Desi Arnaz, Jr. facts for kids
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Desi Arnaz Jr.
Desi Arnaz Jr. in 1974
Desiderio Alberto Arnaz IV
January 19, 1953
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Relatives||Lucie Arnaz (sister)
Fred Ball (maternal uncle)
Desiderio Alberto Arnaz II (paternal grandfather)
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 was expected to top that mark.
Arnaz attended University High School in West Los Angeles.
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.
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.
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.
Arnaz has a daughter, Julia Arnaz.
Arnaz was married to actress Linda Purl from 1980 to 1981.
On October 8, 1987, Arnaz married Amy Laura Bargiel. 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.
Desi's wife Amy died of cancer in 2015, at the age of 63.
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