July 6th, 2010
05:27 PM ET

Lucille Ball items going up for auction

Fans of the legendary Lucille Ball can now own a piece of her life.

Heritage Auctions has announced the sale of rare personal effects and mementos of the legendary comedienne including love letters between Ball and her second husband Gary Morton, her 1984 Rolls Royce and her personal address book.

These items and more are being offered as part of Heritage Auction Galleries Beverly Hills’ July 17 Signature Music & Entertainment Memorabilia Auction. The love letters between Ball and Morton span their 28 year marriage and her address book includes listings for some legendary performers including Jack Benny, Edgar Bergen, Milton Berle, Dean Martin, and Ethel Merman.

The auction is being made possible due to the items coming to Heritage via Susie Morton, who married Gary Morton in 1996, seven years after Ball died in 1989. Morton is perhaps better known as Susie McAllister, a former professional golfer on the LPGA Tour.

“Susie has lived with these relics of Lucy and Gary’s life for more than 10 years,” said Doug Norwine, Director of Music & Entertainment Auctions at Heritage. “She did it out of respect for her late husband and out of respect for Lucy’s amazing legacy. Now she’s ready to part with these treasures as she remodels her house to make it completely her own.”

Other items up for auction will include artwork, silverware and Ball’s favorite backgammon boards, a game which was reportedly a passion of the actress.


soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. I Love Lucy Fan

    Waaaaaaahhhhhhh!! Waaaaaaaaaahhhhh!! ((Lucy wailing)) "Oh, Ricky!!! Look at what they're doin' to my stuff!!! Oh, what was Gary thinking!?" "Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh – Waaaaaaahhhh!!" ((wailing even louder – sobbing and dabbing her eyes... blowing nose hard – shaking her head – sniff!! sniff!!))

    September 7, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gina1224

    Lucys children are the only people alive that should get her personal belongings. This last wife of Gary Morton has no attachment to Lucy and only cares about making money. In the end if anyone does not do the right thing they will some day pay for their greediness. GIVE LUCY HER MOTHERS THINGS. She is the only one who cares for them.

    July 19, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jango Davis

    Since the letters were between Gary and HIS wife, not between Lucy and Desi, then the letters are none of their business. And honestly, think people, would YOU want love letters between your motehr and ANOTHER MAN who is not your father?

    The letters were Gary Marton's to dispose of as he saw fit, and he did, and it's nobody else's business. If Lucy wanted privacy she picked the wrong profession to expect it.

    July 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. P Johns

    Lucy was not a drunk late in life!!! Where in the world do people like you come from?? She was a wonderful human being.

    July 7, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. Toni in Bellevue

    She's after the money – the hag. Why doesn't she give LUCY'S PERSONAL items to Lucy's children? That would be the appropriate thing to do, aside from showing some class about the situation.

    July 7, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sue

    Not sure why people keep saying the woman should give the stuff to Lucy's kids. These are letters between their mother and a guy who is not their father. Personally, I would be creeped out reading my mom's love letters, let alone those between her and my stepfather. The Rolls Royce...wouldn't mind getting that, but obviously she shared that vehicle with Gary Morton, not Desi Arnaz, so it doesn't belong to them.

    July 7, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. robert

    i shed no tears on the passing of my mother. but cried like a baby the day i heard of lucy's passing. i am 52 yrs old and still adore lucy. she seemed to be a nice lady. god rest her.

    July 7, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. Zina

    Maybe this woman need the $$$$$ & there are fans who would love to have this memoriabilia & share in the joy of a beloved icon. We all loved Lucy !!.....& Desi ,too Peace

    July 7, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. bree

    Tina, I'm so glad you posted what you did, I'm boiling also about those comments. Lucy gave more to everyone in 1/2 hr. than most folks give in a lifetime.And as far as her being "grouchy",1.big deal! who hasnt been in a bad mood,but,2. and the REAL reason imo, (when she was a little grumpy) was because it literally killed Lucy to no longer perform. : ( It broke her heart that her fans didnt care for her last show. (Life with Lucy) That great lady gave her LIFE to us, She gave her ALL to make us laugh & forget our troubles. I dont believe the money had a thing to do with her acting,it was to please us. She gave up time with her loved 1's for everyone of us! She was 1 of the GREATEST! And I include Desi in the same way. I had a crappy childhood and I tell you, without I Love Lucy, I wouldnt have had as many good times as I had. I'm 53,and I still love Lucy like a 2ed mom.Crazy? I dont think so, cause without her shows my life would have been empty. I collect everything I can about her & Desi,and I treasure every item.Unfortunatley, the auction items wont go to us peons,but I hope who buys them,loves them. Tina, bless you for telling us about your aunt,you are 1 lucky gal,but so was Lucy for having you. bree

