Lucille Ball Used Poppers, Says Forensic Pathologist in This ‘Autopsy’ Episode
Many gay men love Lucille Ball, whose beloved sitcom I Love Lucy ran for just under six years, from 1951–1957. But now it appears the queer community has something in common with the comedy icon, as an episode of the TV series Autopsy, The Last Hours of … tells the story of the actress’s final days, including a Lucille Ball poppers revelation that’s sure to leave gay men shook.
The episode of Autopsy about Lucille Ball aired on March 10, 2019. It conveyed some more recent discoveries about her life and death … like the fact that she was a regular user of poppers, the ‘street name’ for amyl nitrate, which is most commonly used among gay men in bedrooms (and dance floors) around the world.
“Lucille Ball died of a rupture of the aorta. This tells me how she died, but not what led to such extensive damage to this critical blood vessel,” says forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter on the episode. “Poppers are a strong smelling inhalant often associated with sex, but its original purpose was as a prescription drug to treat pain in the chest.”
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When Lucille Ball died at the age of 77, she had been using amyl nitrate for at least four years to ease the pain in her heart and chest, according to the doctor. He says the fact of this Lucille Ball poppers use indicates that for years she’d shown signs of cardiovascular disease.
On April 26, 1989, Lucille Ball’s aorta ruptured, and she was dead in mere minutes, despite major surgery a week prior to replace her aortic valve and a portion of her aorta itself.
While many were well aware of the circumstances surrounding her death, many had no idea about the episode’s Lucille Ball poppers revelation.