Sep 1, 2012

Desi Arnaz, Jr.

Desi Arnaz, Jr. was born on January 19th, 1953, in the middle of a whirlwind of publicity, the child of most famous couple on television, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and also the first baby ever "born" on tv (Lucy's real life pregnancy was incorporated into the plot of I Love Lucy).  He was on the cover of the first issue of TV Guide, on April 3rd, 1953.

Growing up with that kind of publicity, and his parents' connections, he had little choice but to go into show business.  In 1965, he started a boy band with his friends Dean Paul Martin (Dean Martin's son) and Billy Hinsche.

He guest starred on The Lucy Show (1962-65), and became a regular on Here's Lucy (1968-72), as Lucy's teenage son Craig. And he landed roles in lots of movies.

Oddly for the son of a comedy legend, Desi didn't do comedies.  He specialized in tear-jerkers. Many were about the tragic consequences of boys and girls who fall in love (Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones, She Lives, Having Babies, Black Market Babies).  

Others were gay-subtext movies about the tragic consequences of boys who fall in love with boys (Billy Two Hats, Joyride, To Kill a Cop).  

In 1983, he starred in a buddy-bonding series, Automan, about a computer whiz (Desi) who creates a computerized superhero (the hunky Chuck Wagner).  Unfortunately, it was promoted as a comedy, and Desi didn't do comedy.  He thought it would be a gritty urban drama.

After 13 episodes he left, and hasn't done a lot of acting since.  He is still involved with his music, and he owns the Boulder Theater in Boulder City, Nevada.