The Complicated And Dark History Of Lucille Ball And Desi Arnaz's Marriage

Television in the 1950s brings to mind clean-cut characters living uncomplicated lives, maybe learning a lesson or two. Though real-life couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz brought one of that era's most beloved shows to television screens, the real story behind I Love Lucy proved messy and convoluted. Married for 20 years and on-screen as the Ricardos for six, Lucy and Desi's relationship remains one of Hollywood's most fascinating love stories, filled with as much pain as passion.

young Ball worked her way up from childhood without a father and adolescence spent mostly with her grandparents. In contrast, Arnaz grew up in a wealthy family in Cuba and fled with them to Miami after the Cuban Revolution. Despite their differences, Ball and Arnaz fell in love soon after meeting in Hollywood. Along with the ups and downs most couples experience, their marriage ultimately disintegrated due to hectic work schedules, infidelity, and alcohol. Despite this, the couple always maintained their love for one another, even years after their divorce. They left behind one of the most watched television shows in history, which has remained in the public consciousness, thanks to reruns.

Though the on-screen married couple on I Love Lucy was a version of the real-life couple, the true Arnaz and Ball stories prove their relationship was much more complicated.