The Tragic Death Of Lucille Ball's Great-Granddaughter

Desiree Anzalone, the great-granddaughter of iconic comedian Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, tragically passed away on Sept. 27, 2020, at the age of 31, according to Legacy. In April 2019, Anzalone had revealed on Instagram that she was battling stage 4 breast cancer. Anzalone was an artist and an "old soul who loved 60s and 70s music," and enjoyed photography, playing guitar and piano, singing, and songwriting. She was also an animal lover, and, while some thought that she didn't share a resemblance with her great-grandmother, she certainly displayed Ball's trademark gusto.

In the same April 2019 Instagram post, Anzalone shut down trolls who spammed an article about her and how she didn't look like the famed actor. Anzalone first praised the article for writing about "how Lucy and I share the same gumption in regards to my fight with stage 4 breast cancer and how proud she'd be of me." She then went on to address the "3,000 comments of people literally yelling through [her] phone," writing, "No need to get so angry ... I have acknowledged my entire life I do not resemble my great-grandma, but rather have more of the Arnaz genes. So thank you all for stating the obvious." 

While Anzalone's physical appearance may not be what people may have expected, she definitely got one thing from her great-grandmother: her name. Lucille Ball's middle name was Desiree, which is likely where her granddaughter, Julia Arnaz, got the inspiration for her daughter's name.

Inside Desiree Anzalone's final Instagram post

In Desiree Anzalone's last Instagram post before her death, she shared a quote from Antonin Artaud in August 2020 which she said was a "comfort." She wrote, "It felt like someone was whispering it to me in my ear — someone that just understood and knew what the pain of my disease has felt like in the last month." It's easy to see why, as the quote begins, "You are outside life, you are above life, you have miseries which the ordinary man does not know, you exceed the normal level, and it is for this that men refuse to forgive you." The powerful quote was accompanied by a painting by Frida Kahlo.

Anzalone's friends and admirers shared messages on the post following her passing, with one person writing that they're "so heartbroken." Another follower added their own sentiment, writing, "RIP sending love and prayers to you and your loved ones."

Desiree Anzalone had cancer for years

Desiree Anzalone's death is particularly tragic due to her young age. She did, however, fight cancer for a remarkably long time. Anzalone shared regular chemotherapy updates on her Instagram as far back as November 2014. Commenters regularly told Anzalone how inspiring they found her updates, with one writing in January 2015, "you're such an inspiration to me," adding, "It takes a lot of courage to step up to this challenge and you are conquering magnificently."

Of course, dealing with cancer for six years is a lot for any person, no matter the age. But Anzalone managed to handle her condition with humor, regularly cracking jokes about her bald head and just about everything else on Instagram.

When Anzalone wasn't in treatment, she behaved as pretty much any other 20-something on Instagram, hanging out with friends, posting quotes, and capturing sunsets. She also shared a rare clip from the National Enquirer in 2017, which had published a photo of her as a baby in a salacious article about her great-grandmother and family.

Desiree Anzalone never met Lucille Ball

Sadly, Desiree Anzalone was born just a few months after her famous great-grandmother died. Not only did Anzalone not get to meet her great-grandmother but, apparently, her mother, Julia Arnaz, did not either. In 2018, Massey shared a message on Facebook mourning her grandmother 29 years after her death. "This was a very difficult day for me to have to find out through the news," she wrote. "I was very pregnant with my daughter Desido and I remember just falling to my knees know I'd never get the chance to meet my G-ma in this lifetime."

Speaking of Julia, she is the daughter of Desi Arnaz Jr., and he is the son of Lucille Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz Sr. The New York Post reported that, in 1991, Julia was proven to be Desi Jr.'s daughter following a court-ordered paternity test. Desi Jr. fathered Julia when he was just 15, the outlet stated. Julia, who claimed to have only met her dad two times at the time of publication, stated, "We're really working on me threading back to the family."

Anzalone is survived by a large family, including Desi Jr., and her fiancé and caregiver, Chris Reynolds. She will be deeply missed.