All About Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's Children and Grandchildren (2024)

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s legacy lives on through their children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr., and their grandchildren, Julia, Haley, Simon, Joseph and Kate.

The comedic duo’s journey to parenthood began in 1951 with the birth of Lucie Désirée Arnaz. “They were dying to have a family as soon as they got married,” Lucie told The Desert Sun in 2018 of her parents, who wed on Nov. 30, 1940.

However, it didn’t happen right away. In an interview with The Washington Star in 1980, Ball shared that she had two miscarriages while trying to get pregnant during the first decade of their marriage.

“For me, the birth of a child, it was a miracle,” she told the newspaper about welcoming her firstborn. "I couldn’t believe it.”

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's Relationship in Photos

The pair's second child, Desiderio “Desi” Alberto Arnaz Jr., arrived 18 months in 1953, to much public fanfare.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Ball was scheduled for a c-section and welcomed her son the same night that her character, Lucy Ricardo, gave birth to her fictional son, Little Ricky.

For all of the actors' success, their family mattered most. “Just having a career, that would be very boring,” Ball told The Washington Star. “The best part of my life is having children. They keep you young.”

Here's everything to know about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr., and grandchildren: Julia, Haley, Simon, Joseph and Kate.

Lucie Désirée Arnaz, 72

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Ball and Arnaz welcomed their first child, daughter Lucie Désirée Arnaz, on July 17, 1951.

The newborn arrived six weeks before Ball went to work on I Love Lucy. “My mom was a working mom,” Lucie said. "[My parents] were very busy. ... I think from probably [from the] age of birth up through 7, they weren’t home a lot.”

Ultimately, Ball and Arnaz divorced in 1960, and though it was difficult in the beginning, the two remained close. "They loved each other until the end," Lucie told PEOPLE in 2022, referring to their deaths in 1989 and 1986, respectively.

Their love of show business rubbed off on their daughter. The Desert Sun reported that she began putting on shows in the garage at age 9, prompting Ball to build her a stage.

Lucie went on to star in high school productions of Oklahoma!, Alice in Wonderland and The Boyfriend. She also got a taste of the limelight: At 15, she landed a role as her mother’s on-screen daughter, Kim Carter, on her television show, Here’s Lucy.

She accepted the part on the condition that the Forever, Darling star would fire her if she wasn’t good. “I said, ‘[You’ve] got to help me save face,” Lucie told Page Six."And [my mom] agreed.”

When Here’s Lucy ended in 1974, Lucie was ready to hit the stage. "I got … the first national company of Seesaw,” she told The Desert Sun. "That led to Annie Get Your Gun and They're Playing Our Song and I never looked back. I pretty much stayed in the theater.”

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Her role in Neil Simon’s They’re Playing Our Song in 1979 also led to romance when she crossed paths with husband Laurence Luckinbill, who was concurrently starring in Simon’s Chapter Two.

In June 1980, the pair got married, making Lucie a stepmom to Laurence’s two children from his previous marriage to Robin Strasser, Nick and Ben Luckinbill.

They welcomed their first child together, Simon Thomas Luckinbill, on Dec. 10, 1980. He was followed by Joseph Henry Luckinbill on Dec. 31, 1981, and Katharine "Kate" Désirée Luckinbill on Jan. 11, 1985.

“I say I birthed three and I cooked and cleaned for five. All the kids are spectacular,” Lucie later joked to Passport Magazine.

Since becoming a mother, Lucie has continued to act: She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in 1980’s The Jazz Singer, and in 1985, she got her own comedy series, The Lucie Arnaz Show, which ran for one season.

She won an Emmy in 1993 for her work as an executive producer on Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie biopic, which was written and produced by Laurence. In 2002, she was nominated for another Emmy alongside Desi Jr. as an executive producer on the I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Special.

Over a decade later, the Pippen star again paid homage to her late father and mother by recording audiobooks of their respective autobiographies, A Book and Love, Lucy.

Most recently, she starred in I Got the Job! Songs From My Musical Past.

Desiderio “Desi” Alberto Arnaz Jr., 71

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Ball and Arnaz welcomed their second child, son Desiderio “Desi” Alberto Arnaz Jr., on Jan. 19, 1953.

Contrary to popular belief, Lucy didn’t give birth to him on camera while filming I Love Lucy. “I was actually born that Monday morning and the episode aired that night,” the musician clarified to the Los Angeles Times in 1991, adding, “Many people thought that I was born on the air.”

I Love Lucy fans were further confused when Desi Jr. appeared with his famous mother on the cover of the first issue of TV Guide at 2 months old.

“Because that cover was so widely seen, everyone thought I played Little Ricky, and that's stuck with me throughout my life," Desi Jr. told the outlet in 2013. (Keith Thibodeaux played the part.)

Show or no show, Desi Jr. had an interest in music early on: Lucie told the Television Academy Foundation that her brother started practicing the drums around the age of 4.

