TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (4)
|Also Known As:||Died:||December 2, 1986|
|Born:||March 2, 1917||Cause of Death:||cancer|
|Birth Place:||Cuba||Profession:||Cast ...|
RATE AND COMMENT
Family's property was confiscated, father was held as political prisoner for six months and Desi Arnaz and mother fled to Miami during the Batista revolution in Cuba
While in high school worked as singing guitarist, relieving the Buddy Rogers Orchestra at the Roney Plaza Hotel in Miami
Apprenticed under Xavier Cugat on tour for six months
Formed own rival rhumba band, Desi Arnaz and his Xavier Cugat Orchestra; first introduced the conga line
Featured on Broadway in the Rodgers and Hart musical, "Too Many Girls"
First film as actor, "Too Many Girls"
Signed two-year contract with RKO
Bought five-acre ranch in Chatsworth CA with Lucille Ball, christened Desilu
Performed onstage in singing, dancing vaudeville act
Signed by MGM
First dramatic film role in "Bataan"
Served in US Army Special Services at Birmingham General Hospital in Southern CA organizing entertainment for returning wounded servicemen
Formed 22-piece orchestra; introduced signature song, "Babalu"
Appeared with band in 61-minute film, "Cuban Pete"
Served as musical director of Bob Hope's radio program
Formed Desilu Productions, with himself as president and Lucille Ball as vice president, to produce the TV series, "I Love Lucy"
Starred, produced and directed TV sitcom, "I Love Lucy"
Sold syndication rights and "I Love Lucy" series back to CBS for $4 1/2 million to finance expansion of Desilu studio
Desilu purchased RKO Gower and RKO Culver City Studio facilities from General Tire, giving Desilu 35 sound stages
"I Love Lucy" expanded into the hour-long format, "The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show"
Desilu went public
Hosted Desilu's "Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse"
Served as executive producer on Lucille Ball's first solo series, "The Lucy Show"
Sold his shares of Desilu to Ball (she later sold Desilu to Gulf + Western in 1967)
Was executive producer of "The Mothers-in-Law"
Billed as Desiderio Arnaz in small role in "The Escape Artist"
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