Desi Arnaz, Jr.

Desi Arnaz, Jr. bigraphy, stories - actor, musician

Desi Arnaz, Jr. : biography

January 19, 1953 –

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


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. In 1968, he and his sister Lucie, played opposite their mother in Here’s Lucy as her children. In 1970, Arnaz appeared on The Brady Bunch episode "The Possible Dream". In 1974 he played the title role in the Western movie Billy Two Hats with Gregory Peck. In 1977, he was the lead in the film Joyride opposite fellow children of famous actors Melanie Griffith, Robert Carradine, and Anne Lockhart. Arnaz attended University High School in West Los Angeles.

Arnaz Jr.’s acting extended into the 1980s with TV productions and a leading role in Automan. He played his father in the movie The Mambo Kings (1992), based on a Pulitzer Prize novel that 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. In a 1976 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by both Desi Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr., the younger Arnaz played Ricky Ricardo and Gilda Radner played Lucy in spoofs of supposed ill-fated pilots for I Love Lucy.

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

At present, he is touring with a new configuration of Dino, Desi & Billy called Ricci, Desi & Billy, featuring Arnaz Jr. 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.

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

Boulder Theatre

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.

Early life

Desi Arnaz, Jr., was born in Los Angeles, California, on January 19, 1953. He has an older sister, Lucie Désirée Arnaz, who was born in 1951.

His birth was one of the most publicized in television history. His parents were the stars of the American television situation comedy I Love Lucy, and Ball’s pregnancy was part of the storyline, considered daring in those times. The same day Lucy gave birth to Desi Jr., the fictional Lucy Ricardo gave birth to "Little Ricky". Little Ricky as a baby was played by two sets of twins, Richard and Ronald Lee Simmons (1953–1954), followed by Joseph and Michael Mayer (1954–1955). A boy named Keith Thibodeaux (using the stage name Richard Keith) was later cast to play 6-year-old Little Ricky. As a testament to how interested the American public was in Lucy’s TV baby, Desi Arnaz Jr. appeared on the cover on the very first issue of TV Guide with a title that read: "Lucy’s $50,000,000 baby."


  • 1992: The Mambo Kings — Desi Arnaz Sr.
  • 1987: Paul Reiser Out on a Whim (TV)
  • 1987: Matlock — Michael Porter (1 episode, 1987)
  • 1983: Automan — Walter Nebicher (13 episodes, 1983–1984)
  • 1983: The Night the Bridge Fell Down (TV) — Johnny Pyle
  • 1983: House of the Long Shadows — Kenneth Magee
  • 1982: Fake-Out — Det. Clint Morgan
  • 1981: Advice to the Lovelorn (TV) — Steve Vernon
  • 1980: Gridlock (TV) — Robbie Reinhardt
  • 1979: Crisis in Mid-air (TV) — Tim Donovan
  • 1978: How to Pick Up Girls! (TV) — Robby Harrington
  • 1978: Fantasy Island — Barney Hunter (1 episode, 1978)
  • 1978: A Wedding (as Dezi Anaz, Jr.) — Dino Sloan Corelli
  • 1978: The Courage and the Passion (TV) — Sgt. Tom Wade
  • 1978: To Kill a Cop (TV) — Martin Delahanty
  • 1978: The Love Boat — Steve Hollis (2 episodes, 1978)
  • 1977: Black Market Baby (TV) — Steve Aletti
  • 1977: Joyride — Scott
  • 1977: Flight to Holocaust (TV) — Rick Bender
  • 1976: The Streets of San Francisco — B. J. Palmer (1 episode, 1976)
  • 1976: Police Story — Jay Vernon / … (2 episodes, 1976)
  • 1976: Having Babies (TV) — Frank Gorman
  • 1975: Medical Story — Jerry Mitchell (1 episode, 1975)
  • 1975: Medical Center (1 episode, 1975)
  • 1974: Billy Two Hats — Billy Two Hats
  • 1973: Marco — Marco Polo
  • 1973: She Lives! (TV) — Andy Reed
  • 1973: Voyage of the Yes (TV) — Cal Markwell
  • 1971: Love, American Style — Alan (segment "Love and the Motel Mixup") (1 episode, 1971)
  • 1971: The Mod Squad — Victor Emory (1 episode, 1971)
  • 1971: Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones (TV) — Bo Jo Jones
  • 1971: Night Gallery — Doran (1 episode, 1971)
  • 1971: Red Sky at Morning — William ‘Steenie’ Stenopolous
  • 1970: The Brady Bunch (as Dezi Anaz, Jr.) ("The Possible Dream" episode)
  • 1968: Here’s Lucy — Craig Carter (1968–1972)
  • 1968: The Mothers-In-Law — Tommy (2 episodes, 1968)
  • 1962: The Lucy Show — Spectator (5 episodes, 1962–1965)
  • 1957: I Love Lucy — Extra at Unveiling (1 episode, 1957)

Personal life

Arnaz has a daughter, Julia Arnaz, from an undisclosed relationship.

He was married to actress Linda Purl from 1982 until their divorce in 1984. On October 8, 1987, Arnaz married Amy Laura Bargiel.[Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-2005 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2007] They live in Boulder City, Nevada with their daughter, and own the Boulder Theatre, a cinema converted into a theatre and home to the Boulder City Ballet Company.