Lucy met Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz while filming the film version of the Rodgers and Hart stage hit Too Many Girls. Ball and Arnaz connected immediately and eloped the same year, garnering much press attention!
Arnaz and Ball frequently argued, especially over his indiscretions with other women, but they always made up in the end. Arnaz was drafted to the United States Army in 1942; he ended up being classified for limited service due to a knee injury. As a result, Arnaz stayed in Los Angeles, organizing and performing USO shows for wounded GIs being brought back from the Pacific. Ball filed for a divorce in 1944. However, shortly after Ball obtained an interlocutory decree, she reconciled with Arnaz again. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were only six years different in their ages but apparently believed that it was less socially acceptable for an older woman to marry a younger man, and hence split the difference in their ages and both claimed to have been born in 1914.
By the end of the 1950s, Desilu had become a large company, causing a good deal of stress for both Ball and Arnaz; his increasing drinking further compounded matters. On May 4, 1960, just 2 months after filming the final episode of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, the couple divorced, ending one of television`s greatest marriages. However, until his death in 1986, Arnaz would remain friends with Ball. Indeed, both Arnaz and Ball spoke lovingly of each other after the breakup.
30 November 1940
4 May 1960
Where/How First Met
She met Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz while filming the film version of the Rodgers and Hart stage hit Too Many Girls.