When his parents split up, Desi Jr. continued to spend summers with Desi Sr. at his home in Baja, Calif., according to the Los Angeles Times.

He also kept pursuing music. “He was in a rock and roll group when he was 11,” Lucie told the Television Academy Foundation.

The group was called Dino, Desi & Billy and Desi Jr. played the drums alongside Dean Martin’s son, Dean Paul Martin, and Billy Hinsche. They saw mainstream success with their single “I’m a Fool” and opened up for acts like The Beach Boys.

Ball’s son also dabbled in film, making cameos on shows like The Brady Bunch and costarring alongside his mother and sister as Craig Carter on Here’s Lucy from 1968 to 1972. His performance in 1971’s Red Sky at Morning earned him a Golden Globe.

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Concurrently, Desi Jr. made headlines for his love life: When he was in his teens, he became a father when model Susan Callahan-Howe gave birth to their daughter Julia Arnaz. However, Desi. Jr. didn’t meet her until after she was 20 years old.

Other romances included a relationship with actress Patty Duke and a short-lived engagement to Liza Minnelli. ”I’m the one who talked marriage to them,” Lucy later said of the couple in a 1972 interview. “I said ... ‘Don’t get married too soon.’ They were upset.’ ”

Desi Jr. and Minnelli called it quits before they made it down the aisle, and he moved on with actress Linda Purl, whom he married in 1979. They split a year later, according to Ball of Fire: The Tumultuous Life and Comic Art of Lucille Ball.

Around this time, Desi Jr. was “dangerously close to the terminal stage of drug abuse,” according to his interview with the Los Angeles Times. An old piece of advice from his dad encouraged him to enter a recovery program and turn his life around. (Desi Jr. later helped Desi Sr. get sober by utilizing the same program.)

Desi Jr. met the love of his life, Amy Laura Bargiel, in Nevada. “I liked Desi [Jr.] because he was very interested in the spiritual side of life,” she told The Washington Times in 2002. “He liked my dance studio. He was so down-to-earth, plus I thought he was very handsome.”

The couple tied the knot on Oct. 8, 1987, and settled near Las Vegas. Together, the pair bought the Boulder Theatre, which they worked to restore. Desi Jr. also adopted Bargiel’s adult daughter, Haley.

“I’m happier now than I’ve ever been,” the drummer told the publication.

On the work front, Desi Jr. continued to act, playing the role of his father, Desi Sr., in 1992’s The Mambo Kings alongside Antonio Banderas. He also revived his band in 1998, with Ricci Martin filling in for his late brother Dean, who died in a plane crash the year prior, per The Washington Times.

In 2002, the A Wedding actor earned an Emmy nomination as an executive producer with his sister Lucie on the I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Special. He also served as an executive producer on 2021’s Being the Ricardos.

Tragically, Amy died of cancer at the age of 63 on Jan. 23, 2015, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Julia Arnaz Massey, 55

Model Susan Callahan-Howe gave birth to Julia Arnaz Massey in 1970, but she didn’t have a relationship with her father, Desi Jr., until the early ‘90s after her grandparents Ball and Desi Sr. had died.

“We did a DNA test when I was 20 and it came back 99.97 percent that I was indeed his daughter,” Julia told Page Six in 2021. “Shortly after that my father and I started a beautiful relationship.”

She talked about her childhood to WGN Radio 720, revealing that her mother moved her to Connecticut after her relationship with Desi Jr. ended. “She really didn’t want me being raised in Hollywood,” Julia said.

She also opened up to the radio show about reconnecting with her famous father, calling the day he phoned her “the best day” of her life. “For so long ... I yearned for my dad, and watching these people on TV, and I could see them, but they just couldn’t see me,” she shared.

By the time the two were reunited, Julia had become a mother herself, giving birth to daughter Desiree S. Anzalone in 1989, whom she welcomed with Mario Anzalone. (The couple later split.)

Afterward, Julia married but was widowed in 2012 when her husband Tim died in a swimming accident. As she told PEOPLE, "I've had my endurance with tragedy.” (She later remarried Albert Massey.)

In 2021, Page Six reported that Julia's mother, Susan, died due to COVID-19.

She also lost her daughter Desiree, whom she referred to as her “mini-me,” to breast cancer at the age of 31. "We were [best friends],” she told PEOPLE of her only child. "She was so beautiful. ... She really, really reminded me a lot of my grandmother, more so than I.”

Julia told Page Six that Desiree also had a relationship with her grandfather, Desi Jr., before her death. “He helped me very much [throughout] my life and helped my daughter through college.”

The bereaved mother told WGN Radio 720 that she has since joined a foundation called BCRF in honor of her daughter and was also named the Connecticut breast cancer spokesperson. “The thing that keeps me going is to just try and make awareness for this horrible disease," Julia explained.

Haley Arnaz, 47

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Desi Jr.’s late wife, Amy, welcomed her daughter, Haley Arnaz, in December 1976 during a past relationship.

