DESI ARNAZ BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Desi Arnaz was born on March 2nd, 1917 in Santiago, Cuba with the birth name Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y De Acha III. His father, Desiderio Alberto Arnaz II, was the mayor of Santiago and initially he had a very wealthy family, until the 1933 revolution led by, Fulgencio Batista put Arnaz's father in jail and they lost their financial security. When the United States got involved, his father was released and they escaped from Cuba to Miami, Florida.
He attended St. Patrick Catholic High School and then initially, Arnaz found employment cleaning bird cages but soon he formed a band and was hired by the 'King' of Latin Music, Xavier Cugat. He worked for him for a while and then soon left to pursue forming his own Latin band. Soon he was pursuing an acting career on top of his music career.
He began working on Broadway in "Too Many Girls" which was soon made into a film and he was cast in the movie version and brought out to Hollywood. The film, "Too Many Girls" (1940) was where he met his first wife, Lucille Ball whom he wed in 1940 and they had 2 children.
He appeared in an umber of films in the early 40's such as "Bataan" (1943) and then was drafted into the army, however he injured his knee and was given limited service during World War II. When he was discharged, he formed his own orchestra and did a number of live performances.
Later he and Lucille Ball formed, Desilu Productions and started the series "I Love Lucy" (1951) which is the role he is most famous for, playing Ricky Ricardo. When this series ended they started "The Lucy/Desi Comedy Hour" (1957).
He was also the executive producer of "The Ann Sothern Show", "Those Whiting Girls" and the films, "The Untouchables" and "Forever, Darling" (1956).
Sadly, in 1960 the couple divorced and 3 years later he remarried, Edith Mack Hirsch in 1963 and they were together until she passed away in 1985. After his split from Ball, he formed his own production company called, Desi Arnaz Productions and made "Mothers-In-Law" (1967-1968).
During the 1970's he continued to work in the entertainment industry co-hosting such shows as "Kraft Music Hall" and "Saturday Night Live". He was also very involved in charitable contributions for non-profit organizations such as San Diego State university.
A year after losing his 2nd wife, Arnaz lost his battle to lung cancer at the age of sixty nine, and passed away on December 2nd, 1976 in Del Mar, California. His remains were cremated and his ashes scattered at sea. He was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to Motion Pictures and to Television.
1982 The Escape Artist
1970 The Virginian
1967-1968 The Mothers-In-Law
1968 Land's End
1961 The Red Skelton Hour
1957-1960 The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour
1958-1960 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse
1959 Sunday Showcase
1959 The Danny Thomas Show
1951-1957 I Love Lucy
1956 I Love Lucy Christmas Show
1956 Forever, Darling
1953 The Long, Long Trailer
1953 I Love Lucy
1949 Holiday in Havana
1946 Cuban Pete
1942 The Navy Comes Through
1942 Four Jacks and a Jill
1941 Father Takes a Wife
1940 Too Many Girls