Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III, popularly known as Desi Arnaz was born on 2 March 1917, in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. He was a Cuban-born musician, American bandleader, actor, comedian, film, and television producer. He was raised by his father Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Alberni II, who was Santiago’s youngest mayor and his mother, Dolores de Acha.
Desi Arnaz’s family owned a vacation mansion on a private island in Santiago Bay, three ranches, and a palatial home in Cuba. Later in 1933, due to the Cuban Revolution, President Gerardo Machado was overthrown, and Alberto Arnaz was jailed due to which all their property was confiscated. When Desi Arnaz, after six months of the prison, the family fled to Miami, where Desi Arnaz attended St. Patrick Catholic High School. In 1934, he attended Saint Leo Prep during summer to improve his English, One of the very first jobs done by Desi Arnaz was of cleaning canary cages. But later, he formed a small band of musicians and was hired by Xavier Cugat, the popular name of Latin music, he used to play guitar for them.
Desi Arnaz started to show business when he turned to the United States, Desi starred on Broadway play in the musical “Too Many Girls”. Later in the next year, he moved to Hollywood to appear in the shows at RKO, the movie version also starred Lucille Ball. They both got married soon and formed “Desilu Productions” and started “I Love Lucy” shows in 1951. At the end of the “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour” in 1957, both Desi and Lucille Ball got separated, after their divorce, Desi wrote an autobiography entitled “A Book”.
Desi Arnaz was a chain smoker and often used to smoke end number of cigarettes on set of “I Love Lucy”. His smoking habit during his sixties caused him lung cancer in 1986, due to which he died on 2 December 1986, just at the age of 69. Arnaz just died before Lucille Ball received Kennedy Center Honors.
Exciting Facts About Desi Arnaz
Desi Arnaz co-hosted a week of shows with the producer Mike Douglas In the 1970s. In this show, Vivian Vance had a guest appearance. He also headlined a Kraft Music Hall that featured his two children and Vance, it was performed to promote his autobiography. There are many other facts about Desi Arnaz, which are listed below.
- “The Escape Artist” drama in 1982 noted the final big-screen appearance of Desi Arnaz.
- Desi Arnaz suggested Lucille Ball (his first wife) return to television.
- Desi has hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ very successful and along with writing a book.
- The producer was very close to Lucile Ball.
- Arnaz with his wife, moved to Del Mar, California, to enjoy and live their life after semi-retirement.
- Arnaz owned a horse-breeding farm in California and used to raced thoroughbreds.
- He also used to teach classes at San Diego State.
- Desi Arnaz made a guest appearance in TV series “Alice” which was produced by Bob Carroll and Madelyn Pugh.
Some of the Memorabilia of Desi Arnaz
Arnaz wrote that “I Love Lucy was never just a title” during the last years of his life. One of the videos was on the television, in which Arnaz and Ball were captured playing together with their grandson Simon just before the Arnaz’s death.
- While living in Cuba Desi Arnaz use to eat cans of pork-and-beans so that their family can save some money.
- The real-life son of Desi Arnaz portrayed him in “The Mambo Kings” (1992).
- In 1957, Desi Arnaz opened the ‘Desi Arnaz West Hills Hotel,’ which was having 42 rooms. He also started a restaurant in the same year, which featured his own personal recipes.
- Desi Arnaz was a good fisherman, poker player, and golfer. Many times he was captured playing poker, golfing, and fishing in ‘I Love Lucy’.