Desi Arnaz Jr. is mourning the death of his granddaughter, Desiree S. Anzalone. The son of I Love Lucy legends Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz recently lost his 31-year-old grandchild following her long battle with breast cancer.
Although Desi isn’t active on social media, fans of the famous family posted condolences on his sister Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill’s most recent Instagram post, which was a sweet photo of her own toddler granddaughter, Eliza.
“Sorry to read about your great-niece in the news today,” one follower wrote.
“I’m also mourning the death of your grand-niece who just passed away,” another added.
Some fans didn’t realize that Desi Jr., 67, had a daughter who is in her 50s and a granddaughter who was 31.
While his dating life with famous older women such as Patty Duke and Liza Minnelli was front-page news back in the 1970s, many people are unaware that Desi Jr. fathered a child at age 15.
Desi’s daughter, Julia Arnaz, was born just one year before he made a guest appearance on The Brady Bunch as Marcia Brady’s (Maureen McCormick) celebrity crush. As Marcia gushed over her dream to someday be Mrs. Desi Arnaz Jr., no one would have guessed that the 17-year-old teen idol was already a dad.
In fact, Desi may not have even known at that time. While the timeline of events is unclear, it wasn’t until 1991 that Julia’s court-ordered paternity test confirmed that the Desi Jr. impregnated her mom, Susan Callahan-Howe, who was a model, more than 20 years earlier, according to The New York Post.
On Twitter, one fan noted that the paternity story “was in all the gossip mags back in the day.”
“Back then celebrities didn’t have babies ‘out of wedlock,’ it was a pretty big scandal,” the fan tweeted.
On her Facebook page, Julia, who looks very much like her dad and her Aunt Lucie, often pays tribute to her celebrity relatives. Her page features classic clips from I Love Lucy, as well as photos of her late grandparents. She has also shared several sweet snaps that show her with her famous dad.
Sadly, her most recent post was the obituary that she wrote for her only daughter.
Desiree worked as a photographer and a singer and songwriter, so she clearly inherited her talented family’s creative side.
It is unclear if Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz knew about their first grandchild. The beloved comedy queen died in 1989, the same year her first great-grandchild Desiree was born, and her Cuban ex-husband died in 1986, five years before Julia’s paternity was confirmed.