Luvsbway Posted June 25, 2015 Report Share Posted June 25, 2015 Thanks to Caewi for the link to the TV Radio articles. That site is a mess so I'll try to make some sense here. This is the Love Triangle Article. In center stage was Lucy Ball, clowning for her new TV show. She had never looked better or been funnier. But two men, watching from opposite ends of the set, practically stole the scene from her. At one side was Gary Morton, her present husband — laughing. At the other was Desi Arnaz, her past husband — and he was not laughing. Of course, Desi could alibi that he had good reason for looking solemn. He's executive producer of the new "Lucy Show" and TV is a serious, million-dollar business. But there could well be another reason, Hollywood suspects. A more personal and ressing reason, based on that old familiar pattern of a triangle: Lucille Ball . . . Gary Morton — to whom Lucy has been wed for just a year . . . and Desi Arnaz — divorced from Lucy, after almost twenty years of marriage, and father of her two children. That's the delicious triangle, the goose-for-the-gander sauce which is intriguing Hollywood. They wonder: What's going to happen, as the show goes on and week after week, Monday through Thursday, Lucy works a twelve- to-fourteen-hour day with Desi at her side? What's going to happen to that urbane, witty Gary Morton when — as a top comedian himself — he goes to far- away places to fulfill his bookings? What's going to happen to Mr. and Mrs. Morton's precious weekends, when Lucy sends Lucie Jr. (almost fourteen) and little Desi (not quite ten) to stay with their father? And Lucy takes that lull as her much-needed opportunity to rest up between shows? Trouble— and $12,000,000 Can this truly wonderful dame — who is the real Lucille Ball — be the bright bride who can eat her wedding cake and have it, too? If you really want to know, Hollywood would find it enchanting if she could. They know what she suffered with Desi. That doesn't mean Hollywood doesn't like Desi. It admires him tremendously. In fact, he is regarded as a veritable genius of a showman. Besides, he only acted like many a Latin husband. He loved her wildly. He adored his children. He was infatuated with his own home — the beautiful home where Gary Morton lives now. There were only two small troubles. (1) They say he liked a nip every now and then. (2) They say he liked to flirt. He also worked too hard, but you can scarcely call that a trouble, even if it did begin to trouble Lucy terribly. In fact, it bothered her so much she got a divorce and about twelve million dollars as her split of the Desilu assets. Whereby hangs a tale which tells you a lot about Lucy: She and Desi had wound up "I Love Lucy." They both believed it had exhausted its popular appeal, which at the time Desiderio Alberto Arnaz de Acha IV had been born to them — in 1953 — had attained the highest rating any TV show ever had. (They were wrong. Today, in re-runs, "I Love Lucy" is one of the top-rated shows, even in competition with brand-new productions.) Lucy . . . depressed over the breakup of her marriage . . . depressed over facing that most distressing of feminine birthdays, her fiftieth . . . uncertain of her future . . . felt she had to prove herself. Years ago, on Broadway, she had been just a chorus girl. At the end of 1959, she determined she'd go back to Broadway as a star. She'd conquer a brilliant new world. That was when she accepted "Wildcat." She packed up Lucie and little Desi and moved to New York. At that time, she believed she'd not miss it if she never saw Hollywood again. Now, Lucy is a perfectly wonderful mother, and one reason is that she has such a wonderful mother of her own. Her kids know she is always there, with love and understanding, when they need her, just as Lucy knows her mother is there, looking after all of them. So, of course, Grandma Ball became a member of the household in New York. To this day, Lucy has never said a word against Desi to her children. Practically speaking, she's never talked against him to anyone. But, there in New York, she tried to do things with just her daughter, her son and herself. No husband. No father. Ask any woman who has had a family, and a home, and a husband, what that's like. It's the loneliest. It's a constant dagger in the memory, an eternal reminder of what has been so terribly lost. Put on top of that the awful emptiness of a person who for years has been working sixteen hours a day — as Lucy had on "I Love Lucy" — and now has nothing but time, time, time. It's a dragging hell. Thus at first, when the rehearsals of "Wildcat" started, she was pleased. But presently, with her sense of show business — which is almost as sharp as Desi's — she realized that it wasn't a good show, and she could not make it into a Broadway hit unless she personally galvanized it by an almost impossibly great performance. So she started to do that, and it