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Desi Arnaz Jr.

  (Redirected from Desi Arnaz, Jr)

Desiderio Alberto Arnaz IV (born January 19, 1953), known professionally as Desi Arnaz Jr., is an American actor and musician. He is the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

Desi Arnaz Jr.
Desi Arnaz Jr 1974.jpg
Desi Arnaz Jr. in 1974
Born
Desiderio Alberto Arnaz IV

(1953-01-19) January 19, 1953 (age 65)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1957–present
Spouse(s)
  • Linda Purl
    (m. 1980; div. 1981)
  • Amy Laura Bargiel
    (m. 1987; died 2015)
Children2
Parent(s)Desi Arnaz
Lucille Ball
RelativesLucie Arnaz (sister)
Fred Ball (maternal uncle)
Desiderio Alberto Arnaz II (paternal grandfather)

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Arnaz is a native of Los Angeles, California. His older sister is actress Lucie Arnaz, who was born in 1951.

His birth was one of the most publicized in television history. His parents were the stars of the television sitcom I Love Lucy, and Ball's pregnancy was part of the storyline, which was considered daring then. The same day Lucy gave birth to Desi Jr., the fictional Lucy Ricardo gave birth to "Little Ricky". As a testament to how interested the American public was in Lucy's TV baby, Arnaz appeared on the cover on the very first issue of TV Guide with a title that read: "Lucy's $50,000,000 baby." The reason he was given this title was because revenue from certain tie-in commitments were expected to top that mark.[1]

Arnaz attended University High School in West Los Angeles.

CareerEdit

At age 12, Arnaz was a drummer with Dino, Desi, & Billy. The others were Dean Paul Martin (son of Dean Martin) and Billy Hinsche. The band scored two hit singles with "I'm a Fool" and "Not The Lovin' Kind" in 1965.

ActingEdit

From 1968 to 1974, Desi Arnaz and his sister Lucie co-starred opposite their mother in Here's Lucy as her children. In 1968, he had a guest-starring role as Jerry and Suzie's drum-playing friend Tommy in the episode, "The Hombre Who Came to Dinner: Part 2", from the show The Mothers-in-Law, executive-produced and directed by his father. In 1970, he appeared on The Brady Bunch episode "The Possible Dream".

In 1974, Arnaz played the title role in the Western movie Billy Two Hats with Gregory Peck. In 1976, he appeared on two episodes of the television series, The Streets of San Francisco. Arnaz also appeared in a 1976 episode of Saturday Night Live (SNL) hosted by both Desi Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr.. The younger Arnaz played Ricky Ricardo while Gilda Radner played Lucy in spoofs of supposed ill-fated pilots for I Love Lucy. Although a part of I Love Lucy for the purpose of these SNL parodies, he did not portray Little Ricky in the classic sitcom, a role played instead by Richard Keith.

In 1977, he was the lead in the film Joyride opposite fellow children of famous actors Melanie Griffith, Robert Carradine, and Anne Lockhart.

Arnaz's acting extended into the late 1980s with various appearances on television, and a leading role in the series Automan, which ran from 1983 to 1984.

 
Arnaz, his mother Lucille Ball, and his sister Lucie in Here's Lucy, 1968.
 
Boulder Theatre

In 1992, he played his father in the movie The Mambo Kings, based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that he felt treated his father with respect. The film includes a scene in which Desi Jr., playing his father's character Ricky Ricardo, acts opposite his mother as Lucy Ricardo with film from the TV series intercut with the cast.

LaterEdit

In 1997, Arnaz purchased the Boulder Theatre and brought it back to life after being on the brink of extinction.

Between 1998 and 2010, he was touring with a new configuration of Dino, Desi & Billy called Ricci, Desi & Billy, featuring Arnaz reunited with Billy Hinsche, and joined by Ricci Martin (youngest son of Dean Martin). The group performs original material as well as the songs the original band performed.[2]

From about 2002 to 2007, he was vice-president of the board of Directors of the Lucille Ball–Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, New York. He resigned over a dispute with the executive director over the center.[3][4]

In 2007, Arnaz appeared at the 5th Annual TV Land Awards with his sister Lucie to accept the Legacy of Laughter award posthumously given to their mother.

Arnaz has also headlined Babalu: A Celebration of the Music of Desi Arnaz and his Orchestra with Lucie Arnaz, Raul Esparza and Valarie Pettiford.[5]

On October 15, 2011, Arnaz performed in Babalu at the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress. The performance was in conjunction with the Library's Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Collection.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Arnaz has a daughter, Julia Arnaz, from a relationship with a model when he was 15 years old; Julia's relationship to Desi Jr. was proven by a paternity test in 1991.[7][8]

Arnaz dated actress Patty Duke when he was 17 and she was 23. The relationship became tabloid news and his mother did not approve of them together. After they broke up, writer and music producer Michael Tell offered to marry Duke as a way out of the scandal. Their marriage lasted only 13 days, and when Duke became pregnant, she would later tell her son, Sean Astin, that Arnaz was his biological father. Arnaz and Astin developed a close relationship, although genetic tests later revealed that Tell was his father. He said, "I can call any of them on the phone any time I want to," says Sean. "John, Desi, Mike or Papa Mike...my four dads."[9] (Michael Pearce, Duke's husband after Astin, was his step-father.)

Arnaz was subsequently involved with entertainer Liza Minnelli, another relationship of which his mother disapproved; Ball thought that the singer-actress was too old for her son and, because of Liza's perceived reckless lifestyle, not a good influence upon him. Arnaz accompanied Minnelli to the Academy Awards ceremony in March 1973 when she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Arnaz was married to actress Linda Purl from 1980 to 1981.[10] On October 8, 1987, Arnaz married Amy Laura Bargiel.[11] They lived in Boulder City, Nevada, with their daughter Haley, and own the Boulder Theatre, a cinema converted into a theatre and home to the Boulder City Ballet Company.[12]

Desi's wife Amy died of cancer in 2015, at the age of 63.[13] Both Desi and Amy were followers of Vernon Howard and attended meetings of Vernon's New Life Foundation in Boulder City.[14]

FilmographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Andrews, Bart (1976). Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel. Toronto and Vancouver: Clarke, Irvin & Company Limited. p. 81.
  2. ^ Ricci, Desi & Billy Archived July 17, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Fanelli, P. (2007), "Lucie, Desi Jr. Depart with Clark, Rapaport; Spots Filled with Locals", Jamestown Post–Journal (5 December) Archived September 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ SaveLucyDesiCenter.org
  5. ^ "Review-Desi Arnaz tribute 'Babalu' sizzles at the Arsht". Miami Herald. Associated Press. July 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-17.[dead link]
  6. ^ Library of Congress Announces 2011-2012 Concert Season
  7. ^ Mangan, Dan (September 2, 2008). "I love Lucy & Desi – because they were my secret grandparents, woman claims". New York Post.
  8. ^ "Angela Carella: A clue in claim of 'lost' Lucy granddaughter". Stamford Advocate (online ed.). Stamford, Connecticut. September 13, 2011. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  9. ^ "Sean Astin's Childhood With Patty Duke". ABC News. July 31, 2004.
  10. ^ "Linda Purl Biography (1955–)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  11. ^ [Nevada Marriage Index, 1956–2005 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007]
  12. ^ Boulder Theatre in Boulder City
  13. ^ Lucille Ball's daughter-in-law, Amy Arnaz DEAD at 63 (Exclusive)., GoodHollywood, retrieved January 29, 2015
  14. ^ CHAWKINS, STEVE (1988-05-05). "New Age Prophet Offers Mystic Road Map to Inner Bliss". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-05-02.

External linksEdit