluckedher from the group

and said she could not go.

They have no time to test.

You fill the bill."

- Well, Lucy headed
for Hollywood.

And she arranged to
come there first,

and just to tell me, and hugme, and love me, and tell me

that we'll all be together.

I mean, she was
so certain she was

going to be successful
and stay in Hollywood.

"And you're going to
come to California,

and you're going to--"
you know, and we're all

going to be together.

Kind of, "Keep the faith."


and get your man, wrapyour body in a coat of tan.

Keep young and beautiful
if you want to be loved.

You'll always have your way,if he likes you in a negligee.

Keep young and beautiful
if you want to be loved.


cumba, cumba, cumba,cumbanchero, a bongo, bongo,

bongo, bongocero.

- Desi came from a wealthyand bountiful Cuban family.

They had homes, farms,
horses, everything.

- My father was the
mayor of my hometown.

My uncle was the
chief of police.

We had the town pretty
well wrapped up.

- My father was born on March2nd, 1917, in Santiago, Cuba.

It was a very
aristocratic group.

My great grandfather, DesiderioAlberto Arnaz the first,

was a doctor who charged up SanJuan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt.

And my grandfather,
Desiderio the second,

was a doctor who was alsothe mayor of Santiago.

My grandmother was
Dolores de Acha.

They called her "Lolita."

She was one of 12 children.

And her father was
very big in rum.

- Desi was a very
musical person.

He was the most happy
person when he was

singing and with the guitar.

And so in later years.

Desi's father, he wanted hisson to be a doctor and that

was his thing.

But the revolution changedthe whole life of Desi.

[music playing]

Desi's father,
unfortunately, was

on the side of the government.

The revolution brought him down.

They burned Desi's home.

They put his father in prison.

And Desi and his mother
barely escaped alive.

The last thing his
father say to him

was, "Take care of your mother.

We will all get back
together again."

- We came to this
country and we didn't

have a cent in our pockets.

From cleaning canary cages, tothis night here in New York,

it's a long ways.

But I don't think there's anyother country in the world that

could give you that opportunity.

I want to say thank you.

Thank you, America.

Thank you.

- My grandfather
had enough clout

left to arrange for ascholarship with the Jesuits

so that his son could
finish high school.

Grandpa Arnaz's dream was alwaysfor his son to go to college

and to become a doctor.

Instead, dad bought a
$5 guitar and got a job

with a little Cuban dance bandcalled "The Siboney Septet."

They were playing at the
Roney Plaza in Miami.

And Xavier Cugat
saw him and gave him

his first really big break.

- I was with Cugat.

And even though he
didn't pay much money--

I had to steal buns and
celery at the Waldorf--

but I learned a hell of alot about the band business.

- Desi wanted to have his ownsound, his own individuality.

- I said, "Cugat, I got to quit.I gotta get my little band."

And he says, "You'll
die of hunger.

Nobody knows the rumba
in this country."

I said, "I'm dying of hungernow, so what's the difference?"

- He went back to Miami wherehis mother was and put together

a little rumba band.




Desi's father was a playboywhen he came to Miami.

He divorced his mother.

Desi felt very bad about it.

He had tried to keep
his family together.

After the divorce, Lolitacame to live with Desi.

- It was always importantto my father and my mother

to take care of the
rest of their families.

- Well, I came out
by Greyhound bus.

And she met me in fullmakeup, and took me right back

to the studio to have lunch.

And I walk into the
commissary at RKO,

and I mean, there at onetable was Katherine Hepburn,

and there was Cary Grant.

- She picked me up
at the downtown bus

station in Los Angeles.

And she was driving
a Buick convertible,

and she gave me the wildestride I've ever had in my life.

- And I had this big
conga drum with me.

Now, in Cuba, everybody lovesthe conga at carnival time,

particularly in my hometown.

It's like the Mardi
Gras in New Orleans.

Everybody from theisland comes to Santiago,

and they do the conga line.

It goes on for three days.

[music playing]

He himself, in 1940, at
the Conga Night Club,

he introduced the conga
from Cuba on Broadway.

- He was wonderful!

Desi Arnaz had one of the greatpersonalities of all time.

When he started pounding
those conga drums...

There was nobody like Desi.

- New York in those dayswas very innocent and very

exciting to be a part of.

The El Morocco, the
Stork Club Group--

your father was the
toast of the town.

- He was a Don Juan.

I think he loved to think allthe girls were mad for him.

And actually they were!

His problem was
getting rid of them.

- So while my father was doingfive shows a night in New York,

my mother was making fiveor six pictures a year

in Hollywood at RKO
as a contract player.

- Tell me, little boy, did youget whistle or a baseball bat

with that suit?

- I was very happy witheverything that went on at RKO.

Everything that they
gave me, I did happily.

Ooh, Ferdinand.

Come to mama.

- The other models are waiting.

Shall I send them in, too?

- No, no, you'd better
give this one the job

if she's that desperate.

- Oh, but I--

- Dismiss the others.

All right, take
your clothes off.

- Just a minute, Casanova.

I'm only offering you what youcan get through those straws.

- Lucy was very popular.

Very popular.

And she met lots of peoplegrowing up in Hollywood.

And I remember Mack
Grey in particular.

She went with Mack
for quite a long time.

And also Al Hall.

- Al Hall was a very prominentdirector at that time.

And she was associated withAl for at least five years.

And when she saw Desi...

That's what broke it up.

- I was doing "Too Many
Girls" in New York.

I mean, that was the
name of the play.

- Yes, yes.

The show was a great success.

And RKO bought the film rights.

- And we started
shooting at RKO.

Little did we know your motherwas going to own it one day,

and daddy.

But it was a sweet studio.

Everybody was happy.

Orson Welles was
shooting "Citizen Kane."

Charlie Laughton, Lupe Velez.

Irene Dunne was shooting
and "Joan of Paris"

with Michele Morgan.

And every stage, every
lot had some activity.

And when we did the bongonumber-- we, your father,

Desi and I--

Carole Lombard used to come overevery time there was a break.

She was attracted by
the sound of the bongos

because it was a
terrific arrangement.

You can imagine the excitement.

- Desi and myself
were rehearsing

"Too Many Girls" on a big soundstage and Lucille came on.

- And she came in with
a very lovely pair

of yellow slacks and a tansweater, and blonde hair--

she was a blonde then--

and those big
beautiful blue eyes.

And I said to the pianoplayer, I said, "Oh, man,

that's a hunk of woman!"

- Will someone please come?

There's a waiter
fainted out here.

- You realize she
had never married.

Her career had absorbed
her whole life.

She was now 30.

And when she saw Desi,
she just came home,

and she said, "That's it.

That's for me."

- I said, "Are you
doing anything tonight?"

I said if you don't have
anything to do tonight,

how would you like to do--

to learn how to do the rumba?

- It was a big
romance from day one.

They just took one look, andit was like instant kiss dolls,

you know, instant love.

- It was like that.

It was very exciting to watch.

- I can remember, I
have a picture of them

sitting at a table
for two near a window.

And I sent over word, "Goahead, come on and join us now."

And the word came back, well,never mind they were all

seated, they'd stay there.

And they stayed there
for the rest of the run.

It was really love
at fist sight.

- They were dating.

But he was also dating LanaTurner and Betty Grable.

Her competition was pretty good!

- She just told me she wasmadly in love with Desi.

And it was just
Desi, Desi, Desi.

- And then the picture was over.

Now he goes back to New York.

She found reasons
to be able to have--

RKO, to go back, do publicity.

She'd do anything theywanted, as long as it was back

in New York.

- I was working at theRoxy Theater in New York.

And she was in New
York, and she was

giving an interview about why wewere not going to get married.

I said, "This lady is
not going to come across

with this article
very good because I'd

marry you tomorrow."
She said, "Why?"

I says, "I want kids.

And I love you."

So we got married the next day.

- It didn't take long to do it.

And we got the call that theyhad eloped to Connecticut.

- All the women were mad forhim, but your mother got him.

[music playing] [SINGING]Now is the right time,

let's make it stay.

'Cause you're the
one that I pray for.

