After I Love Lucy stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz divorced in 1960, Lucille Ball remarried to a comedian named Gary Morton. Lucille and Gary remained together until Lucille’s 1989 death, though they never had any children. Upon her death, Lucille’s only children were the two that she’d had with Desi. Gary proved a good stepfather to these kids and also managed to get along with Desi… eventually. During the early years of Lucille and Gary’s marriage, Desi was still an executive at Desilu Productions. When Lucille gave her new husband a job there, he and Desi had to work together. This made things awkward for everyone involved, though they later worked it out. Join Facts Verse as we explore little-known details about Lucille Ball’s 2nd marriage.
After Lucille Ball came out of her marriage to Desi Arnaz, she was ready to call it a day as far as romance was concerned. The pair had been married for two decades, during which time they had created one of the most successful television programs that have ever been made! That series, of course, was I Love Lucy, though their marriage didn’t last much past the series. The two had created the series as a way to work together in Hollywood, but working together proved their undoing.
As Lucille explained before her death, Desi was a loving husband during the times before the success the couple found from creating I Love Lucy, but grew bored after no longer having anything to work towards. Once the couple found themselves on top of the world, Desi created artificial problems by indulging in extramarital affairs and substance abuse. Lucille gave her husband multiple chances to give up these habits but ended up having to give him up instead.
Having been married to Desi for two decades, Lucille wasn’t especially anxious to find a new partner. However, a new partner ended up finding her! Lucille reluctantly allowed herself to be set up on a date with a comedian by the name of Gary Morton while she was performing in a Broadway play called Wildcat. Gary was working at New York City’s Copacabana nightclub. Like Lucille, Gary was an alien in New York, with his home being in California. While Lucille lived in Hollywood, Gary’s stomping grounds were the Catskills Mountains. The Catskills Mountains have always been a popular hotspot for fledgling comedians looking to practice their material in hopes of making it in the business. Though Gary was popular amongst locals, he had never made the full transition from popularity in the Catskills Mountains to popularity in Hollywood.
Though Gary Morton was never very well known before marrying Lucille Ball, he was certainly fairly well known afterward. Part of Lucille’s terms for agreeing to marry Gary was that he wouldn’t get upset if the public started referring to him as “Mr. Lucille Ball”. Marrying Lucille Ball changed Gary’s career trajectory, and he went from being a popular underground comedian to being a producer and writer at Desilu Productions. He was a writer on 1962’s The Lucy Show and also performed as a warm-up act for the show’s studio audience. At the time that Gary started working on the show, Desi Arnaz was still an executive at Desilu Productions. He was also a director on The Lucy Show, which meant that he had to work with Gary a great deal. Eventually, Desi would sell his shares of Desilu Productions to Lucille Ball, and his hesitancy to continue working around her new husband was part of the reason!
Lucille Ball and Gary Morton married in 1961, just a year after Lucille had divorced from Desi Arnaz. Lucille and Gary had been dating for several months before Gary popped the question while the two were on an airplane, and Lucille was hesitant to accept the offer. Eventually, Lucille accepted, and the two were married in November. There were many things that Lucille liked about Gary, and he proved the perfect antidote to the stormy and unpredictable Desi Arnaz. Gary could be relied on, and Lucille felt that he had a desire in his heart for familial stability. Though the two never had any children of their own, Gary acted as a reliable father figure to Lucille and Desi’s two children. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
Lucille Ball had little desire to venture into a new marriage after divorcing Desi Arnaz in 1960, though she eventually found an offer too good to refuse when comedian Gary Morton came along! Though Lucille claimed that her affection for Gary wasn’t love at first sight like it had been with Desi way back in 1940, it grew into something that was much more strong and stable than their love had been. In addition to Gary’s stability, Lucille appreciated the underground comedian’s dry sense of humor. During their first date, he told Lucille that he had never heard of her before due to the fact that he always worked Monday nights.
Lucille Ball wanted Gary Morton to work at Desilu Productions so that she could keep him close, just like she had wanted to do with Desi Arnaz. Thankfully, Gary didn’t mind! Gary enjoyed the stability of being in the writers’ room on Lucille’s new show, but Desi didn’t share this enjoyment. After Lucille and Desi’s divorce, the two had agreed that they would keep things the same way they’d always been when it came to their joint business venture, Desilu Productions. This meant that Desi would go on with his personal life, and Lucille would go on with hers, and the two wouldn’t get sour when those things happened to cross paths.
Despite Desi’s best intentions, he couldn’t find it in himself to peacefully coexist with the man that was now his ex-wife’s new husband. Desi may have been unfaithful to Lucille Ball numerous times, but that didn’t stop the fact that he was still in love with her. Lucille and Desi had feelings for each other that lasted for the rest of their lives, though they weren’t able to make these feelings work in a domestic partnership. It took a while for the two to figure out how to live their separate lives at peace with one another, but they eventually did. However, there were still several years where Desi Arnaz was trying to make things work at Desilu Productions alongside Lucille and her new husband, which he hated.
The Lucy Show came on the air in 1962, which was just a year after Lucille had married Gary. I Love Lucy had ended in 1957, and The Lucy Show was the first sitcom that Lucille had starred in since it’s finish. Although Desi Arnaz didn’t take a starring role on The Lucy Show, he continued working as a director and producer on the series for a few years. Eventually, Desi finally agreed to sell his shares of Desilu Productions to Lucille so that they could both move on.
Lucie Arnaz was around during the filming of The Lucy Show, and she was just old enough to be aware of the awkward interactions between her mother, her father, and her new stepfather. According to Lucie, her father would take any opportunity he could to make fun of Gary Morton, often getting his name wrong intentionally. Lucie saw that both of her parents still had strong feelings for each other. She understood that her father was simply jealous of Gary, though that didn’t make the situation any less awkward.
It was during one of the early seasons of The Lucy Show that Desi Arnaz decided to call it quits. Though he had wanted to make things work with his ex-wife and business partner, he couldn’t control the jealousy that he felt from having to work around her and her new lover. He sold his shares of the company to Lucille, making her the first CEO of a big Hollywood production company. She would go on to lead the production company to continued success until the later 1960s when she’d sell it for many millions of dollars.
While it was certainly hard for Lucie Arnaz to be stuck in the middle between her mother, father, and Gary Morton, she never held anything against her stepfather. Lucie could see that there was something her new stepfather was offering her mother that her real father couldn’t, and it was beneficial for her mother’s sanity. Even at a young age, Lucie had the insight to be glad that her mother had found someone that could make her happy after the rough marriage to her father.
Lucille Ball and Gary Morton remained married until Lucille Ball’s death in 1989, after which point he remarried several years later to a woman by the name of Susan McAllister. After Gary’s death, Susan ended up inheriting many letters that Lucille and Gary had written to each other, and those letters helped shed some light on just how much Lucille truly cared for her second husband. Susan held onto the letters for sentimental value for several years before finally deciding to auction them off to Lucille Ball fans.
Desi Arnaz also remarried after his divorce from Lucille and likewise stayed married to his new partner until the two were separated by death. Despite moving on in their personal lives and finding new partners, Lucille and Desi always had a soft spot for one another and always remained friendly towards each other for the sake of their two children.
Although Lucille Ball had never wanted to remarry after divorcing from Desi Arnaz in 1960, she found herself back in the saddle again just a year later with comedian Gary Morton! Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Lucille Ball was married to another man after divorcing Desi Arnaz, or did you think that she had died alone? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!