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Lucy's 1953 Tax Return


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Fascinating stuff:

Lucie's real name: "Desiree Lucie Arnaz"??

And this is 1953: what about Desi, Jr.? Maybe one of them claimed one child; and the other claimed the other.

But why didn't they file a join return?

Adjusted for inflation her $181K income is roughly $1.6M today, but still.....you'd think her income would have been much more.

I always read they got $250,000 as a package from MGM for "Trailer".

No wonder she was carping about Elois Jensen's request for a raise.

Note the income from "What's My Line?": $200 ($1775 today).

And $5 to Father Flanagan?

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I’m thinking that for whatever reason it was better to file separately to get the best advantages/deductions, etc… So I’m going to assume then that Desi claimed his son on his return. Since Lucy claimed her mom as a dependent on her’s I bet Desi claimed his mom on his as they sort of had the same arrangement with the mothers.


No idea on Lucie’s name but from magazine articles it seemed like they went through a few years not knowing what to call her in the press.


I did the adjust for inflation run on all the figures and was surprised at how little everything was based on how popular they were and how big the show was. A huge movie and and the #1 TV show and she only cleared 1.6 million for the year? The Big Bang cast is making $1 mill an episode each. Also her car wasn’t that expensive either. Adjusted it was only $42,000. I want to know what kind of Cadillac it was.


The charity donations seemed low but I think they donated so much of their time it worked out. I also think they probably split those charities up over the 2 returns. And I thought that What’s My Line rate seemed low. I wonder if they only paid celebs scale to appear on those things.

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A friend of mine who is a CPA was over my house and I showed him it. He thought it was one of the most fascinating things. Especially the fact that she filed separately from Desi. Not sure if it was that or something else but he said the way she filed was somewhat illegal, maybe nowadays I guess. 

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