Although Lucille Ball has been gone for over three decades, she continues to be recognized and cherished by countless fans.
I Love Lucy propelled her to popularity as the greatest comedy actress of the 1950s, and she and her husband, Desi Arnaz, were a TV power couple in their own right.
Before she became a household name on television, she was a successful model and film actor.
Her great-granddaughter looked just like her famous great-grandmother, therefore Lucille Ball’s legacy lived on.
In 2020, the tragic death of 31-year-old Desiree Anzalone occurred.
The success of I Love Lucy propelled Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz to the forefront of pop culture, and the program itself changed the course of television history in countless ways. It was groundbreaking in that it was one of the first sitcoms to be shot in front of a live studio audience.
Both of Lucille Ball’s marriages ended in divorce, and she raised two kids on her own. In 1940, she married Desi Arnaz, her co-star on the hit show I Love Lucy. They had two kids, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr.
The birth of Desi Arnaz Jr. was one of the most widely reported in the history of television, but growing up as the child of two famous actors certainly wasn’t easy. He has stated before that he did a lot of heavy drinking as a young man in Hollywood throughout the ’50s and ’60s.
Born to two Hollywood A-listers, he was constantly subjected to peer pressure and temptation. He had his first child at the tender age of 15!
Arnaz Jr. made an attempt to be there for his granddaughter, Desiree Anzalone, to make up for his past absence, despite the fact that he did not have a contact with his daughter Julia until around 20 years later.
Lucille Ball, actress of the sitcom I Love Lucy, gave birth to her son, Desi Arnaz Jr., on the same night as the episode aired, catapulting Arnaz Jr. to popularity.
CBS had previously maintained that pregnant women could not be shown on air, therefore this was a historic first.
The child was raised by Hollywood royalty, and in his parents’ other project, Here’s Lucy, he went on to become a teen idol in his own right.
Around this time, he began dating Susan Callahan-Howe, a model who would later become the mother of his daughter. In spite of their ages difference, Desi Jr. and Susan were able to find one other and start dating when they were both 15 years old. Desi Jr. and Julia, his daughter, were separated for a long time but were finally reunited in the 1990s.
Since this occurred after Lucille had already passed away, Julia never got the chance to meet her legendary grandma.
Callahan, who tragically passed away in 2020 from COVID-19, had spent years convincing her kid that her father was a celebrity. Some time later, in 1991, Julia decided to have a paternity test to settle the matter once and for all.
”We did a DNA test when I was 20, and it came back 99.97% that I was indeed his daughter and then shortly after that my father and I started a beautiful relationship,” Julia told Page Six and added:
”By this time, I’m 18 and over. He could have said, ‘Yeah she’s my kid, whatever. But he didn’t. He helped me very much through my life and helped my daughter through college.”
As Julia stated, her father also became close with Desiree Anzalone, the daughter of one of her friends. She continued to elaborate on the amount of time they spent together and how Desiree stayed at Arnaz Jr.’s place for a while.
Because Julia’s grandmother Lucille Desiree won an Emmy, the actress was given her middle name in honor of her.
Desiree, a graduate of UNT with a degree in creative writing, was employed there as a photographer.
The young woman, then 25, was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, per People.
After Anzalone’s double mastectomy, the cancer initially went into remission but later returned and metastasized to her lungs, liver, and bones.
Desiree’s sad death occurred in the year 2020.
During the 2020 pandemic, Julia Arnaz’s mother passed away with COVID-19 while her daughter battled stage 4 breast cancer.
“The COVID-19 kept us apart, so I wasn’t able to see her as much as I usually do because she was compromised and I didn’t want her getting sick in any kind of way,” Julia told People. “So I wasn’t able to spend as much time with her as I normally do because of the COVID since March. I mean, I saw her, but not as much; we’d hang out every day practically she was here. Plus, she lived with me for a while.”
Mother Julia Arnaz announced her intention to become an activist in May 2021, telling Page Six that she was devastated by her daughter’s death from the same condition.
She is dedicated to increasing access to mammograms in her native Connecticut. Arnaz intends to encourage younger women to start getting these checks sooner rather than later, even though they are normally suggested as routine for older women.
“Those four or five months, it’s a huge difference,” she explained. “And this beautiful angel, my daughter… so many young women might say, ‘Ah it’s a cyst, no big deal.’ But she really advocated for herself and I encourage other young women to do this.”
Despite the tragedy that befell her family, Julia Arnaz has not stopped speaking out about this topic in the public.
“It’s just not talked about a lot. It’s usually people in their late 30s, 40s, 50s — not somebody at this age,” Julia Arnaz explained in People. “So that was something that she really wanted — to help other women like her. A preventative, really.”
Rest in Peace Beautiful Angel!
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