Amy married the Joyride actor in 1987, and the three became a family, with Desi Jr. adopting Haley, per The Washington Times.

As a child, Haley was a ballerina, performing duets like the Gran Pas de Deux in The Nutcracker.

“I have always told Haley ... that it is a virtue to learn to do one thing well in life,” Bargiel wrote in her blog in 2011. “Haley did that. She learned the art of Ballet — and she learned it well.”

Before her death, Amy wrote a series of children’s books about her daughter’s pastime of balletcalled Little Haley Stories.

However, there is little known about Haley’s adult life as she largely stays out of the limelight. She was last seen on the red carpet in 2001 when she attended a Carl Wilson benefit concern with her parents.

Simon Thomas Luckinbill, 43

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Lucie and Laurence celebrated the arrival of their first child together, son Simon Thomas Luckinbill, on Dec. 10, 1980.

She later told Cape Cod Times that becoming a mother was her “proudest moment.”

Born in Los Angeles, he moved to Katonah, New York, early on. “We made a decision a long time ago to back off from big show business because of the children,” Laurence told The Desert Sun in 2018 of the family’s move. “We ... lived in the country away from the city.”

Like his parents, Simon kept himself busy with creative pursuits, studying music, drums, percussion, poetry and nutrition. He also discovered art as an outlet.

“I found I had a passion for using color, texture and a hint of fantasy to express myself,” he told Coachella Valley Weekly in 2016. “I started looking at painting as [a] way of self-expression. I find art to be cathartic. I tell stories with my work. … My art is about me.”

Simon held his first show in 2014 at the Archangel Gallery in Palm Springs, Calif., where he reportedly sold over half of his paintings in 90 minutes. In 2016, he held his second show in Coachella Valley. He told CV Weekly that he had drawn inspiration from “music, nature, vision quests, and, as a Christian, of course, God.”

Lucie acknowledged her son’s artistic side while posting a sweet tribute on Instagram for his milestone 40th birthday in 2020.

“You are a true sprite with a beautiful heart and a brilliant eye for color and art expression,” she captioned photos of him. “I love you, my son. Thank you for making me a Mommie!”

Joseph Henry Luckinbill, 42

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Lucie and Laurence welcomed their second child together, Joseph Henry Luckinbill, on Dec. 31, 1981.

Like Desi Jr., Joseph showed an early inclination for music. Lucie spoke about his love for one instrument in particular to Arlene Herson, saying, “I have a son whose passion is playing guitar. He just lives to play the guitar.”

According to LinkedIn, Joseph earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Shenandoah University. After graduation, he made a career out of his passion, teaching music at various shops and schools, as well as online. In addition, Joseph built a production studio, Fathom Studios, where he works as the head engineer.

In 2008, the musician performed in LuLu’s Back in Town on Broadway at Birdland alongside his mother and little sister Kate.

He also performs his own music: Per LinkedIn, Joseph plays in a progressive funk band called Plasm and has six albums under his belt.

On June 26, 2019, Joseph took on a brand new title of “dad,” alongside his partner, Christa Messina. Lucie announced the news on her Facebook page, writing, “Proud papa, Joe Luckinbill, with our granddaughter, his first child, Eliza Grace!”

His family grew again with the addition of their son, George Anthony, on April 19, 2021. Lucie enjoys posting photos of them on Instagram.

According to LinkedIn, Joseph aims to receive his master’s degree in music production from Berklee College of Music in June 2024.

Katharine “Kate” Désirée Luckinbill-Conner, 39

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Katharine "Kate" Désirée Luckinbill arrived to parents Lucie and Laurence on Jan. 11, 1985.

As a child, Kate remembers watching Inspector Gadget with her famous grandmother. “She would give me Oreos and milk and just sit behind me and play backgammon, and just keep me company,” Lucie's youngest child told the Today show in 2021.

Kate elaborated on her grandmother’s penchant for putting her hair in curlers and letting her fall asleep in her giant bed. "I guess she was really happy to have another little girl,” she said.

Growing up, Lucie and Kate were incredibly close. "We had a real mom-daughter ‘friend’ relationship,” the mom of three told the Courier-Post in 2016. “We did things together, we went places together.”

She recalled taking Kate on the road with her. “I swear, her first two words were ‘room service,’ ” Lucie joked to The Sun Sentinel in 1987.

When she got older, Kate followed her parents into acting, starring in a production of Dracula in 2010, as well as titles such as College Debts in 2015.

According to her biography on Desilu, Too, which manages the use of images, likeness and the voices of Desi and Lucy Arnaz, Kate has also worked in recruitment for companies such as Amazon, Snapchat and Microsoft. She is currently the creative director and the curator of new licensing at Desilu, Too.

In May 2019, Kate gave birth to Jeffrey Dodge Conner, with whom she told Today she now watches Inspector Gadget, shares Oreos and plays Backgammon. ​​”I tell him that this is our Nana time,” she said.

All About Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's Children and Grandchildren (2024)
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