Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s Daughter Was ‘Very Shy’ Growing up Because She Was Intimidated by the ‘Geniuses’ in Her Family

Unquestionably, Lucie Arnaz grew up in an extraordinarily talented family. With a mother like Lucille Ball and a father like Desi Arnaz, it’s no wonder she thinks: “Everybody around me seemed to be just so good at everything.” The actor revealed in a 2016 interview that her immensely talented family often caused her to feel shy when she was young.

Lucille Ball, Lucie Arnaz, and Desi Arnaz Jr. at the theatre
Lucille Ball, Lucie Arnaz, and Desi Arnaz Jr. | Bettmann, Getty Images

Why Lucie Arnaz was ‘very, very shy’ growing up

It’s hard to imagine performer extraordinaire Lucie Arnaz as a shy child. But before she realized she wanted to pursue acting, she was.

“I was very, very shy,” she told the Television Academy Foundation. “I think because I didn’t know what my talent was. I had no idea what my passions were going to be. And everybody around me seemed to be just so good at everything.”

Arnaz continued: “You know, if you come from a family that just sits around and makes mashed potatoes all day or has no sense of humor, I guess you want to break out and say, ‘I’m funny! I’m this!’ But I have all these geniuses running around everywhere I look, including my little brother who seemed to be enormously talented. I didn’t have a television show. I didn’t think I was extremely amusing…”

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Arnaz had always loved performing, but she didn’t think she was going to be able to build a career out of her passion.

“It was nice that I had a parent who had a shop I could go work in to find out how good I could be,” she said. “I had a very responsible side of me, too, even at that young age. That was my fun and I always thought I would do something for a living, that I would have to go and get a real job someday. I still think that, by the way. But I toyed with veterinarian, nurse, all those things that women think they can do.”

How Lucie Arnaz ended up on TV with mom Lucille Ball

When it came time for Arnaz to choose a high school to go to, a friend of hers suggested she go to a performing arts school. There, Arnaz realized just how passionate she was about acting and that she was actually pretty good. After her mother watched her perform at school, she scored a role in The Lucy Show.

Lucie Arnaz and Lucille Ball in 'Here's Lucy'
Lucie Arnaz and Lucille Ball in ‘Here’s Lucy’ | CBS via Getty Images

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“My mother came to see the shows that I did and brought people and then, eventually, offered me some more opportunities to be on the show with various little parts here and there when it was The Lucy Show,” she shared. “And I got a little better and a little better. They were just tryouts. Like, give her a shot. How bad could she be? It was smart because I learned by doing.”