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|Also Known As:||Died:||December 2, 1986|
|Born:||March 2, 1917||Cause of Death:||cancer|
|Birth Place:||Cuba||Profession:||Cast ...|
"Long overshadowed by the enormous acclaim accorded Ball's role in the durable series, Arnaz' public image--and that within the industry to some extent--tended toward one of a thick-accented, conga-drum-playing extension of his one-time wife. Many close to the situation at the time, however, including Ball herself, credited Arnaz as architect of the couple's great success, possessing a keen business acumen and inherent knack for showmanship that guided Desilu Studios, over which he presided for more than a decade, from a one-show production company to a preeminent Hollywood independent." --Tom Gilbert in Arnaz's Variety obituary, December 3, 1986)
Arnaz did not actually take a producer credit on "I Love Lucy" until the show's third season. Prior to that, Jess Oppenheimer, who has the official credit--never seen on-screen--as "creator" of "I Love Lucy" was the sole producer of the series, per his contract.
Was billed as Desiderio Arnaz for his last film appearance in the 1982 "The Escape Artist". The name was necessitated by Arnaz having relinquised his claim to 'Desi Arnaz' in the Screen Actors Guild records in favor of his son, Desi Arnaz, Jr., so that the younger Arnaz could drop the 'Jr.'.
Arnaz's last TV episodic appearance was on a segment of "Alice" playing a friend of the title character's who was warring with his wife. Arnaz did the guest spot in large measure because the executive producers of the show, Madelyn Davis and Bob Carroll, Jr., has been the chief writers of "I Love Lucy" and many other Desilu series.
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