Lucille Ball Net Worth At Death – How Did She Get Rich? Exposed!

Lucille Ball Net Worth At Death

Lucille Ball has an estimated net worth of $60 MillionOne of America’s most beloved comedians, Lucille Ball is particularly known for her iconic television show ‘I Love Lucy.’ She earned the majority of her income from movies and TV shows.

Lucille Ball began her career as a singer, model, and film star before becoming one of America’s top comedic actresses on the 1950s television show I Love Lucy, which she co-starred on with her husband, Desi Arnaz. Ball went on to star in The Lucy Show and Here’s Lucy while also becoming a top TV executive after the couple divorced in 1960. She passed away in 1989.

To calculate the net worth of Lucille Ball, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as loans and personal debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of her net worth:

Name: Lucille Ball
Net Worth: $60 Million
Monthly Salary: $400 Thousand+
Annual Income: $5 Million+
Source of Wealth: Comedian, Model, Actor, Television producer, Singer

Early Life

Ball was born in Jamestown, New York, on August 6, 1911, to Henry Durrell Ball and Desiree Ball. Ball, the couple’s eldest child (her brother, Fred, was born in 1915), had a difficult childhood shaped by tragedy and a lack of money.

Ball’s father, Henry (or Had, as he was known to his family), was an electrician who relocated the family to Montana for work not long after his daughter’s birth. Then it was off to Michigan to work as a telephone lineman for the Michigan Bell Company. Had’s life was turned upside down in February 1915 when he contracted typhoid fever and died. Ball was only three years old at the time, and her father’s death not only set in motion a series of difficult childhood obstacles, but it also served as the young girl’s first truly significant memory.

“I recall everything that happened,” she stated. “My mother was crying as she hung out the window, begging to play with the kids next door who had measles. I recall a bird flying in the window and a picture falling off the wall.”

Desiree, still reeling from her husband’s untimely death and pregnant with Fred, packed her belongings and moved back to Jamestown, New York, where she eventually found work in a factory and a new husband, Ed Peterson. Peterson, on the other hand, disliked children, especially young ones, and with Desiree’s approval, he decided the two of them would relocate to Detroit without her children. Fred moved in with Desiree’s parents, while Ball was forced to live with Ed’s parents. Ball had to deal with Peterson’s stern mother, who didn’t have a lot of money to lavish on her step-granddaughter. Ball would later recall that the family didn’t even have enough money for school pencils.

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Early Career

When Desiree and Ed returned to Jamestown at the age of 11, Ball was reunited with her mother. Ball had an itch to do something big even back then, and when she was 15, she persuaded her mother to let her enroll in a New York City drama school. Despite her desire to perform on stage, Ball was too nervous to attract much attention.

“I was a tongue-tied teenager captivated by the school’s star pupil, Bette Davis,” Ball explained. Finally, the school wrote to her mother, “Lucy is squandering both her and our time. She’s too shy and unsure of herself to put her best foot forward.”

She stayed in New York City, however, and by 1927, Ball, now known as Diane Belmont, was working as a model, first for fashion designer Hattie Carnegie and then, after overcoming a debilitating bout of rheumatoid arthritis, for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Ball, who had dyed her chestnut hair blonde, moved to Hollywood in the early 1930s in search of more acting opportunities. Soon after, she was hired as one of the 12 “Goldwyn Girls” to promote the 1933 Eddie Cantor film Roman Scandals. She appeared as an extra in the Ritz Brothers film The Three Musketeers before landing a significant role in Stage Door, starring Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers, in 1937.

Marriage to Desi Arnaz

During her long career, Ball appeared in 72 films, including a string of second-tier films in the 1940s that earned her the unofficial title “The Queen of B Movies.” One of the first, Dance, Girl, Dance, introduced her to a handsome Cuban bandleader named Desi Arnaz. They co-starred in Ball’s next film, Too Many Girls, and before the end of the year, they were madly in love and married.

For the careful, career-minded Ball, who had been romantically linked to a string of older men, Arnaz was something entirely different: fiery, young (he was only 23 when they met), and with a bit of a ladies’ man reputation. Friends and colleagues predicted that the romance between the seemingly mismatched entertainers would last only a year.

