Desiree S. Anzalone, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Sr.'s Great-Granddaughter, Dead at 31
By Liz Calvario
CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images
Desiree S. Anzalone, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Sr.'s only great-granddaughter, has died. She was 31.
Desiree, who was the daughter of Julia Arnaz and Mario Anzalone, died on Sept. 27 at Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, after a battle with stage 4 breast cancer, according to People. Her maternal grandfather, Desi Arnaz Jr., was the son of the late I Love Lucy stars.
Desiree was 24 when she was first diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, and underwent chemotherapy and had a double mastectomy. The cancer returned into stage 4 in 2018, spreading to her liver, lungs, and bones.
Julia told the magazine that amid the coronavirus pandemic, they weren't able to see much of her daughter in her final months.
“The COVID-19 kept us apart, so I wasn’t able to see her as much as I usually do because she was compromised and I didn’t want her getting sick in any kind of way,” Julia said. “So I wasn’t able to spend as much time with her as I normally do because of the COVID since March. I mean, I saw her, but not as much; we’d hang out every day practically she was here. Plus, she lived with me for a while.”
"She was so special. All our children are special, but this little girl was something else," she also said. "We were [best friends]. We are still."
According to her obituary, she loved 60's and 70's music, as well as "art, song writing, poetry and playing piano. She was a talented photographer and enjoyed playing guitar with her father, singing and modeling photography Desiree was a lover of animals and people but most of all she loved life. She will be missed deeply by all but will live forever in our hearts."
Desiree frequently honored her great-grandmother Lucille on her Instagram. In April she wrote, "Celebrating the life of a legend and MY life’s most profound curiosity. Your energy emulates, still. I would have loved to meet a part of me in you."