‘I Love Lucy’: Lucie Arnaz Credited Father, Desi, for Switching from Acting to Music Performances

by Clayton Edwards
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Lucie Arnaz is the daughter of Lucile Ball and Desi Arnaz. So, it seems that she was destined for stardom. After all, her parents were behind one of the most popular and influential television shows of all time.

So, it was no surprise when she began appearing in her mother’s series, The Lucy Show. That was only a walk-on role, though. Arnaz made her acting debut on Here’s Lucy in 1968. She played the daughter of her mother’s character. That show ended in 1974. Then, Arnaz struck out on her own. One of her first roles independent of her family was that of Elizabeth Short in the made-for-TV movie Who is the Black Dahlia. She went on to appear in several popular television shows and films up until the late nineties.

However, in the late seventies, Lucie Arnaz started her love affair with musical theater. That is where she truly shined. Her stage credits include lead roles in Annie Get Your Gun as well as Educating Rita. Arnaz made her Broadway debut in 1979 playing the role of Sonia Walsk in They’re Playing Our Song. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Arnaz’ stage credits are vast and varied.

Her mother inspired her to be an actress. However, Lucie Arnaz credits her father with inspiring her to transition to musical theater. She spoke about this with Smashing Interviews Magazine back in 2013.

Lucie Arnaz On Her Father’s Influence

 The interviewer, Melissa Parker, asked, “You appeared on Here’s Lucy and other TV shows in the 70s and 80s. So, when did you decide you preferred to perform music rather than act?”

Lucie Arnaz said, “If I trace it back, it all goes back to my dad and the music I grew up with. There was so much music around the house all the time.”

It wasn’t just her father, though. Lucie Arnaz was surrounded by some of the best composers in the business when she was a kid. Her father lived in Del Mar. His next-door neighbor was Jimmy Durante. Desi Arnaz was friends with guys like Bing Crosby and Burt Bacharach. They would all hang out at Desi’s place. These legendary musicians would sit around the piano and play and sing.

Lucie Arnaz spent summers with her father. So, she would sit in the house and listen to all of these legendary musicians perform. About this, she said, “I grew up with that live entertainment, so I kind of always gravitated toward the live performance aspect in grammar school and in high school.”

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