What Lucille Ball And Desi Arnaz Tried To Hide On Their Marriage Certificate

Power couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, best known for their performances on the Emmy award-winning "I Love Lucy" sitcom, created a Hollywood empire. The iconic comedy ran for an impressive 156 episodes, eventually becoming one of the most-watched series of all time. The show, which was the first scripted television program to be shot on 35 mm film in front of a live studio audience, won five Emmys — including two for Best Situation Comedy in 1953 and 1954 — and received more than 20 nominations throughout its impressive run, per Television Academy.

In the beginning, Ball was rooted in Hollywood and making movies, while Arnaz was on the road, first with the Army, then with his conga band (per People). In 1940, the sitcom legends tied the knot, and 11 years later, they took their marriage to the next level when they began the legendary "I Love Lucy." 

Even after their deaths, Ball and Arnaz's fairy tale on-camera relationship continues to live in people's hearts and on their screens. But there's one little secret about their relationship casual fans might not know about.

How Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz became America's favorite married couple

Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball first met on set of the 1940 musical "Too Many Girls" and "sparks were flying with Lucy" instantly, according to Eddie Backen, a co-star in the film. "It happened so fast it seemed it wouldn't last. Everybody on the set made bets about how long it would last," added Bracken, per People. But after less than a year of dating, the two icons were married. Although the couple's marriage would last only two decades (Ball and Arnaz later divorced in 1960), it's known that a love and mutual respect remained between the stars until death. Arnaz, 69, died of lung cancer in 1986 and Ball, 77, died in 1989 of a heart attack. "They had a great divorce," daughter Lucie Arnaz told Closer Weekly in 2019.

The "I Love Lucy" stars have since been caught telling a little white lie on their marriage certificate, though. As Us Weekly revealed, Ball was six years older than Arnaz. Since an older woman marrying a younger man would have been labeled as taboo in the '50s, Ball and Arnaz both listed their birthdays as 1914 on their marriage certificate in order to avoid a media scandal. In reality, Ball was born in 1911, while Arnaz was born in 1917, making her 29 to his 23 when they officially tied the knot — scandalous!

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's legacy as TV's funniest married couple continues

Desi Arnaz once said he had no idea how the iconic sitcom couple ended up together after all the fights they had, claiming they were very different, but it's exactly what drew them to each other. Arnaz said in his autobiography, "A Book," that they would "love furiously and fight furiously." But theirs was a passionate marriage that would produce one of the most-watched (and beloved) television series of all time, per Showbiz Cheat Sheet.

But as their daughter told Closer Weekly in 2019, the two enjoyed a surprisingly loving divorce. "If their parents can't get along and that happens, then kids should be so lucky to have a divorce like my mom and my dad did, because they were kind, they never said bad words about each other in front of their children and they stayed friends til the day they died," she explained.

"I Love Lucy" fans will soon get a new inside look at the careers and relationship of Lucille Ball and Arnaz. On March 4, a new documentary titled "Lucy and Desi" will premiere on Amazon Prime Video, directed by comedy queen Amy Poehler (per Collider). The film's synopsis reads: "Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz risked everything to be together. Their love for each other led to the most influential show in the history of television, I Love Lucy. Defying the odds, they reinvented the medium, on screen and behind the cameras." Additionally, the film is rumored to include interviews with their two children, Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill.

Did Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz get remarried after their divorce?

After her divorce to Desi Arnaz in 1960, Lucille Ball voiced she wasn't interested in finding a new man but that quickly changed when she married her second husband, Gary Morton, one year later. They were married until she died at the age of 77 in 1989. In her autobiography, "Love, Lucy" which was first published in 1996, Ball wrote Morton changed her mind about finding love again with his "natural humor of someone who loves to laugh and wants everyone to laugh with him." 

In 1963, three years after their divorce, Arnaz also moved on and married Edith Mack Hirsch, with whom he stayed until her death from cancer in 1985. Arnaz, 69, died one year after his second wife but wrote in his final years that his love for his first wife, Ball, remained true. "'I Love Lucy' was never just a title," he was reported saying in the book "Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz" by Coyne Sanders (via Cheat Sheet).

Although they both remarried, it seems their iconic love was something special for its two-decade run. In 1991, "I Love Lucy" director William Asher told People that he truly believed "there was a great, great love" between the two and claimed neither Ball or Arnaz "ever got over it."