‘I Love Lucy’: Desi Arnaz Once Opened Up About Desi Jr., Calling Him His ‘Best Friend’

by Madison Miller

In addition to having one of the most infamous TV sitcoms of all time as their legacy, “I Love Lucy” stars Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball also had two kids together that are a major part of their ongoing impact.

Their two kids are Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz. Lucie Arnaz was born on July 17, 1951, and Desi Arnaz Jr. was born on January 19, 1953.

Although the two got divorced, the “I Love Lucy” couple still put their role as parents as an absolute priority. Arnaz and Ball were still close friends following their divorce and would talk on the phone several times a week.

Desi Arnaz Sr. and Desi Arnaz Jr.

In addition to still loving and remaining close to his ex-wife, Ricky Ricardo from “I Love Lucy” had quite an unbreakable bond with his two kids. In an older interview with Desi Arnaz Sr. courtesy of Historic Films Stock Footage Archive, the popular actor talks about his relationship with Desi Arnaz Jr.

At the time, he was discussing an upcoming project and the likelihood of his son may be joining him on the adventure.

“If he’s not working on a picture or something he can come down with me. He’s a good drummer … he’s a good-looking son of a gun and my best friend,” Arnaz said to the interviewer.

Desi Arnaz Jr. was a drummer for Dino, Desi, & Billy. The group consisted of Dean Paul Martin, Billy Hinsche, and Arnaz Jr. The group performed together from 1964 to 1969. Although he didn’t play Little Ricky on the show, who was known for his adorable drumming skills, Arnaz Jr. also had quite the talent behind a drum set.

He also got into acting with roles in “Here’s Lucy,” “Billy Two Hats,” and “Joyride,” amongst others.

Portraying ‘I Love Lucy’ Father and Personal Life

According to a Los Angeles Times article from 1991, Arnaz Jr. also portrayed his father in the movie “The Mambo Kings” in 1992. The old Desilu studios lot on Cahuenga is the filming location. Arnaz Jr. was only 6 at the time of his parent’s divorce, yet he was still close to both his mother and father.

He would spend his summers with his dad, or “best friend,” at his Baja California home. He said he received a letter from his father on his 16th birthday. It’s a tradition in their family that on the 16th birthday the son gets a formal letter. It marks the move to “manhood.”

His letter partially said, “Learn from the difficulties. The purpose in life is not the temporary rewards but a deeper lasting happiness.” Desi Arnaz Jr. had struggled for years with a nearly terminal drug abuse problem.

In 1987, Arnaz Jr. married Amy Laura Bargiel and the two had their daughter, Haley. Sadly, his wife died of cancer in 2015. His granddaughter, Desiree S. Anzalone, died at the age of 31 from breast cancer. Arnaz Jr. had a daughter, Julie Arnaz, with a model named Susan Callahan-Howe in 1968. Desiree was her daughter.