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Lucille Ball Net Worth Before Death: ‘I Love Lucy’ Salary vs. Desi Arnaz

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If you’ve watched each episode of I Love Lucy, it’s possible you’ll need to find out about Lucille Ball’s net worth and the way a lot she comprised of the present’s six seasons and what she left for her children when she died.

Ball—whose full identify is Lucille Désirée Ball—was born on August 6, 1911, in Jamestown, New York. She started performing on the age of 12 years previous when her stepfather inspired her to audition for his Shriner’s refrain line. In 1926, Ball enrolled on the John Murray Anderson School for the Dramatic Arts in New York City (the place Bette Davis was additionally a scholar). Ball stated in a later interview that “all I learned in drama school was how to be frightened.” In 1940, Ball met her future husband, Desi Arnaz, whereas filming the stage present, Too Many Girls. The couple married that very same yr.

In 1948, Ball was forged as Liz Cooper, a wacky spouse within the CBS Radio comedy present, My Favorite Husband. The present ran for 148 episodes. After the success of My Favorite Husband, Ball was asked by CBS to develop it for tv, which she agreed if she might work along with her real-life husband, Arnaz. Unimpressed by the pilot episode, CBS turned down a present with Ball and Arnaz, which led them to hit the highway as a vaudeville act during which Ball performed a zany housewife who tried to get into her husband’s present. After the success of the tour, CBS greenlit I Love Lucy, which went on to run for greater than 100 episodes and be one of many most-watched reveals in TV historical past.

Ball and Arnaz’s marriage was portrayed within the 2021 film Being the Ricardos, during which Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem starred because the couple. The movie was written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. In an interview with Extra in December 2021, Kidman opened up about why she wished to play Ball. “That is something that Javier and I want to honor,” she stated. “But at the same time, you want it to be a true depiction of who they are so that people watching it go, ‘Oh, OK…’ Aaron’s really gone in there, he’s done them proud, but at the same time he has been very true to their spirits… They’re compelling, fascinating… people and at the same time—they are human.”

So what’s Lucille Ball’s net worth? Read on for a way a lot Ball made on I Love Lucy and the way a lot she was value when she died.

Lucille Ball

Image: Everett Collection.

How a lot did Lucille Ball make from I Love Lucy?

Lucille Ball starred because the lead of I Love Lucy for 180 half-hour episodes from October 15, 1951, to May 6, 1957. She performed Lucy Ricardo, a housewife in New York City, who would concoct varied schemes along with her finest pals, Ethen and Fred Mertz, to seem along with her husband, Ricky Ricardo (performed by Ball’s real-life husband on the time, Desi Arnaz), the chief of a band at a nightclub. After I Love Lucy led to 1957, Ball and Arnaz went on to star in three seasons of their very own spinoff, The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show, which was later retitled as The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. For 4 of its six seasons, I Love Lucy was the most-watched present in America and was the primary sequence ever to ends its run on the high of the Nielsen’s ranking.

Since its finale, I Love Lucy has been syndicated in dozens of languages internationally, with greater than 40 million viewers annually. A re-aired, colorized model of its Christmas episode was watched by greater than eight million viewers on CBS in 2013. The present, which was the primary scripted TV sequence to be shot on 35mm movie in entrance of a reside studio viewers, has gained 5 Emmys and was voted because the “Best TV Show of All Time” in a survey performed by ABC News and People journal in 2012.

How a lot did Lucille Ball make from I Love Lucy? According to Bart Andrews’ 1985 e-book, The I Love Lucy Book, Ball and Arnaz had been paid a joint wage of $4,000 per episode ($2,000 every) for I Love Lucy. The e-book stories that the couple initially asked for $5,000 per episode, however CBS and Arnaz agreed to $4,000 for full rights to the present. As for different prices, the e-book additionally stories that Philip Morris, a cigarette firm, paid the present’s asking value of $26,500 to sponsor I Love Lucy. CBS additionally paid $5 million for the rights to broadcast the present, in keeping with The I Love Lucy Book.

In 1953, months after the delivery of Ball and Arnaz’s second baby, Desi Jr., the couple signed a brand new $8 million contract with Morris for one more 100 episodes, with a manufacturing funds of round $40,000 to $50,000 per week, in keeping with the e-book. (The e-book additionally reported that twins, Richard and Ronald Lee Simmons, who performed Lucy and Ricky’s baby son in I Love Lucy, made $25 per week for sooner or later of filming on Fridays.) After I Love Lucy ended, Ball and Arnaz signed a $2.5 million take care of Ford to sponsor 5 episodes of The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show, which was expanded to 13 whole episodes. According to The Los Angeles Times, I Love Lucy makes round $20 million annually from reruns.

What was Lucille Ball’s web value?

Lucille Ball

Image: Everett Collection.

What was Lucille Ball’s web value? Ball died on the age of 77 on April 26, 1989, of a ruptured aorta after open-heart surgical procedure. She was survived by her two youngsters, Lucie and Desi Jr., and her second husband, Gary Morton, whom she married in 1961. Lucille Ball had a web value of $40 million—equal to about $80 million immediately—in keeping with the Gazette Review. Desi Arnaz—whom she divorced in May 1960—was value $20 million on the time of his dying, in keeping with Celebrity Net Worth. Arnaz, an everyday cigarette smoker, died three years earlier than Ball on December 2, 1986, from lung most cancers.

Though a lot of Lucille Ball’s web value got here from I Love Lucy, plenty of her and Arnaz’s cash was additionally from the merchandise offers that got here after the delivery of their son, Desi Jr., in 1953, which led to sponsorships for dolls, comedian books, cigarette lighters, aprons and extra objects, in keeping with The I Love Lucy Book. The monetary windfall led trade consultants to nickname Desi Jr. as “Lucy’s $50 Million Baby.”

In 1950, Ball and Arnaz based their very own manufacturing firm, DesiLu Productions, which has produced reveals like I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, Untouchables, Mission: Impossible and Star Trek. The firm was the second-largest unbiased tv firm within the United States till 1962 and remained because the number-one unbiased manufacturing firm within the nation till it was bought in 1968 to Paramount Television. Both Ball and Arnaz owned a majority stake in DesiLu till 1962 when Ball purchased out Arnaz and ran the corporate by herself for seven years. She bought her shares of Desilu to Gulf + Western (later Paramount Television) for $17 million (a price of $132 million in 2020) in 1968.

Being the Ricardos is offered to stream on Amazon Prime Video. Here’s watch it for free.

Image: Courtesy of Berkeley.

For extra about Lucille Ball, learn her autobiography, Love, Lucy. The e-book—which was revealed after Ball’s dying in 1989 and is her solely autobiography—follows the comedienne’s profession and life, from her childhood in Jamestown, New York, to her goals on Broadway and her marriage with Desi Arnaz. Written by Ball herself, the autobiography additionally consists of intimate recollections of her and Desi’s youngsters, what led to the top of their marriage and the way Ball discovered love once more along with her second husband, Gary Morton. Told in her personal phrases, Love, Lucy is a must-read for anybody who loves Lucy.

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