- He loved the whole
family thing, of course,

because he too was in
exile from his roots.

And here he walks
into a family scene.

This isn't just an
actress in Hollywood,

but she has a mother
and a grandfather

and sisters and
brothers and a home.

[music playing] [SINGING]Your name and mine

have been written in the stars,made for each other, like sun

and sky.

We'll have each
other as years go by.

We'll share together the
dreams that you and I

make for each other.

- I don't know but she,I think, loved Desi Arnaz

more than any famous
lovers in history.

There was a passionate
involvement between her

and this man that was so
deep that it scared me.

It was as if she could
not live without him.

She couldn't stand to be nearhim and not to touch him.

Oh, one night-- she adoredhis singing, his act.

Whenever they'd have a party,you wound up with a concert,

you know?
Desi's got to be on.

One night at the Desilu Ranch,they had a big barbecue.

And when finally we
finished the dinner

and sat down around the livingroom with the fire going,

Desi sits in his
chair with his guitar

and Lucy leaves the
room for a minute.

And when she came back,
she had a tray full

of little red votive
candle holders

with the candles all lit.

And she started putting
them around Desi

as if they were footlights.

And she just sat there
and looked at him.

She just worshipped this man.

[music playing]

Chatsworth was reallytheir ideal, their heaven,

Lucy and Desi's.

Everything about the place was--

now, they were so much in love.

This is their first home.

- It was the most hospitable,warm, happy house.

- Parties were always going on.

And he built little pavilionsand barbecues and things

that reminded him of Cuba.

- She was out in
that garden digging

and hoeing and raking thosevegetables and fruit every day.

She was a real earth woman.

[music playing]

- I never knew there were 10years of home movies of the two

of them together when theywere first married and living

in Chatsworth at the
place I was born.

And I was astoundedbecause in the later years,

those later years, when
I was seven and eight,

they didn't seem
real happy together.

But all of the sudden, therewas this footage of the two

of them snuggling and beingsilly and throwing snowballs

at each other and
dressing up in costume,

and doing things that
kids do, newlyweds do,

people with their first home.

The kinds of friends that theyhad from radio days and theater


- Oh, that's June
Havoc and Van Johnson

at Lucille Ball's beautifulranch outside of Reseda.

That was the most
beautiful swimming pool.

It was like an old swimminghole with a tree trunk,

with the diving board over it.

Was I ever that young?

- Well, one Sunday, I
guess, Lucy had said,

"Well, bring him out here.

Bring him and his girlfriendout here," you know?

So Benita and I, we foundour way out to Chatsworth.

And just as you can see, justhad a lovely, lovely time.

- Your father also was anenormous, wonderful cook.

And they would
have great parties

where he would make hisblack beans and rice and all

of those things, the Cubandishes that he would cook.

And the parties were
his prerogative.

I mean, he would plan them.He would invite.

He would do the cooking.

Of course, he was
visited constantly

by this crazy group of NewYorkers from the Conga Club.

[music playing]

- He was the star of
that house, you know.

The public went for
Lucy, of course.

But at home, Desi was the star.

He took over.

- Oh, I thought he
was so gorgeous.

He was so charming that,you know, he exuded warmth.

Those brown eyes and
that face and always

smiling, as opposed to Lucille,who didn't smile all the time.

She wasn't witty.

She didn't make bon mots.

She was a very serious woman.

- Lucy was always
very quiet, really.

She-- Lucy would make acomment every now and then,

but Desi took over.

- He had a way
about him, of coming

into a room, that was joyous.

He had a joy of
living about him.

- So they had this
idyllic place.

And they indulged
themselves with dogs.

And they had Cocker Spaniels.

- Oh, she loved puppies.

If it wasn't for
Desi, she'd have

had a yard full of
puppies, I think.

- They had a cow.

You've heard about her,the Duchess of Devonshire.

From a little calf,
it grew, and it grew,

and it grew into a big cow,where it was practically,

I think, attacking your father.

I mean, it was--

- She used to tell me thecow was in love with him.

- Absolutely in love with Desi.

- Come right into the bedroom.

- Yeah.

In love with him.

- And they loved
to have the family.

And it was always open house.

Wonderful times.

It was-- it's probably
the happiest time.

- When they were
newlyweds, my parents

were both under contract to RKO.

Who knew they would end upowning the studio one day?

- Danny, I don't
want the kind of hit

and miss marriage my mother had.

I know father was
good to her, but she

spent her whole life tryingto get him to settle down.


[SINGING] My mother told methere'd be days like this.

When the wind would
begin to blow and I

wouldn't know where to go.

She said the nightswould be so cold and dark

and I'd be all alone.

And every dream I
owned would blow away.

- I mean, this gal, you know,by that time she was Queen

of the B's.

But that looked like
it was about it.

- I was happy to do
anything that anybody

wanted me to do because Iwas learning all the time.

And I never complained.

I never thought it was betterif I said, "I won't do that.

That's beneath me."

I just wanted to be
in there and learning.

- OK, she's got what I want.


the barrel, we'll
have a barrel of fun.

- My mother worked
pretty much non-stop,

but my father was only castoccasionally and that was

usually as a Latin lover.

- Please, this is very
embarrassing to me.

- The studio heads
in those days were

very concerned if you had anaccent, from a foreign country


- Coffee!

- You're wrong,
again, sugar, it's--

- No, no, no, I
will not give up.

- Desi was afraid
of being typed--

of playing things
where they might

be degrading his nationality.

- I'm sick of just
being a taxi driver.

- You were no more cut outto be a taxi driver then

I am to be a butler, but
as long as you give away

the easy touches, we'llbe lucky to make a living.

- I never worry about finances.

- He had a concern abouthim being a little younger

than Lucy, that everybodywas looking at him because he

was younger and
because she was older

and maybe making more
money, which she was.

- When Japan bombed
Pearl Harbor,

my father rushed down to
enlist in the US Navy.

But he was turned down.

- They wouldn't draft himbecause he wasn't a citizen

exactly, exactly.

But he wanted his citizenship.

- So he did what he could.

He made patriotic films.

[music playing]

- Tell me, how is
it a Cuban hot foot

like you comes all
the way over here

to join the United States Navy?

- Well, the United Stateshelped to make Cuba free,

so I come here to free
the United States.

- I think you got
something there.

Get on board, sailor.

Aye-aye, sir.

[music playing - desi arnaz][SINGING] [singing in spanish]

What is your name, listen to me.

[singing in spanish]

- He was a sailor.

We were enlisted men.

And it was, in thosedays, a brave little piece

of casting to showanother piece of America,

this young fellow with anaccent and everything else.

- Desi was very
underrated as an actor.

I remember one, "Bataan,"he had a death scene,

which was more or less
kind of a classic.

It was so well done, yeah.

- Jitterbug kid, shaking
himself to death.

- Sarge.
- Lay still, boy.

Lay still.

- Si, Padre, si.

Yes, father, I remember,
I learned it by heart.

Just like you say it.

[singing in spanish]

- I confess that I have
sinned exceedingly.

- [speaking spanish]

- Thought, word, and deed.

- [speaking spanish]

- Through my fault.
- [speaking spanish]

- Through my fault.

- [speaking spanish]

- Through my most
grievous fault.

- During that war, they had whatthey called the Victory Caravan

Tour, where all the big
Hollywood stars would go

out and try and sell war bonds.

- I knew Desi and met himon the Victory Caravan.

And Desi was some
kind of character.

We were having so much
fun selling bonds.

We started in Washington.

And I never forget, Groucho gotin a cab with Mrs. Roosevelt.

And Charlotte Greenwood
stepped off the plane

and did the high kick, and henudged Mrs. Roosevelt, said,

"You could do that too ifyou put your mind to it."

Imagine saying this tothe First Lady, you know?

- The first picture
that I ever made

where I had any kind
of part, Damon Runyon

chose me for picture
called "The Big Street."

- I'm happy now, Pink.

I'm happy for the
first time in my life.

- She was wonderful in it,and she was very proud of it.

And that let me
know that she always

considered herself a seriousactress, not just a comedian.