    July 7, 2010 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. Tina

    I am the niece of Lucille Ball and I have many family photos that I would never even think of selling. But then again, my Uncle Gary's new wife was not part of this family. The only thing she gains is money and the only thing that the purchaser gains is a bit of Lucille Ball's life. Not sure if Lucie or Desi would care. What I don't appreciate is the comment about Lucy being an alcoholic grouch...how the hell would you know? Does anyone know her favorite TV shows were Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune? or that she used to chain smoke but had quit? or that she had a poodle named Tinkerbell? or that she recommends vinegar for a sunburn? She was completely human and what I do know best about her is that she loved her family and friends. And Gary? He was a great guy too and his wife after Lucy? She was a lucky gal to have known him.

    July 7, 2010 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • taxpayinghorse@yahoo.com

      Tina, thank you for replying. It was a wonderful rebutal. I loved what you shared about Lucy. I was just a kid and loved watching her more then cartoons when I was barely out of diapers. You are so right about her being human. No one is perfect. Lucy gave so much to the entire world. She was and always will be my favorite actress. Even I could tell that performing was what made life worth while for her...at least that is the way it seemed to me. She was a real gift God gave this world. Unfortuately there are many that will never appreciate the beauty and joy she gave to us. They just take it for granted. Lynn

      July 7, 2010 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. R U Kidding?

    She's selling items (for profit) that were from her late husband's former marriage? The fact that it's very personal items of Lucy's (our own American treasure) makes this beyond tacky. Does she even know there's a Lucy-Desi Museum in New York? That's were these items should be. I wonder if she even first offered them to Luci Arnez? Frankly, I hope she doesn't have one ounce of happiness with any of the money. Because it's Lucy, they'll (items) go to big bucks. PS, what wife keeps love letters of your husband's former wife? Oh wait, again it's Lucy so no wonder she kept them. Tacky, tacky & still tacky! Shame on her. I'm very appalled.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mic

    Not firsthand knowledge, but my aunt was a flight attendant who had Lucille on her flight. She could attest to both the grouchy and drunk comments. She said she was the rudest celebrity she had ever encountered on her flights. I'm still a big fan though.

    I would think Luci and Desi would not want to read love letters to another man besides their father. I sure wouldn't.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RRH97006

    This is so very disgusting. When you're dead, why not be left in peace? Lucille Ball may have possibly gotten a kick out of this, but, I think she'd feel better about it if the money from sale were to be given to charity. How did Gary Morton end up with the kind of woman that would sell private possessions to REMODEL A HOME???!!!??? Ick.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • danue

      Chill out. These are just material things. May her soul rest in peace.

      July 7, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. bigtop

    in fairness, lucy was married longer to gary(28 years) than to desi (less than 20 years). she probably had all these things during that marriage (to gary-certainly the '84 Rolls)and doesn't the current husband rightfully get everything? so the same with the new Mrs. Morton. and would luci/desi jr. really care about an addressbook of deceased stars? they knew each of them personally–let some sappy fan have a piece of celeb history instead via the auction.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jean Tyree

    How Sweet! It would be nice to look at it. She was such aan amazing woman. Much loved by many.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Jane

    Lucy's kids have plenty of memorabilia and plenty of money from it. These were things left to her husband, so they were his. He left them to his next wife, so they are hers. She has a right to do what she wants with them. She may be even needing money to remodel her home, and this will put the items in the hands of those who truly appreciate the items–fans and or investors who will protect them. I see absolutely nothing wrong with what she is doing. Does anyone seriously think this is all Lucy left? No! She left so much and her kids have plenty of momentos. These things were from later in her life and she left them to the person she wanted to have them just as she left other things to her children. Who are we to question her wishes? Who are we to begrudge a widow the ability to use what is left to her for her own purposes? Get real, people.

    July 6, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  17. anonymous

    Pssh, she's selling those items to make money. Those belongings should go to Lucille's kids. That other woman is a hag.

    July 6, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Barbara

    Why say and do you have first hand information that she was a grouchy drunk. Her shows brought us laughter and her presence anytime was enjoyable behind words. I would like to see her children keep or dispose of them any way they want to, instead of a second wife. At least Lucy had him longer.

    July 6, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  19. georgiegirl

    I just read on google that Luci was the executive of her mother's will, so maybe she's fully aware of what Gary Morton had. That being said, I would still check with Luci, Desi, and their children to see if they wanted something. But then, who am I?

