Lucille Désirée Ball (1911-1989) – Actress & Comedian
Lucille Ball was and American comedienne, model, film and televison actress, and studio executive. She was the star of the sitcoms I love Lucy, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy, and Life with Lucy, and was one of the most popular and influential stars in the United States during her lifetime. In 1962, Ball became the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu, which produced many successful and popular television series. Ball was among the first recipients of the Women in Film Crystal Award (1977), as well as being a recipient of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1979, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986, and the Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 1989.
Following Ball’s death, her second husband and widower, Gary Morton, married Susie McAllister. When Gary Morton died in 1999, Susie Morton, the rightful heir to his estate, inherited some of Ball’s memorabilia (jewelry, love letters, awards and other personal items) which, in 2010, she intended to auction off. When Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, Ball’s daughter with first husband Desi Arnaz, discovered what Morton was doing, she quickly claimed the items that were headed to the auction block as her’s, which in turn made Susie Morton file a suit in Los Angeles Superior Court to determine ownership. Morton’s attempt to keep Lucille Ball’s possessions failed, and Luckinbill won. But, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert O’Brien agreed to block the sale only if Luckinbill could put up a $250,000 bond, which she could not. So, Luckinbill and Morton then reached an agreement, where Luckinbill was able to receive the lifetime achievement awards, which she donated to a museum in honor of her mother’s legacy, and Morton was able to sell the remainder of the assets.
Lucille Ball was a spectacular comedian, but even legendary entertainers can fail to plan properly. If you want to minimize the consequences of failing to properly plan your estate, then contact The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. for a free initial consultation on estate planning, trust planning, and/or probate issues.
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