- That did it, Pink.

Nobody can ever call me abroken down [inaudible] again.

[music playing]

- Now, he got me up thereas fast as he could.

And all this time, I'm dying.

My head's bobbing.
I'm dead.

My arms are hanging.

And he's saying, "Christ'ssake, what'd you eat for lunch?"

- Well, best picture ornot, it didn't make a dime

and RKO dropped her contract.

Luckily, though, she
signed on with MGM.

- Well, I don't mind
the band playing.

But if this crowd doesn'tstop shoving, I'll scream.

[dog barking]

My public.

- I'm sure mom took a
good look at herself.

And she said, "I'm 33 years old.

I'm just another
Hollywood blonde."

And she decided to
change her image.

[music playing]

- Well, she changed
her hair color anyway.

[music playing]

- Now don't you worry about me,I'm not falling for anyone...

Not until I see thewhites of their checkbook.

[knock on door]

- Maybe that's your rich guy.

- Maybe that's my poor guy.

- Maybe not a big-timeactress, at least Hollywood was

beginning to call my mother,
"That Crazy Redhead."

- Lucille Ball!

- Unfortunately, Hollywoodwasn't calling my father

at all.

But when the army did andhis citizenship finally

came through, he answered.

[music playing]

- This separation
was about to create

one more casualty of the war.

[music playing]

[music playing, "without you"][SINGING] I'm so lonely

and blue when I'm without you.

I don't know what I'd do,sweetheart, without you.

The joy and tears
that love endears

would have no
meaning if I didn't

have you to keep me dreaming.

- I think the only
time they ever

wrote love letters
to one another

was during that separation.

And my mother saved
every single one of 'em.

"Lucy, sweetheart,
you have no idea

how happy you've made me,really and fully happy.

You're a wonderful
baby and I adore you.

I don't mistrust you, baby.

But I am jealous.

I can't deny that.

Bye, Desi."

"My baby, you called
about an hour or so ago.

I'm kind of lonesometonight, kind of lost again.

Desi, darling, please
don't worry about me.

Believe me, I wouldn't doanything to make you unhappy.

If you are going to do theright thing as conscienciously

as I am, we have
nothing to worry about.

Please believe that.

All my love, forever
and ever, your wife."

- That was a tough time for themmarriage-wise, too, wasn't it?

- I don't know.

Because I don't remembera time that wasn't tough.

By that I mean that hisindiscretions were always


- He fooled around withother ladies, apparently.

And he'd tell me
till his dying day

that he didn't fool aroundthe way they said he did,

that they made a bigger thingout of some of his flirtations

than what was really going on.

- A lot of ladies kind ofthrew themselves at him,

and men are men, or at
least Latins are Latins.

And he succumbed to some
of these little affairs.

- She told me the first timewhen she knew that he was

somewhere that she
wished he weren't.

She told me that the firsttime, it was very bad for her.

- But he had never had anintention of hurting her.

He never wanted to hurt
her, and did constantly.

- When they were together,Desi and Lucy, they

loved each other very much.

The problem was Desi
was a playboy, you know,

and the separation.

That was the beginning ofthe heartbroken, you know>

- In 1944, Grandpa Hunt, the manmy mother called daddy, died.

Shortly after that, shedecided to file for divorce.

- I'll tell you how
charming he was.

She was on her way to file fordivorce in court one morning

and she stopped off at thehotel room where he was staying

and she never got to court.


senorita, I know that youwould like to chicaboom, chic.

Because it's a dance
of Latin romance.

And Cuban Pete doesn't teach youin a hurry like Arthur Murray.

You're now in Havana, andthere's always manana.

So senorita, please--

- When dad came
home from the army,

he was happy to see that nothingin Chatsworth had changed.

Unfortunately, that was trueof his movie career, as well.

- He felt he reallybelonged in the nightclubs,

where he really enjoyedhimself, as you could see.

- Desi called me
from Los Angeles.

He said, "I am getting outthe army in a few months

and I'm going to
form my orchestra.

And, of course, I want
you to be my music

director and arranger."

We go to open at the CopacabanaClub up New York City.

That was in 1946.

And from there, I stay withDesi throughout all his tours,

throughout the preparationof the "I Love Lucy" show.

- At that time, there areonly two great Latin bands

in the country:
Cugat, and your dad.

And he'd get out
with those drums

and he'd go across thestage, into the audience,

and everything else, and get infront of a good looking woman

and beat the drums like
crazy and sing "Babalu."


Babalu, Babalu, ah,
hey, Babalu, ah, hey.

[singing in spanish]

- He did have a different band.

The girls liked him.

The women liked him.


[singing in spanish]

Because he needed
the bookings, he

would put up with a lot ofone-nighters, one-night stands

that were tougher than hell.


[singing in spanish]

And my job was to handle
all the payroll and all

the transportation, and
then take care of him

at night because we were uphalf the night, you know,

boozing or whatever.

We'd get to Las Vegas, Ithink we were there two weeks,

and the first week,
I made the payroll.

The second week, he
gambled it all away.

- My father was on
the road and my mother

was making another picture,"Sorrowful Jones," which

was the first picture thatshe made with Bob Hope.

[music playing] [SINGING] Iwon't sleep a wink tonight.

- You're off key, like always.

- Lucy had been
back here working.

And it's pretty hard to keep amarriage together by telephone.

- And it brought the problemsthat they have of fighting.

And sometimes she used tocall, and he wasn't there,

he was fooling around someplace else and things like that,

and it was an argument.

- She certainly built
up a wall against it.

I guess repetition.

And then she didn't say itso vulnerably after a while.

And she would say, "Oh,
he's with another dame."

- Oh, Andrew, if
you're tired of me

and you want to find excitementsomeplace else, just say so.

- Oh, now, Clara, let's notstart all that over again.

I tell you, I've been working.

- There was a lot of
stress in the marriage,

and I think my father thoughtit might be wise to spend

a little time with the wife.

She was doing 22
weeks of summer stock

in this play called
"Dream Girl."

And so dad started to make plansfor this romantic rendezvous.

- And she was in
Detroit, and Desi

decided that he wanted tofly to Detroit to see her

and that we would send a bandin the bus we had chartered

to our next opening.

So I chartered a plane.

And we go to the airport,driving thunderstorm.

We get in this little plane.

We finally do get to Detroit.

But the bus takes off with theseguys and rear ends a truck.

And one of the guys
lost an eye, and they

had broke legs and arms.

And the seat that's sittingup front next to the driver,

where Desi and I
used to sit, always,

and those are the onesthat really got clobbered.

So either Desi or me
or both barely missed.

- This crash was
like a wake-up call,

and I think they both knew thatthey had to try a whole lot

harder if they were goingto make this marriage work.

And for starters,
my mother wanted

to find a way to get
my father to stay home.

- Lucy called me up, and we justlost Stan Kenton and the band.

You know, they went somewhere.And we had an opening.

So Lucy called me and
said, "Put Desi on."

I said, "All right."Put Desi and his band on.

You were on for two
years, weren't you?

- Yeah.

- And the writers
would give Desi a line,

and he'd walk up to
the thing and spit

all over the microphone andthe guacamole would fall out.

- He wasn't kidding.

I didn't even-- not onlycouldn't I say them well,

I didn't understand the jokes.

- Desi stayed in Hollywoodand didn't go on the road,

to be with Lucy.

- My parents were actuallymarried to each other twice.

The second time was
in the Catholic church

because they were
trying to have children,

and I think my father's
mother convinced them

that the reason they didn'twas because they weren't

married in the eyes of God.


"FOREVER DARLING"][SINGING] Forever darling,

while other hearts go wandering,you'll find mine as faithful

as can be.

Forever, forever, my darling.

I'll be your true love
forever and forever.

I'll care for you
eternally, eternally.

I've known your kiss andI've been close to heaven.

The thrill of this will lastme till my life is through.

I made this promise
and willingly

I'll keep it, forever, forever,darling, you will find me true.

Forever and ever, forever,forever, forever, darling, you

will find me true.

- Shortly after that, my motheractually did get pregnant.