But Ball seemed drawn to Arnaz’s spark, and while her husband’s attention occasionally strayed romantically from the marriage, the truth is that Arnaz greatly supported Ball’s career ambitions during their 20 years together.

Still, by the late 1940s, Ball, who had dyed her hair red at MGM’s request in 1942, was facing a stagnant film career, unable to break into the kinds of starring roles she’d always desired. As a result, Arnaz encouraged his wife to try her hand at broadcasting, and it wasn’t long before Ball was cast as the lead in the radio comedy My Favorite Husband. The show piqued the interest of CBS executives, who asked her to recreate something similar on the small screen. Ball, on the other hand, insisted on including her real-life husband, which the network clearly did not want to happen. So Ball walked away, putting together an I Love Lucy-style vaudeville act with Desi and touring it. The pair were soon greeted with success. A CBS contract followed suit.

‘I Love Lucy’

Ball and Arnaz knew exactly what they wanted from the network from the start. Their demands included the ability to create their new show in Hollywood rather than New York, where most television was still shot. The couple’s preference for film over the less expensive kinescope proved to be the most difficult obstacle. When CBS informed them that it would be too expensive, Ball and Arnaz agreed to take a pay cut. In exchange, they would keep full ownership of the program and run it through their newly formed production company, Desilu Productions.

I Love Lucy premiered on October 15, 1951, and it was immediately clear to the television viewing audience across the country that this was a sitcom unlike any other. The show, which co-starred Vivian Vance and William Frawley as Lucy and Desi’s best friends, was bombastic and daring, and it set the stage for a generation of family-related sitcoms to come. The plots of the show dealt with marital problems, women in the workplace, and suburban living.

And, in perhaps one of the most memorable TV episodes ever, Lucy gave birth to Little Ricky on January 19, 1953, the same day the real-life Lucy delivered her son Desi Jr. by cesarean section. (Lucie, Ball and Arnaz’s first child, had been born two years before.)

Lucy was the show’s star, as the title suggested. Ball was a perfectionist, despite her tendency to downplay her efforts. Contrary to popular belief, very little was improvised. The actress would spend hours rehearsing her antics and facial expressions. Her groundbreaking comedy work paved the way for future stars like Mary Tyler Moore, Penny Marshall, Cybill Shepherd, and even Robin Williams.

Her brilliance was not unnoticed. I Love Lucy’s success was unparalleled during its six-year run. The sitcom was the number one show in the country for four seasons. In 1953, the show drew an unprecedented 67.3 million viewers, including a 71.1 rating for the episode featuring Little Ricky’s birth, outnumbering the television audience for President Eisenhower’s inauguration ceremonies.

After ‘Lucy’

Desilu Productions continued to produce television hits like Our Miss Brooks, Make Room for Daddy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Untouchables, Star Trek, and Mission: Impossible after the show ended in 1957.

Ball and Arnaz divorced in 1960. Ball, now remarried to comedian Gary Morton, bought out her ex-husband and took over Desilu Productions two years later, becoming the first woman to run a major television production studio. She eventually sold the company to Gulf-Western for $17 million in 1967.

More acting work followed, including roles in The Lucy Show (1962-68) and Here’s Lucy (1968). (1968-73). Both were moderately successful, but neither captured the magic that had defined her previous program with Arnaz. But it didn’t matter. Even if she never acted again, Ball’s influence on the world of comedy and the television industry in general would have been widely recognized.

She was the first woman to be awarded the International Radio and Television Society’s Gold Medal in 1971. There were also four Emmys, induction into the Television Hall of Fame, and Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts recognition for her life’s work.

Ball moved away from her comedic roots in 1985 to play a homeless woman in the made-for-TV film Stone Pillow. While it wasn’t a smash hit, Ball did receive some praise for her performance. Most critics, however, wanted to see her return to comedy, and in 1986 she debuted Life With Lucy, a new CBS sitcom. The show paid its star $2.3 million but did not draw a large audience. It was canceled after only eight episodes.


She died on April 26, 1989, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from a ruptured aorta following open-heart surgery.

Further Reading

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