Anyone who's ever watched I Love Lucy knows that Desi Arnaz is well-known for uttering the same word over and over again as Ricky Ricardo. Say it with us now: "Luccccyyyyyyy!" But while Cuban-born Arnaz was Lucille Ball's husband both on and off the screen during the filming of their famous sitcom in the 1950s, stresses on their relationship (allegedly infidelity and alcoholism) sadly led to the couple divorce in 1960.
But even though this seemed to mark the end of their partnership (on-screen and off), time marched on. Ball bought Arnaz out of their production company (which was named Desilu — a combination of their names) and both actors remarried — but they continued to speak highly of each other until their deaths in the late 80s.
In fact, as revealed in the book Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, at the end of Arnaz's life he wrote words about Lucille that make us teary-eyed just thinking about it: "Lucy was the show. Viv, Fred and I were just props. Damn good props, but props nevertheless. P.S. I Love Lucy was never just the title."
Plus, the authors of Desilu said that Lucie Arnaz, the couple's daughter, also d with them Desi's last words to Lucille before he died: "I love you too, honey. Good luck with your show."
Our hearts! Leave it to Lucille and Desi to make our eyes well up, even after all this time. And it sounds like Lucille had just as much undying admiration for Desi, too — friends and colleagues of the couple told People that neither one of them ever truly got over the breakup. Sigh.
Take a look at the pair during the hey day of the show:
[via Purple Clover