It really was a new beginning.


for just a chance to love you,would I love you, love you,

love you.

- She adored this
husband of hers

so much that she
wanted this cementing

fact of a child of theirs.


as there's a moon above you--

- I think she felt thatwhen the children arrived,

it would be better.

- The children would notarrive for another two years.

She lost the first baby andit really broke her heart.

- Lucille had a number
of miscarriages.

And when I had a
miscarriage once--

I was in Cedars of
Lebanon Hospital--

Lucille, who'd had enoughof her own to feel for me,

came to the hospital.

She didn't knock on the door.

She opened the door.

She didn't say hello.

She never said goodbye.

And she came in fullyclothed and did a striptease.

And I will tell you, I
laughed the first time

I had laughed
since the disaster.

She was so wonderful.

- Being pregnant was the mostimportant thing in her life.

- And your mother
always had sort

of a fantasy thing aboutfamilies and grandmothers

and all of that.

The dream.

- Lucy and Desi were
married, and two mothers

were always with them.

I mean, there
couldn't have been two

more opposite personalities,background, you know?

Lolita came from a veryprivileged level of society

in Cuba, where of
course help, I mean,

you have help by the dozensand never lifted a finger.

- Lolita was so
very much the lady.

Very, very standoffish.

- This was such a
lonely, solitary soul.

She was indifferent to
the world around her.

Her world was her
bed and her bathroom.

Desi, who loved his
mother very much,

often went weeks
without even seeing her.

She wasn't much fun to visit.

- DeDe was the commander.

Everything revolved around DeDe.

She was the driving force.

And Lucy assumed-- Lucy
took on that trait.

- DeDe wasn't afraid
of anybody or anything.

She was a character.

Right up until a few
months before she died,

she wore hot pants.

She was honest, she
was straightforward,

and she never hesitated
to call it like it was.

- Desi was never close to DeDe.

In our moments of
quiet together,

DeDe would say to me,
"Oh, that damn spic."

He was good to her.

He supported her in style.

But she never liked him.

She tolerated him.

- Did Desi ever talk about hisrelationship with his father?

- There was a certain
egotism in Dr. Arnaz.

He wouldn't let Desi
have the last word.

And I think Desi felt for him.

This man came from
everything to nothing.

He sort of took care of poppa.

- These were people tryingdesperately to be a family.

And there are no perfect
families out there.

There aren't.

And the fact that
we are haunted,

you know, by the
Donna Reed shows

and "Father Knows
Best" is not a reason

to expect that your family islike that because nobody's is.

[music playing]

- Hey, Pete, I took
a message for you.

Your wife called.

She said she'd meet
you at the same place,

and she said, "Love."

- By 1950, my mother hadmade more than 60 movies.

She was usually playing thegirl who didn't get the guy,

but still, she attracted
lots of attention.

- "Love."

- Whenever you went
anywhere, people just

tended to go to Lucy, andhe would be off to the side.

I imagine that was very
difficult for a man who

had been up to bat
and succeeded before,

and seeing his name
first in lights,

being sort of disregarded.

- You know, I think if itwouldn't have been for Lucy,

I would have stopped
trying a long time ago

because I was always
the guy that didn't fit.

- I always had
claimed that "I Love

Lucy" was born in my den in myhouse, though not literally.

But that's when the
thinking about it began.

We'd all talk
about, what can they

do to get their lives as onebecause they're so separated.

The two careers was divergent.

- We'd been married nine
years and been together

a year and two months, if that.

You can't have
children that way.

You cannot have
them by telephone.

- Is that right?
- That's right.

- Yes, it's the new
gay family series

starring Lucille Ball withRichard Denning as Liz

and George Cooper.

- She was doing a radio showcalled, "My Favorite Husband."

- If I were you, I'd divorce me.

- Well, not until we
get a television set.

I want custody of it.

- And CBS wanted to
adapt it to television.

- And when I was asked
to do television,

it was news to everyone, thenetworks and people in general.

And the studios frowned upon it.

- Some stars
basically have always

tried to stay away
from television.

Lucy, certainly-- no agentwould let her go into television

if she were a star that time.

Things had faded and faded.

- And she says, "I'd do itif Desi plays the husband."

- No one wanted him to play myhusband because he was Cuban,

and they wanted a
real American couple.

- So I says, look, they don'tthink we should work together.

- So we went out by
ourselves in vaudeville

to prove that the
audiences would buy it.

- I said, "Let's try it.

The next time I go with theband on tour, you come with me,

and we'll do a couple
of numbers together."

And I had a very dear friend ofmine, Pepito the Spanish clown,

he gave her a couple
of clown bits.

She did the clown bits.

She did Cuban Pete
with me in which

she sang, "They
call me Sally Sweet,

I'm the queen of DelancyStreet," and boom, boom, boom,

and knocked my hat
off of my head.

And the audience,
throughout the country,

they love us being together.

So I said, "Well,
now, I don't care

what the networks, the
agency, or anybody says.

If those folks there
likes us, that's it."

So then we started
working on the pilot.

And the pilot was 80% ofwhat we'd done on the stage.

- And their next
production was 100%

of what they were
doing off the stage.

- I was in my dressing
room at the Roxy,

and he was in his dressingroom taking a nap.

And I had had the so-calledrabbit test, or whatever

they call it, on Friday.

And we had our radios on.

And in those days, everybodylistened to Winchell.

And Winchell came on
and said I was pregnant.

And he had heard
it on his radio.

We met in the hall.

And just said, "If he saysit, it's got to be true!"

[baby cooing]

- I'm pretty good with babies.

How would you like to
have me for a mother?


[baby cooing] Blech.

- We did the "I Love Lucy"pilot during the last season

on the radio and she was sixmonths pregnant at the time.

And we had to rush
to get it done.

[music playing]

- We just had our little homein the San Fernando Valley,

and we had no intention
of going to New York.

She said, "Who's
going to New York?"

So the sponsor said, "Well,you can't do it in California

because all we got
here is the kinescope."

I said, "Well, why
don't we do it on film?

And then everybody will
get the same quality."

- Then we find out
you couldn't use film

unless you shot in a studio.

- But then CBS came in, andsaid, "Well, Lucy works better

in front of an audience."

And they would right,
she does work better

in front of an audience.

- Now, that was impossiblebecause you cannot,

you could not bring an
audience into a studio.

- So, you know me,
out of left field,

ignorance is a blessing
at times, I said, "Well,

why don't we do it on filmin front of an audience?"

And they said, "What is that?"

Well, I said it so I
figured I better say

it like if I knew what I said.

I said, "Film in
front of an audience."

"Do you know how to do that?"

I said, "Sure!"

I didn't have the slightestidea what I was doing.

- He just did it all.

He built the whole
thing, and saw

that everything that we wantedin the innovative department

got done.

- You can imagine a guy inthe early days of television,

when everything was kinescope,he insisted on having film.

And he had probably the best,one of the best cameramen

the history of
movies, Karl Freund.

- I did figure that, you know,you do it with three cameras,

like you're doing now--
they're electronic--

why couldn't you put threemotion picture cameras,

and do it?

And that's how it began,
out of an accident.

- And it became great,because of the preservation

that was able, with the film,instead of the kinescope.

Kinescope doesn't last.

You couldn't have had reruns.

You could have had nothingpreserved if everything

had gone on being on kinescope.

- That's why it's still
being shown today.

And Desi Arnaz was
just a naturally

astute and far-sighted
business man.

- And in those days, I believeroughly each episode with film

cost about $5,000 or
$6,000 an episode,

more over and above the other.

So Phillip Morris
said, "Well, who's

going to pay that extra $5,000?

We're not."

And CBS says, "Well, we're not."

And the story goes, Desisays, "Tell you what, amigos.

Lucy and I will put up the$5,000, but on one condition."


"We own the films."

"Good, you got them," CBS said.

- Desi obviously
had the foresight

to see what this
would mean, and when

he was given the opportunityof owning the films,

he said, "Yes, I definitelywant to own the films."

And he wanted to set uphis own production company.

And that was really a first.

