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Desi Arnaz

Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III (March 2, 1917 - November 2, 1986), popularly known as Desi Arnaz, was an American musician, actor, comedian and television producer, both stage and real-life husband of Lucille Ball. He and Ball were the parents of actors Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lucie Arnaz.

Born in Santiago, Cuba, he started his career as a musician, playing guitar and percussion with many Latin orchestras, including that of his mentor, Xavier Cugat. Arnaz had a hit with the salsa-flavored Babalu.

He appeared in several films early in his career, of which only Bataan made any lasting impression. It was in Hollywood that he met his wife, Lucille Ball.

After his service in World War II, Arnaz founded his own orchestra, which was successful in live appearances and recordings. After he become engaged in television, he kept the orchestra on his payroll throughout the period he remained an active producer.

He produced and starred in I Love Lucy where his character's name was Ricky Ricardo. He was told that his Cuban accent and Latin style would not be agreeable to American viewers, but he overcame these objections by auditioning the proposed television show before live audiences with great success.

He was the founder, with Lucy, of Desilu productions. There he developed the multicamera setup production style using adjacent sets that become the standard for all subsequent situation comedies. In addition to I Love Lucy, he produced December Bride, Make Room for Daddy and Our Miss Brooks, all Top Ten shows in their time. He is also credited with the invention of the rerun.

Arnaz' marriage with Ball began to collapse under his serious problems with drugs, alcohol and sexual addiction and they divorced.

He died in Del Mar, California from lung cancer.

Desi Arnaz has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for contributions to Motion Pictures at 6327 Hollywood Blvd, and for television at 6220 Hollywood Blvd.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Desi Arnaz Facts

Birth NameDesiderio Alberto Arnaz y De Acha III
OccupationActor, Musician, Producer
BirthdayMarch 2, 1917
BirthplaceSantiago, Cuba
Date of deathDecember 2, 1986 (age 69)
Height5' 11½" (1m82)  How tall is Desi Arnaz compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Classic TV Bloopers: Uncensored
I Love Lucy: The Complete Series
The Lucy-Desi Milton Berle Special
The Long, Long Trailer
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Comedy
The Voyage Of The Yes
Forever Darling
I Love Lucy: Season 5
I Love Lucy
Automan: The Complete Series
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