Posted: Monday, November 27, 2017 – 4:26 PM
By Barbara Irvin
Everyone knows how devoted Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were to each other. However, what most people don’t remember is that Lucy was married twice. From 1961 until her death in 1989, she was married to comedian Gary Morton, and they lived in Beverly Hills on North Roxbury Drive.
With their anniversary on Nov. 19, I decided to write about their marriage. So many volumes have been written about Lucy’s life with Desi. Even a couple of films and documentaries have been made. It would be nice if someone who really knew Lucy and Gary would commission a book or screenplay about their life together.
When they met, both were focused on their careers. Gary spent his evenings performing in nightclubs. Lucy could be seen in the stage production of Wild Cat. Romance was definitely not at the top of their list of priorities. However, they should have realized love would conquer them when they agreed to dine with some friends, Paula Stewart and Jack Carter. He believed any obstacle could be overcome through positive thought.
From the moment Lucy and Gary met, they were inseparable. She had never met anyone who made her laugh so much, and this was during a time when she needed to be around people who could boost her spirits. Having recently split from Desi, this was a very emotional time for her. Gary had no idea how famous Lucy was because he worked at night. So, he’d never seen her on television before. Because he loved her so much, he vowed to adjust to her star status. Nothing was going to stand in the way of their happiness together.
To ensure her marriage would be blessed, Lucy followed the religious beliefs of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. He believed any obstacle could be overcome through the power of positive thinking. Perhaps Lucy’s and Gary’s faith in Peale’s reasoning is why their marriage lasted as long as it did. They certainly were good for each other. He brought humor and joy to her life, and she provided him with opportunities to advance his career.
I have always thought of Lucy as a liberal woman. She did things most women would never have dared to take a chance at. Marrying Gary was one of them. He was significantly younger than Lucy (11 years, to be exact). This was at a time when women just did not become involved with much younger men. Because he looked older, no one ever knew of the age difference. If it would have been disclosed to the public, a lot of people would have talked. This would have resulted in a lot of publicity, but it was better that fans adored her because of her talent and not for her private life.
Were they meant for each other? Definitely. Did they prove two people can have a lasting relationship and still work together? Yes. Men and women can learn a lot from this remarkable marriage.