And it led to all
kinds of things

because we created
a separate company,

a separate corporate entitycalled Desilu Productions.

- "It's Desi Arnaz with
your tropical trip."

- You know, ladies
and gentlemen,

I've always had a great ambitionto sing a song on the radio

to my daughter.

And we're going to make a recordof it, and when she grows up,

I'll play it for her.

And that way, she'll
have definite proof

that her old man sang and thatthere was a thing called radio.

So here it is, especiallywritten for Lucy Desiree Arnaz,

by her father and Eddie Maxwell.

I hope you're listening to this.


OUR HOUSE"] [SINGING] There'sa brand new baby at our house,

the nicest little
gift we've ever had.

She's a precious sugar
plum and a blessing

to her mommy and dad.

There's a brand new
baby at our house,

and though she's been there justa little while, in the parlor,

in the hall, every pictureon the wall wears a smile.

- She deeply, deeply
loved her children

and wanted them desperately.

And your arrival was one ofthe-- probably the highlight

in her life.
- I had them very late.

My first child
was when I was 39.

And I was so happy to have themthat I was afraid that I would

spoil the hell out of them.

- She tells me she waited10 years to have a child.

She wanted to have
a baby so much.

I was born in 1951,
and a month later they

started the "I Love Lucy" show.

- We had more fun
on the set than we

can look forward to at anyparty in the evening, you know?

It look liked it.

- Sometimes we'd say, "We'vehad so much fun today,

we don't want to
go out tonight."

- And then the people thatworked with us, you know,

Fred and Ethel, they
were just sensational.

- I think Lucy andVivian were like sisters.

They got on each other's nervesand they adored each other.

- Someone heard
about a young lady

who was going to be in
La Hoya doing a play.

So they called me back afterthe first act of "Voice

of the Turtle" and said,
"Lucy, sight unseen,

take our word for it,
this girl is wonderful."

I said, "That's all
I want to hear."

We fell in love with
the first rehearsal.

She was something.

- No one wanted Bill
Frawley to play Fred.

The networks didn't want him,the agencies didn't want him.

They said he hadn't done
anything in a long time.

He had a drinking problem.

And the more they kept
knocking him down,

the more I thought he
was right for the part.

- He was exactly the
way he was written.

He cared more about
baseball and the fights

than he did about anything.

If this work interfered,
the hell with the work,

he wasn't there.

- And he was one of the mostloved characters in the series,


No place we went in the country,everybody said, where's Fred?

How's Fred?

- Everybody was enthusiastic.

Everybody was working together.

And it was fun.

- And the only reason they didthe show was to stay together.

So they went at it for allthe right reasons originally.


We thank the Lord,

whose love and wondrouspowers gave us that brand new,

brand new, baby of ours.


- Ed Sullivan is going todo the whole show about us.

- Wow!

- These are two
people who sought

to attain the highest
you could possibly

attain in this business.

- Are you nervous?
- Nervous?

Ha, ha!

Why should I be nervous?

Are you nervous?

- No.

- No.


- I'll get it!

- They fought very hard to getto the top and they made it.

[music playing]

- Suddenly, it had taken over.

It was a huge hit,
probably the first year,

and they were going to theater.

And as they walked in, alittle bit before curtain time,

he said people
started applauding.

And he looked around and
he said, 'Somebody big

must have come in."

And they looked around
and it was for them,

and they had no idea.They couldn't believe it.

- At its peak, "I Love Lucy" isin something like 60 countries.

- These are two people
who brought so much joy

to so many people.

And I hear it
constantly, constantly.

- If you ever looked at themail that we got thereafter,

thousands of letters from womensaying, you saved my marriage,

thousands of letters from mensaying, you saved my marriage.

It's a love match on the show.

I don't care what
anybody else says,

you cannot fake that
inherently on the air.

- Two years into "I
Love Lucy," my mother

discovered that she was pregnantagain, with my brother, Desi.

- And I said, "What
do we do now?"

And we all sat down.

And Desi said, "How abouthaving the baby on the show?"

- Do you believe they
won't let us do it?

They said, "Well, can youhide it or behind high chairs,

or sitting down at a table?"

I said, "Not Lucy."

When she gets pregnant, brother,there's no question about it.

You couldn't even say theword "pregnant" in those days.

- Right.

- I had to say "expecting."

It was better for me to
use 'specting anyway,

as you can tell.

- Well, it was going
to be a cesarean.

Time to go inside with the birthof Little Ricky on the show.

So the dad and I paced thefloor outside the delivery room.

And all the sudden, we hearLucy say, "It's a boy!"

He just literally
jumped for joy.


OUR HOUSE"] [SINGING] There'sa brand new baby at our house.

- I mean, he knocked theinauguration of President

Eisenhower off the front pages.

16 years later,
President Eisenhower

was standing outside the
El Dorado Country Club,

and he said, "Is
that the young man

that knocked me off
the front pages?"

[music playing]

For years, people
would run up to Desi

and say, "Would you pleasesign, Little Ricky?"

And that didn't set too wellwhen he was oh, eight, nine,


- They used to say, like,"You're Little Ricky."

And I would go, "No, I'm not."

And so, my whole life was aboutsaying to people, "No, I'm

not who you think I am."

They used to say,
"You're different."

And I used to go, "No, I'm not.

We're just kids."


Whenever old man trouble
makes trouble arise,

just pull that big straw
hat over your eyes.

You'll never see
the circumstance

making you frown, if you justpush your eyes under the crown.

- My most vivid recollectionsof both you and your brother

are when you were
at the picnics.

- We all had marvelous times.

It meant a great deal, youknow, to the employees there.

- All of the little kids
would have their picture

taken with Lucy and/or Desi.

And we had softball games.

And they were really
family picnics.

And you and your brotherand your grandmother, and we

were all like one big family.

And then after a while,
unfortunately, that's

when they gave up
on it because it

was just too much work andtime became much more valuable.

- Are you now, or have
you ever been a member

of the Communist Party?

- The McCarthy era was
a disgraceful chapter

in the history of this country.

And to have-- associate herwith it, was just ridiculous.

- There was a blind item inWalter Winchell's column that

said, "What top TV red-hairedcomedienne is a card carrying


- I certainly didn't
think it was me.

And the phone rang, and Desisaid, "Expect some people

about 1:00."

This was 9.

I said, "What, are
you giving a party?"

And he said, "No, honey.

You're in trouble."

- Well, I'll never forgetthat as long as I live.

It was 72 hours without sleep.

- Desi told me the storyabout Lucy's grandfather, who

had raised her.

He was a socialist.

And he used to bang on
us all the time about,

you know, you gotta
register communist

and you gotta register--

- So they went down andregistered and that was it.

And of course it all
backfired years later.

- But it was one of thosedreadful and untrue vicious


Many, many of my friends inradio never worked again.

- It created a problem
with me because I

got fired from Lockheed
Aircraft because of it.

- There were editorials, andby God, there were letters

by the thousands that came.

And we got wires all day long.

- Supporting her.

- Yeah, oh, yeah, absolutely.

"If she's a Red, I'm
going to Russia."

- Well, one of the funniestthings that happened was that,

you remember Larry Parks hadjust before that actually been

dragged up before the HouseUn-American Activities,

and very definitely associatedwith a communist group

or whatever they found
him to be guilty of.

And so he was blacklisted,absolutely blacklisted.

And when this thing hit, wewere all out at the ranch.

And phones were ringing.

And there's a knock
on the door, and she

goes to open the frontdoor, and it's Larry Parks.

And if there was anyone shedidn't need at that moment

to come into her life andconsole her, it was Larry.

She said, "Oh, God, Larry,I love you, but go away."

- They had this famous pressconference before the show

one night.

And Desi told the story aboutthe grandfather and everything


- She didn't even know whothe mayor of Los Angeles was.

- How did you get the--

- The only thing red
about her was her hair.

And even that was
not legitimate.

- The whole thing blew
over just like that.

If the House Un-AmericanActivities Committee really

clamped down on Lucy, she'dbeen out of the business really.

She'd been out of the business.


We're just going
along as we please.