very nearly killed her. She began working hours on end to sing better, dance better, make the laughs come louder and longer. She would collapse into bed, when she got home nights, and sleep as though drugged for hours. There even came a time, on the out- of-town tryout, when she slept over the entire weekend, and her mother and her maid, both shouting and pulling at her, could barely arouse her. They did, in fact, drag her out of bed and started dressing her while she was still asleep. In a taxi, heading toward the theater, she was only half- awake. It wasn't until she was in the backstage hallway, heading toward her dressing room, that Lucille became completely aware of her surroundings. Leaning wearily against the dingy wall, she stared at her mother with tears rolling down her cheeks. "Mom, why am I doing this?" she sobbed. "I've got twelve million dollars. Why am I doing this?" She couldn't stop now. That morning, there had been headlines in the New York papers about Desi Arnaz, in Hollywood, being up on a drunk-driving charge. There had been a bunch of girls with Desi. That was his fashion. He rushed around with girls in bunches. For Lucille, the show "Wildcat" had to go on. She was a complete triumph in it, though every critic said the show itself was terrible. By the sheer force of her skill and personality, Lucille made audiences roar with delight. Only her mother knew how she was exhausting herself every night. Only her mother knew how, every weekend, Lucy did things with her children, just the three of them, all making believe they had forgotten when they were a complete family. There were even a couple of weeks when Lucy had to be out of the show. She was sick. Her mother knew that she was really sick of her heart's freedom, her heart's emptiness. But one evening, Lucy's pal Paula Stewart asked her to go along with her and Paula's husband, Jack Carter, to a pizza parlor. A night-club comedian, Gary Morton, was at the same pizza parlor. Alone — but (Lucy knows now) by pre-arrangement with Paula. Gary Morton, aged forty-four. Also divorced. About five minutes after their introduction, Lucille heard herself laughing as she hadn't laughed in a couple of years. A little later, she heard Gary saying, "It's ages since I've laughed as much as I have this evening." Presently, Paula and her husband were saying they really must go home, but Gary was suggesting didn't Miss Ball want to stay on and have another drink? It was then Lucy noticed that Mr. Morton had had only one drink. They had another one together, then he took her home and asked if he might call her. He did call her the next morning. The next afternoon, too. And she did join him for supper after the show that evening. And the next, and the one after that, and the one after that one, too. Naturally, then, he had to meet her mother and the kids. The difference in men All the time, Lucy felt her whole personality beginning to come back to warmth. She noticed, with a steadily rising hope, that Gary Morton — for all his ability to make her laugh and to laugh with and at her — was a quiet, moderate man. Desi had never been moderate about one single thing, not life or food or drink or love or flirtations. She had got into the habit herself of eating too much, drinking a bit too much. The difference between her and Desi was that she could carry a lot of alcohol. Desi couldn't — which did nothing but make him fiercely angry. But with Gary Morton holding down to one drink, obviously by choice, Lucille began cutting down to one drink, too. Today, she doesn't even drink that one. She began holding down on food, too, and her beautiful figure began coming back to her. The closing notice of Wildcat" went up and she was only glad. She had held it up, by her battling performance, enough to prove to the world what she could do, but she began to dream of a mature, quiet happiness . . . some-thing she'd never had with Desi, something she came to believe she never could have had with him. She had her children. She had her mother. She had all the money she could ever want, and Gary was offering her love, and she was a very feminine woman who loved love ... so on the nineteenth of November, she and Gary were married. Lucy was very happy. She was going to have a beautiful, quiet life. Gary could work in night clubs whenever he wished, but he wasn't crazily ambitious. He worked to earn enough to live on graciously. He liked a gracious leisure, too. So did Lucy. Desi had been the crazily ambitious one. Only, early in 1962, discussions began about Lucille doing a new TV show. At that time, Lucille Ball Morton was a very happy woman. She had peace and quiet and faithful devotion, and laughter, too, with Gary. Her children were very happy with her new husband. Life was placidly delightful. Only, when that new show was mentioned, Lucille suddenly knew why she had done "Wildcat" despite her twelve million dollars. In the actor's