    July 6, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Anne

    Sad, but there just things. Lucille Ball gave us so much, let's just remember here with a laugh!

    July 6, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  21. itslate

    I would hope Susan Morton would have the decency to offer these items to Lucille Balls children and grandchildren . Perhaps she did. If the family did not want these items, go ahead and auction them although I would think the personal letters should be destroyed. I still LOVE to watch LUCY (:

    July 6, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  22. james

    Even though Ms. Ball turned out to be a grouchy drunk late in life...this stuff should be very personal and not sold.

    July 6, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • nancy pahr

      HEY WHO DO U THINK U ARE???? The woman was a legend and pioneer. U have no right to degrade her like that. Shame on you!!!! As far as her items go, hr children should retrieve them and decide what to do with them. this other woman has no righT to them at all iF HER CHILDREN'S WANTS TO AUCTION THEM OFF THAT IS THEIR DECISION

      July 6, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  23. az1969guy

    Wow, what a slap in the face to Lucys' children. It's no wonder how wars get started in the world with thinking like this.

    July 6, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  24. bbear

    I wonder what Lucille Ball's children think of this..or do they have any say in it? just seems as if they should be given the opportunity to take these items for themselves...pretty personal stuff to be auctioning off...and I agree with Deborah..I would never auction off my mother's things, not that anyone would want them! I found a large journal that my mother kept..I read it, cried, laughed...then shredded it so no one else would see it should somsething happen to me..and what is the money going for? charity would be nice if it's going to happen

    July 6, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Barry

    Gary Morton should have given the stuff to Luci and Desi Arnaz when Lucille Ball died. Since he didn't, maybe they didn't want it.

    July 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carroll

      why wouldn't they? of course they would want these things....what daughter or son wouldn't want their mother's property?

      July 6, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • DK

      Lucy was no one to her. If it brings her some extra money, so what. Lucy's kids would probably sell it anyway. I see nothing wrong with it. Lucy was a good business women herself. I'm sure she would've done the same.

      July 6, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  26. llrmom

    The woman is Ms. Ball's widower's new wife.

    July 6, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  27. kate

    Give ALL of the stuff to Lucy's kids and grandkids, which is where the stuff belongs! DON"T sell any of it!

    July 6, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carroll

      that is the right and proper thing to do! it is evident that these items do not have any valuable meaning to her.

      July 6, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      I completely agree- what a classless thing to do! How petty... guess she needs some cha-ching to remodel that big house. Wow... It kinda makes ya' glad you don't have people like that in your life.

      July 7, 2010 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  28. Deborah

    Boy I would never and I mean never auction off my mothers personal items as intimate as her letters and address book-No matter how much I needed the money-How sad and pathetic.....

    July 6, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • CheckyourGlasses

      You might better read the article again....it said she was MARRIED to Gary Morton 7 years after Lucille's death. Neither of Lucille's kids were named Morton anyway.

      July 6, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • vic baron

      Deborah dear....they didnt have any children, Lucy and Desi Jr are from her marriage to Desi Arnez.

      July 7, 2010 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      I had to go through my Mom's things after she passed away. I'm wondering why Gary didn't go through all of this stuff within the 7 years after Lucy passed away and before he remarried? I know it is hard, but it doesn't get any easier. It took me almost two full years to go through all of my Mom's stuff. I had to shred 40 years of checks, old financial info, etc. If Gary had gone through the stuff then he could have shredded some of the personal letters and made decisions to have the awards go to the Lucy museum, etc. I don't know why Lucy's kids would want the stuff, it is mostly personal stuff between Gary and Lucy. As Gary's wife after Gary passed away, Susie has the right to sell this stuff. However, a half used powder box that Lucy used? I mean, really, that is too personal. I didn't keep my Mom's half used stuff like that–it went in the trash. I have all my Mom and Dad's love letters to each other. I did not show my Dad my Mom's love letters she kept from former boyfriends before they were married. Mom passed away within 7 months of diagnosis of cancer so even she forgot about the old letters she had stashed in the closet.
      Everyone should think about this and if you are still holding on to old personal love letters from relationships of long ago, and they have really personal information, shred them up, because when you die, you don't know who will read or see the stuff. In fact, do that with stuff you have in your life now. Think, if you were to die tomorrow, are there any photos or letters you wouldn't want your family to see? Start shredding, sending stuff to charity, and make out a will now so you know the good stuff you have will go to the right people.

      July 9, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |

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