Breezing along--

- So they breezed right alongthrough television, straight

into the movies.

And they had another
big hit, that's

the "Long, Long Trailer."

- Ricky!

- [SINGING] First
you dice the carrots,

slice the onions,
chop the peppers fine.

Then you sift the flour, grindthe meat, and salt and pepper

freely.Then you add some garlic.

Oh, not too much now.

Yes, the soup's on.

- Occasionally, she would havethoughts about the script,

some doubts.

- And she would say,
"This doesn't work."

- And Desi would say,"Now, honey, everything's

going to be fine."

And he said that, that
was good enough for her.

- Lucy had told me
many, many times

what a genius Desi was whenit came to the use of props.

It's a rare talent.

- Because he had a
great sense of comedy,

his wife did not have.

Lucy didn't know what wasfunny and thought that.

When she did, it was the
greatest in the world.

- What's the matter,
honey, can't you sleep.

- We've been crying
his name for years,

give him credit for comedy,and the organization,

for everything.

- But he never lost
sight of the fact

that Lucy was the
big, big talent.

His wife.

And once, we were backstagetalking, and Lucy was nearby,

and the cables were out there.

And Lucy started to walk
and tripped on a cable.

And when Desi saw her, he quickgrabbed us by the shoulders,

and said, "Amigos,
anything happens to her,

we're all in the
shrimp business."

- Desi already was a star ineverybody else's mind except

Desi Arnaz's.

- "Time Magazine"
asked me one time,

if you had to split thepercentage of the success of "I

Love Lucy" between yourself, andthe actors, and the actresses,

and the writers,
how would you do it?

Who would you give the credit?

I said, well, give Lucy 90%and split the rest between us.

- Lucy and Desi were the twofunniest most wonderful people

when they were playing theRicardo's And they still

have the world's most
loved television show.

Probably never go off the air.

And yet, it wasn't all there is.

[music playing]

- They always went to Del Marevery summer and Desi loved it.

- They rented a house
up the beach from us.

- You could go out and
swim in the morning

and get dressed for
the races by 2 o'clock.

- He would bet very heavily,always at the big $100 windows.

And she would have bet onevery horse in the race.

- And I remember, we usedto sit with Jimmy Durante.

And one of the
things I can remember

is how big his nose was.

- And I would always
go down to the beach

where Desi and
Jimmy were fishing.

- They were very,
very good friends.

- You remember the one day?

We were playing on the beachin Del Mar, and mother--

- Our mom.

- She said-- she said, you know,something about get those kids.

And they were arguing
about the fact

that he's not speaking
Spanish to us.

That's all we knew, was
that we were dragged off

of the beach in themiddle of a beautiful day

and shoved into the shade.

And dad went into the kitchen,

and came back out
with butter and bread,

and he sat down at
this little table.

And we're sitting therelike, at this little table.

We were like four and five.

And he took off his shoe andhe said, [speaking spanish],,

Say it, [speaking spanish].

- Do I have to really
say it right now"

- Yes.

- God, "shoe."

- And then he picked up
the butter, and he said,

[speaking spanish].

Say it, [speaking spanish].

And then he picked up the breadand went [speaking spanish],,

say it.
- [speaking spanish]

- [speaking spanish]
[speaking spanish]

[speaking spanish]
[speaking spanish]

- [speaking spanish]
- Now go play.

- Go play.
- And that was it.

And we never had another lesson.

- Palm Springs was a
very valuable getaway

for both Lucy and Desi.

For Desi, particularly,because of the club and golf.

- We had three beautiful homes.

We had expensive vacations.

My parents' success
brought us a lifestyle

that most people
can only dream of.

- When Desi was around,there was a lot more money,

it seemed like.

There were big parties.

- At all of our parties,there were costume parties.

We were doctors, Indians--

- Cowboys.

- Cowboys, nurses.

- Right.

- I was a King a
lot of the time.

- They'd get props andset pieces from the studio

so it would really look likea town in the background.

- Like streets, or
like it was a carnival.

And we were, we could beclowns or stuff like that.

- A real little
Ferris wheel they had.

- Oh, yeah.

- I never got the sense thatthis was a normal household.

- I will never forget driving infront of your house on Roxbury.

Your mother was
standing in the doorway.

She had on slacks.

It was sort of the
"King and I" blue color,

a pink fuzzy sweater on,
with the orange hair.

And it was exactly
like when I was

a kid, when I'd see
movie magazines, when

it would say, "A visit
with Lucille Ball,"

standing at the door.

My dear, I thought I'd
died and gone to heaven.

- Lucy, in my childhood, wasvery, very, in that respect,

growing up in that
home, very public.

- It's like when
you grow up and you

have people rapping onyour door 27 times a day,

is that a fair number?

You know, saying, is
she home, are they home,

pulling the grass
out of your lawn.

- But the interestingthing was that mom and dad

could have lived in other
areas in Beverly Hills

where it was secluded.

- When I first
came to California,

your mother wanted
me to live there

at the house, which I wascertainly thrilled to do.

I mean, the next door
neighbor is Jack Benny.

- Oh, I got to tell
you about Jack Benny.

He came over one
night at dinner time--

- I swear to you, we're
sitting there eating.

Jack Benny comes in,
playing the violin.

- Just walked around the tablethree times, never said a word.

- He didn't say, Is
this funny, forget it?"


We heard him go all the wayhome, da, da, da, da, da.

I thought, "This is reallya miracle here I'm living."

- Another thing that
my Aunt Lucy did was,

much to my mother's horror, shetook me into her own at-home

beauty salon and proceededto give me a permanent.

I think at that time
I was about three.

I remember sitting in that tallchair with the drape around me,

and my aunt was--
and she took hours.

And she was really into it,just doing me up, and styling it


- I will always remember shewould always fool with my hair.

And she said, "You know,if I hadn't been in movies,

I would've been a beautician."

We'd have to go out
to the back house.

She had a little
beauty shop set up.

And my dear, she
almost ruined my hair.

She would do permanents when Ishouldn't have had a permanent.

But again, I justcouldn't tell Lucille Ball

to go get herself a job.

I just sat there like a dummy,and let her ruin my hair.

- Well, I remember
she would sit me down,

and she'd be sitting
in a chair like this,

and the cast would be
sitting around her.

She'd put me down on the
floor and comb my hair.

And she would-- just to havesomething to do with her hands

while she was reading.

And she'd say, If I justhad a shampoo bowl in here,

I'd wash it."

- I remember playing Monopolywith your mother in the living


You know that swag lamp,
that ugly swag lamp?

- Which if you get a chanceto go to Universal Studios,

the lamp is sitting over
her backgammon table.

And if you notice, there'sa funny little thing

on the bottom of the lamp.

- I personally am embarrassedby it being there.

I think, in fact, Ithink at one time, Earl--

remember Earl the handy man?

- He was a character.

And when she got into
playing backgammon,

she had him make all
the backgammon tables.

And then she had a
spotlight up above.

And her objection
was the spotlight,

not only was it
shining on the table,

it was also shining in her eyes.

And she asked Earl, shesaid, "Earl, come in here,

I have a problem."

So Earl would go in, and shesays, "Well, this light is also

shining in my eyes.

Do you think you could
do anything about it?"

So Earl would grunt, and say,"Well, let me think about it."

And so the next day, he
had it all figured out.

- You know what he had done?

He'd painted a coffee can goldand put it up in the light.

Didn't bother her at all.

I don't know if
she ever noticed.

She just knew the
light was just swell.

A coffee can in Lucille
Ball's home, my dear.

She owned the world.

- It served its purpose.

And she was a very
practical person.

- Desi, isn't this beautiful?

This is a brand new 1960Westinghouse refrigerator.

- You broke it!

Refrigerators don't
open in the middle.

Do something!

- Well, oh, what happened,what happened, what's that?

- My parents had becomeAmerica's best known and most

admired married couple.

They both worked very hardto promote their image.

- She worked very hard.

And she was willing to workjust like, going all the time,

loved rehearsals.

- If you want something done,ask a busy person to do it,

because the more you
do, the more you can do.

And don't you forget it!

