For generations of TV viewers, Lucille Ball is forever embalmed in black and white. So it’s funny to find out she’d ordered that her body not be embalmed when she died. That’s the kind of information you pick up trolling eBay, where today bidding is heating up on imaginative memento of the I Love Lucy era and a real piece of Hollywood Babylonia: the death certificates and Last Wills and Testaments of all four of the cranky, boozed-up, chainsmoking Lucy stars– Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance & William Frawley.
The bids have climbed close to $250 already. The seller describes it all pretty well. So we’ll leave it to him or her to describe the lot as we start digging up the coroners’ reports on The Munsters cast (they’re the undead, so it should make a nice twist):Okay, this lot is a little on the ghoulish side. It includes the death certificates and LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT for each of the stars of I LOVE LUCY – LUCILLE BALL, DESI ARNAZ, VIVIAN VANCE and WILLIAM FRAWLEY. All of them are on legal size paper, all are signed by them, and each is totally fascinating in its own way. Of course Lucy’s is the most “professional” of the lot, and there is very little of it that is sentimental in any way. She makes a point on the first page of saying that she intentionally is not leaving anything to any of her relatives not specifically mentioned, especially her brother Fred and his wife Zoe. (There’s got to be a juicy story there!) It’s 20 pages long, and comes with a copy of her death certificate – (NO embalming!). Desi Arnaz specifically excluded Lucy from his will and provided for the lifetime care of his mother above and beyond any other provision in his will. And he goes to great lengths to see that both Desi Jr. and Lucie Arnaz receive equal benefits. His will is only 5 pages long, but attached to it are 13 pages of court documents filed after his death, including creditors claims, and even a claim by the executor. Lots of interesting documents, signed by his kids, and his death certificate — (he died from lung cancer, which he had for 9 months prior.) Vivian Vance had four sisters and one brother, and left each of them one thousand dollars — but named her much younger husband as the executor of her will and left him everything else (ah, love!). Her will is 4 pages but followed by about six more pages dealing with the husband’s appointment in the courts. Her death certificate (scattered at sea!) is also attached. William Frawley’s is the simplest (only 2 pages) and the saddest (24 pages of will contesting and creditors claims – including one from the cemetery in which he was laid to rest.) It goes so far into the assets he left behind that it lists individual pairs of cufflinks valued at $3.00. His death certificate (arrived DOA at a Hollywood hospital) is also enclosed. If you really want to get to know someone, read their will! Good luck!
Place yer bid here.