phrase, she had to be "on." Yes, she was very, very happy in her private life, but she was also used to a public life. She is too modest a person, actually, to admit to herself that she is an artist. But she is a great comic artist, and needs an outlet for creative expression. Everything— versus nothing A new TV show, if it was a hit, would let her have everything — a beautiful marriage, her beautiful children, fun in a studio. And besides! Miss Ball grinned to herself. A cat who has just made away with a particularly fat canary couldn't have looked any more sly. Desi, you see, was still going around with girls in bunches. He hadn't settled down to any particular one. The more Lucy thought of her old beautiful home in Beverly Hills, that great, magnificent rambling house where she'd raised little Lucie and Desi, the more glorious it seemed. She described it to Gary. He kissed her lovingly and indicated he wouldn't mind living in it one bit. Near to Jack Benny's, huh, and very close to a golf course? Nothing could suit Gary more. So Lucy Morton came back to a new show — and Desilu. After all, she was still vice-president of Desilu. It would have made no sense going into competition with herself by working at any other studio. As for a producer — everybody knew Desi was an absolute genius at it, which would make it idiotic for her not to make that genius available to herself. Besides, she and Desi were civilized people. They could be business partners, business friends. And if Desi continued to get loaded, practically every night, so what? She wasn't drinking at all. She was sticking to her diet. She had her lovely, quiet evenings, full of laughter and romance, at home with Gary. He didn't give a hoot about going to night clubs or parties. She didn't, either. They had each other, her children, her mother. And now she'd have a new show, too. What a big, fat, wonderful life. Only — after Lucy had signed for the show and she was back at Desilu working — she and Vivian Vance discovered that making a show without Desi and Bill Frawley in the cast was twice as much work as they had anticipated. Without TV "husbands," Vivian has many more lines to learn and Lucy has three times as many! With one or both in almost every scene, rehearsals and actual shooting took lots of time. Too much time. Twelve to fourteen solid hours a day, for at least four days a week. Gary Morton told his happy wife he thought it wouldn't be professional for him to come to rehearsals, but he'd come watch each show as they recorded it. She loved him for that, for being so considerate, for not being jealous. Desi always blew his stack if a man so much as smiled at her. Gary and Desi behaved like well-bred gentlemen of the great world whenever they did meet — particularly the night the first show was taped, with an audience looking on. And when the show was over, Lucy ran into Gary's arms and he kissed her warmly and told her and the whole room how terrific she had been. Yes, it was a charming sight, and that shrewd, select audience was happy for Lucy, their own, unspoiled darling. Only. . . . Only now, as the show goes on, she necessarily is spending more waking hours with Desi than she does with Gary. For, over the weekends, she sleeps and sleeps to rest up. Don't get the impression that there is a single cloud in her sky, because there isn't. She is very much in love. And she is also having the kind of larksome revenge that is granted to very, very few women who once loved too much. Nevertheless, Hollywood keeps thinking about Desi. Desi, the little Cuban musician who had barely a dime when he came to Hollywood and now has many, many millions. You don't get to be a millionaire unless you hit gold or oil . . . or unless you know how to get around obstacles. Two sides of a triangle Besides, there are two small stories about Lucy and Desi that stand out. One happened recently, when a weary Lucy, going home from the studio, stopped by to see a friend who lives in one of the few private dwellings in Hollywood that have elevator service. The elevator operator asked, rather coyly, "And how's Mrs. Morton?" Half knocked out with fatigue, but always obliging to her public, Lucy said, "Gee, I've been so busy since I've got back, I haven't seen a soul." Then she sucked in her breath. "Oh, gosh," she gasped, "I'm Mrs. Morton." The Desi story is simpler. The evening after they had taped that first new Lucy show, he was charming to all the guests. He chatted. He talked. He is, naturally, a very charming man. He stood aside and saw his ex-wife, the star of the show he's not in, go laughingly out on the firm, strong arm of her new husband. Finally, there was no one left at all except Desi. There was no sound. There was simply nothing. Only Desi sitting there, all alone. All alone and thinking, thinking. 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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