- Desi just seemed to
run the studio with one

hand and the show with another.

I don't know how he did it.

We used to call
him "The Cuban Arm"

because he could charm you.

And then he'd come up,
put his arm around you,

and he'd call you "amigo."

- They were there very early.

And then of course he wasrunning back and forth

from the set, you know,
juggling the business.

And the pressure was building.

- They were never
really as happy

with any of the rest ofit, any of the trappings,

and the houses, and
the kids, as they

were when they were at work.

- And to spend the
time in their careers

that Lucy and Desi had tospend to do it successfully,

they had to take some
time away from the kids.

And they were raised
by the servants.

- Willie Mae Barker
was her name.

And she was another woman inmy life, as well as my mother,

and my grandmother, DeDe.

- Well, she had DeDe
to take care of you.

And that's as good as her,Lucille, taking care of you,

in her mind.

And now that may not
be right, but she

didn't think it was wrong.

She really didn't.

- I really feel
that Lucille just

didn't have the tools tolearn to mother or to nurture.

They just weren't there for her.

I think Lucille had to
be an adult as a child,

just had to take over.

Because DeDe was always working.

- I never learned to havea playful relationship

with my mother because
we were always too busy.

- In that respect, I neversaw your mother play with you.

I didn't.

She would say I
love you and that,

but I never saw
her play with you.

- I remember your
mother being very

"on" when people were around.

And then when people werenot around, being very "off."

It was like your mom
had an on/off switch.

- I like discipline in children.

I like to be able to havethe children likeable so

that other people
will like them.

- Yeah.

- You know, I don't want alittle brat running around.

It's bad enough what they do.

- If she wasn't in controlthen she was pretty unhappy.

- She was always so busy makingsure everything was right.

But she wanted you all tobe, everything to be perfect.

I think your daddy alwaysimpressed me as he knew you

weren't, and he wasn't.

He was more outwardly

- He was working all the time.

But when he came home, hewould do stuff with us.

- My father had this
amazing sense of wonder

at the miracle of nature.

And he'd just take your hand andwalk you around and say things

to you about, you
know, isn't that--

"Look at that sunset.

God really outdid
himself tonight."

You know?

And Lucy and I would sitthere, looking at, like, "wow."

And he'd instill
in us this sense

that there was something
about this life that

was worth living.

- When my mother came home,she would still be working.

Do you know what I'm saying?

She would still be working.

I have to fight every day in mylife not to go home to my kids

and be there physically
but not be there.

I'm still on the phone.

I'm still cleaning silver.

I'm still cleaning a closet.

I'm not-- "Hello, Mom,you've been gone all day.

Could we just sit downand color or go outside?"

It was really hard
for her to be there.

- In ways, I feel
sort of sorry for her

because I feel that she
never let herself go.

She never let
herself love you kids

the way she could of, ormaybe even love Desi the way

she could have.

- Lucille Ball envisioneda white picket fence.

And I think indeed believedthat, that fantasy.

She did not live it.

But in her mind, her interviewswere always about the family,

"my children come first,
work is down the line."

It is my belief that LucilleBall's first love was her work.

- The best time is when you'reworking and you're happy.

And we really had a ball.

- I think there are a lotof parents that can be gone

and when they come back
they're really there.

They're really connected
with their kids.

And I just think
that these two people

had enough problems of theirown, for various reasons,

that they needed that work.

- In our first movie
for MGM, "The Long,

Long Trailer," we
had a lot of fun.

But we had even more funmaking "Forever Darling."

- Movies, television
shows, commercials.

My dad managed all of
my parents' projects.

And he co-starred every
week in "I Love Lucy."

And he also ran Desilu
Studios on top of it.

- He also took enormous risks.

I mean, when you stop and thinkthat he went and bought RKO

during a break in the show,that's what we were doing.

- $6 million cash.

That was the deal.

My heavens, after havingstarted at RKO at $75 a week,

now she owns the studio.

- As a matter of fact, wedecided to sell "I Love Lucy"

back shortly before that.

- We had used that reasoning injustifying the sale of the "I

Love Lucy" shows back to CBS.

We sold all right, title,and interest to them.

- Why did you do that?

- I told you, right
or wrong, Lucy,

that was the decision we made.

- And people have
looked back now

and said, look at all themoney that CBS has made.

But they forget, I think,or overlook is that--

- We extrapolated out
the number of shows

that would have to be soldin markets untold to come up

to net the company, and Lucy,and Desi, the amount of money

that CBS was willing to pay.

There was no market.

Who ever thought this
would have happened?

- There was really no waythat Lucy and Desi, or Desilu

Productions, could
have distributed

those films because thedistribution rights belonged

to CBS.

- As it turns out,
it was probably

the worst deal ever made.

- But it was the proceeds fromthe sale of the "I Love Lucy"

films that gave Desi
the idea that he

was interested inacquiring a major studio.

- And he built a dynasty.

I mean, just...

he had 16 shows on the air.

We owned three studios,
and Desi did it all.

All I did was have
babies and do the show.

And loved every minute of it!

- But at one time
or another, you

had many, many big stars
working for Desilu.

- Yeah, mainly I had Lucy.

- Yeah.

- That was quite a bit of it.

- Yeah, but off of that--

- No matter how hard he workedor what a great businessman

he was, she was the one with allthe accolades and the credits.

And she was the clown.

The show was built
around her, you know?

And the back stage
portions that he did

were not acknowledged
in those days.

The show got on.

It was good and it worked.

And they went on from there.

And I think he kept trying todo more, and more, and more,

and more, and more,
and bigger, and better.

And you know, "Hello?

I'm here working, too."

And he never got the
credit 'til he was dead.

- Sometimes he got sick
of all the business

because he had more
fun performing.

I heard him say that.

He said sometimes he feltlike selling the whole thing

to the cemetery next door.

- Desi's desire to be
a man in his own right

was somewhere along theline taken away from him.

- There was a certain
rivalry in Dr. Arnaz.

He did not want Desi
in his great importance

to be more important
than he had been.

- The fact that Lucybecame the star of the show

only increased that.

It was already there--

his anger, maybe his mother.

- Lolita, I thought,
was very domineering.

And she just demanded thatDesi would take care of her

and buy her things.

In fact, a car that she
couldn't even drive.

I think she looked on himmore like the replacement

of a husband.

He felt very obligated.

- I don't think Desi
ever knew how good he

was in many respects.

And he took it
out in other ways.

- It's one thing to be
sort of a philanderer.

It's another thing to
do it and have it known.

- Desi once said to us, "Whatthe hell's the matter with her?

I love her.I don't go out with other women.

I go out with hookers."

That's the Latin
culture, you see.

It's perfectly acceptable.

But Lucy couldn't accept it.

- A real honest to God Latin.

And he never changed.

- And he never
considered it disloyal.

He didn't think it had
anything whatsoever

to do with his
marriage or his wife.

- It became obvious thatthere were troubles because it

began to be talked about.

And then, of course,
Desi's drinking,

which started about the middleof '55, if memory serves me.

- I think the pressuresof the studio and stress,

he'd reach for a drink inthe afternoon to relax, or--

and that's the trap.

- A lot of what we do
is looking for happiness

in the wrong places--

money, power.

And drugs and alcohol are oneof the other things that we

think will help us feel better.

- His drinking reached a pointwhere he had a wake-up drink,

straightened him out, andhe was drunk at 11:00.

- He got to the pointwhere he really no longer

was in control of himself.

And his opinions were
out of drunkenness,

you know, out of alcohol.

- Just like any other family,we had problems in our family.

And so part of the
problem was admitting

that there was a problem.

- Well, I'm sick andtired of the whole thing.

- It seems to me,
you're just sick of me.

You just don't like ourwhole marriage, Lorenzo Vega.

- Well, maybe, I
don't, Lucy Vega.

- I think they would have lovedto have been the Ricardo's.

But unfortunately,
the Ricardo's had

a way of kissing and making up.

I think they both found
it extraordinarily hard

to say I'm sorry.

- They weren't getting
along and we knew it.

- What's happened to us, Lucy?

- It was an era where
people didn't get help.

So they didn't have anybodyexplaining to them why

they were the way they were.

So it was just sort of a
vicious circle, I think.

- You know, I keepremembering the way it was

the first year of our marriage.

We had something then that seemsto have slipped away from us.

In those days, there wasnobody in the whole world

but just you and me.

That's why I want you to
go on this trip with me.

Because I think it
will gives a chance

to get to know each other again.

- They went to
Europe for the reason

that so many people, whentheir marriage is breaking up,

they decide they're going tosomehow recapture something.

- Oh, yeah, I remember
all of the trips.

Because I'll tell you, thosedays were very intense.

Because that was when theywere really going at it.

- And I remember
hearing them scream.

And the two doors were open.

And my mother was leaning overhim with her long red nails.

They were poised
at him like that.

And she said, with
her teeth gritted

in her mouth in a
horrible position,

"I wish you were dead."

- Of course, this was
all a disaster trip

because your father's drinkingjust increased enormously.

And he was drunk a
great deal of this time,

and fell down on
the cobblestones.

And his face was all, you know,the next morning, his face

was all purple.

And he looked like
a pomegranate.

- It scared me to death.

I think as a kid, all
you're worried about

is are they going to
go away and leave me.

Maybe I even thought itwas my fault. I don't know.

It was scary.
- We were very young.

And we knew what was going on.

And it was very, very
bad for everyone.

- She had to leave
him, you know.

They separated.

- Every time I hear, "Youbetter sit down, kids,"

I have a lot of
trouble with that.

Because that's
exactly what happened.

- I will always remember whenthey sat us down and said,

look, you know,
things aren't working.

I mean, I remember
word for word.

I was six years old.

I remember word for
word what they said.

[music playing]

- Even though they tried
to maintain a working

relationship, after
the divorce my parents'

professional partnership
fell apart, too.

- Is that the toughest--
- Yes.

- --period of your life?
- Yes.

It got tough on the
set, too, at the end.

At the thought of quitting.

- I knew it was the end.

It was the end of
something very special.

And I remember being very upset.

- I will never forget theday they were doing the last

of the "I Love Lucy"s andshe was playing a geisha.

And the white, white makeup,and she'd been crying a lot.

The guys were extremely red.

It gave her a rather,
in looking at her, what

I thought was a grotesque look.

Because the eyes-- and sad.

- But kisses, and hugs,and tears was the ending.

- It's a tragedy in many waysbecause they went at it for all

the right reasons originally.

And the only reason
"I Love Lucy"

exists is because they
wanted to be together

so they could have a familyand make the marriage work.

So they made this show.

It took off like gangbusters.

And now the rest of
the universe has it.

And they never had it.

They never got what they wanted.

Well, after my parentswere divorced, I know I--

I tried to have my mother
screen at our house,

because we could
screen movies there,

"The Parent Trap," whichwas a Disney movie starring

Haley Mills, who
played twin sisters who

tried to get her to divorcedparents back together again.

- And it worked.
- And it worked.

They get them back
together at the end

and there's the happy ending.

And still to this day,
I think that life is

about finding the happy ending.

- In my heart of
hearts, I thought

that she would go
back to my father

and they would work it out.

And I think I'm not
the only kid in America

who probably did that.

- Desi was already
married to Edie.

Gary and I were already married.

And we were stilllooking at "Parent Trap."

Until finally, the
seventh time, we said,

"Kids, now listen,
it's too late."

- Lucy got a little
more demanding

after she and Desi split up.

- "The Lucy Show!"

"Here's Lucy."

- She was by herself.

She looked around
and he wasn't there.

And so she said, "Oh, I gotto do it all by myself."

And she didn't know how
to do that tactfully.

- She treated all
the guest stars

the same way she treated me.

I mean, it was "Moveover," "do this, do that."

And I remember Jack
Benny, he's going--

she said, "Jack, for Christ'ssake, move it, come over here."

And finally, he turned to me,and he said, "Somebody tell her

she has the job."

- Now, cut that out!

- I think for me, when
all of her series ended,

I think for her not
to have a workplace

to go at 10:00 in the morningwas the biggest blow to her

of anything.

I think that's when she aged.

I think that's when a
certain bitterness came.

- She just became more
and more isolated.

That was my impression
of her as she got older.

- And then she got
into backgammon.

She could play backgammon.

As long as somebodywould sit across from her

and play with her,
she would play.

- Well, the public didn'tsee too much of my dad

in his later years,
but he taught

at San Diego State for a while.

And he wrote an autobiography,which did pretty good.

And then he pretty much
withdrew to Del Mar

and to a beautiful
home he built in Baja.

And he took care of hismother 'til the day he died.

- I think he was runningfrom his work, from the past.

He had great ideas, but
then he'd start drinking

and he couldn't finish it.

"I'm happy down here," he'd say.

And yet, he wasn't.

- He used to say, "Life is likethe road from La Paz to Las


And some of it's
bumpy, and some of it's

smooth, so smooth it
takes your breath away.

But no matter what
happens, you can always

convert a minus to a plus.

And don't be afraid to askthe man upstairs for help,

no matter how unworthy
you think you may be."

This is what my
father told me when--

this is what I remember.

And yet, he was
saying it to himself

because he understoodcertain things about honesty

and about seeing
that you were wrong,

or seeing where
you made a mistake.

But yet it was hard for him.

It's hard-- the hardest thingfor any human being is to say,

you know, maybe, maybe
I made a mistake.

When I went through drug
and alcohol recovery,

I went to stay with my father.

I had reached a point in my lifethrough a program that was--

I give credit to
for saving my life,

called the New Life
Foundation, that

helped me see certain things.

And dad went through recoverywith me four years later.

And that was probablythe most courageous thing

that dad ever did.

But physically, it was too late.

- At the end, he wanted
to be at the beach.

He'd fish and watch sunsets.

And she wanted to be aloneand play games with friends.

They could have
done that in 1951.

I don't know.

- I think Lucy and Desi wereso intertwined emotionally,

their lives, their professionallife and their private life.

It was hard for
either one of them

to give up the other completely.

And I doubt if they did.

- He would sit with me and cry.

He actually cried some timesin talking about how much

he loved her and how terribleit was that they were divorced.

And he loved her
to his dying day.

- When she talked
about your daddy,

when he was no longer comingto the house, she cried.

And she would say, that
was the love of my life

but I couldn't take it anymore.

- What would I say to Lucy ifshe was standing right here?

- I would say, I wouldsay, "Aunt Lucy, it's OK,

let us all in.
We love you."

And I would say to my UncleDesi, I would say, "Stay.

We want you.

We love you.
Let's be a family."

- I think my favorite homemovie scenes are of my parents

playing with my brother Desiand me in the pool, just us.

So it's fitting that the
last time they were ever

photographed together wasin our pool with my son,

their first grandchild, Simon.

[blowing bubbles]



- Bravo.

- Pappa.

- Pappa.

- Pappa, grand-pappa.

Grand-pappa, la
cha-cha-cha grand-pappa.


Speaking Spanish cha-cha-cha.

All my life, I've been tellingyou to speak in Spanish.

Cha cha cha ra-cha-cha.

- All your life,
you've been telling me

I don't know how
to speak English.

- No, I've been telling youto speak Spanish to the kids.

- They made fun of me.

- Now he tells me.

- [speaking spanish]

- He did what I did.

No, no, you don't
push Daddy away.

- [laughs] That's all
right, that's all right.

- It's all right.

- Tell him that.

- [speaking spanish]

- Well talk to him.

- [speaking spanish]

- Talk to him.

- [speaking spanish]

- [SINGING] Babalu, babalu,babalu, babalu babalu,

babalu, babalu, babalu.

Applause, applause,
applause, applause.

Bravo, bravo, bravo.

[SINGING] I love Lucy,
and she loves me.

We're as happy as we can be.

Sometimes we quarrel but thenhow we love making up again.

Lucy kisses like no one can.

She's my missus and I'm her man.

So I'm in heaven, yousee, because I love Lucy,

yes, I love Lucy,
and Lucy loves me.

[music playing]