desi arnaz jr net worth

Facts About Desi Arnaz Jr. Net Worth In 2023

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On January 19, 1953, the nation watched as I Love Lucy aired “Lucy Goes to the Hospital.” Thus, “Little Ricky” was born. But Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the show’s stars, really did have a baby that day, Desi Arnaz Jr. As of 2023, the man is still alive. So, what is his net worth?

Desi Arnaz Jr.’s net worth in 2023 is 50-55 million. Son of the famous duo Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Desi Jr. made his wealth from acting, producing, a music career, and inheritance from his parents. Yet, he avoids the spotlight today, living in Boulder City, Nevada.

Desi Arnaz Jr. was born into fame and grew up as a pretty wild teen and young adult. But in the mid-80s, he met his second wife and settled down. Throughout his life, he has been interested in showbiz and built a career that gained him a net worth in the millions.

Who Is Desi Arnaz Jr.?

Desi Arnaz Jr., Desiderio Alberto Arnaz IV, is Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s only son. His birth was on January 19, 1953, a scheduled c-section, and was woven into the storyline of I Love Lucy.

Thus, he was famous the moment he was born, proclaimed one of the biggest events in television history. By April, he was on the cover of TV Guide with his mother, toted as the “$50,000,000 baby.”

His doppelgänger on the show was “Little Ricky,” played by Keith Thibodeaux, who also did the role for The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. Thibodeaux and Desi Jr were best friends growing up until the actor left California for Louisiana.

Desi Jr.’s older sister is Lucie Arnaz. Both he and his sister share the same passion for acting as their parents possessed. They got their start on Here’s Lucy in 1968, where for the first time, he played himself rather than Thibodeaux. He grew up to be an actor, producer, musician, and patron of the arts.

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Desi Arnaz Jr. Net Worth And Salary

desi arnaz jr net worth

Desi Arnaz Jr.’s net worth is estimated to be 50-55 million as of 2023. His income and wealth have come from his work and inheritance from their parents.

Desi Arnaz had left his children almost all his wealth, aside from a sum set aside for his elderly mother. Arnaz Sr.’s net worth was estimated to be around 20 million.

Lucie Arnaz became executor of the Lucille Ball Morton Trust after their mother’s death in 1989. Lucie oversaw the division of Ball’s estate, dividing it between Desi Arnaz Jr., Gary Morton (Ball’s second husband), and herself.

What Is Desi Arnaz Nature Of Work?

Desi Arnaz Jr. always had an eye for showbiz and never went to college. Instead, he began working at a young age and has been an actor, producer, musician, and later a patron of the arts. In addition, from 2002-2007, he also served as VP of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center, a museum in Jamestown, New York.

Desi Arnaz Jr.’s Acting Career

desi arnaz jr net worth

Desi Arnaz Jr. began his acting career in I Love Lucy. He did his first episode in 1957 and had five more between 1962-65. His first ongoing role was in Here’s Lucy in 1968. One of his most well-known roles was in The Mambo Kings (1992), where he placed Ricky Ricardo, his father’s character, in I Love Lucy.

Some other notable roles and guest appearances include:

  • The Brady Bunch (Guest star, 1970)
  • Marco (Lead, 1973)
  • Billy Two Hats (With Gregory Peck, 1974)
  • Joyride (With Melanie Griffith and Robert Carradine, 1977)
  • Automan (TV series, 1983-4)

In 2001, Desi and his sister Lucie were executive producers of the I Love Lucy’s 50th Anniversary Special. The show featured famous names such as:

  • Dick Van Dyke
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Antonio Banderas
  • Roseanne Barr
  • Cher
  • William Frawley 
  • Andy Garcia
  • Leah Remini
  • Lily Tomlin
  • And many more

Desi Arnaz Jr.’s Acting Awards

Desi Arnaz Jr.'s Acting Awards

Desi Arnaz Jr. has been nominated for and won some notable awards.

  • Nominated for a Golden Globe (1965)
  • Nominated for Primetime Emmy (1952, 1955)
  • Won a Primetime Emmy (1953)

Desi Arnaz Jr.’s Music Career

desi arnaz jr net worth

Desi Arnaz Jr. got his start in music as a drummer with Dino, Desi, & Billy. The trio released some well-received albums, including:

  • I’m a Fool (1965)
  • Our Time’s Coming (1969)
  • Memories Are Made of This (1966)
  • Souvenir (1966)
  • Follow Me (1969)

After taking a substantial hiatus, the group got back together and toured from 1998-2010. During that time, they released a live album, Ricci, Desi, & Billy: Live from Vegas!

On February 21, 1976, Saturday Night Live had a special episode. That evening, the host was Desi Arnaz, and the music act was his son, Desi Arnaz, Jr. Father and son performed “Cuban Pete” and “Babalu.”

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He also gave a special performance in 2011 at the Library of Congress in their Coolidge Auditorium. It was in honor of the Library’s Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz collection, which records their careers through a series of 85 scrapbooks.

Desi Arnaz And The Boulder Theatre

Desi Arnaz And The Boulder Theatre

Desi Jr. and Amy Arnaz bought the Boulder Theatre in Boulder City, Nevada, in 1997. After restoring the theatre, it became the home of the Boulder City Ballet Company (BCBC). There Desi produced many shows, including:

  • An Evening with Linda Purl
  • The Legacy of Laughter
  • An Evening with Lucille Ball 
  • A Tribute to Dean Martin
  • Chautauqua
  • The Nutcracker
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Swan Lake

They’ve also used the venue to present the Damn Short Film Festival. However, since Amy’s death in 2015, the theater’s activities have changed.

Desi Arnaz Family And Wife?

Desi Arnaz Family And Wife?

Desi Arnaz didn’t stay “Little Ricky” and grew up as boys do. Thus, he went on to have a family of his own.

Amy (Bargiel) Arnez, Desi Arnaz’s Wife 

Desi Arnaz Jr.’s wife, Amy (Bargiel) Arnaz, sadly passed away in 2015 from cancer. They married in 1987 and made a home in Boulder City, Nevada. They had one daughter, Haley.

Haley Arnez, Desi Arnaz’s Daughter

Haley Arnez, Desi Arnaz's Daughter

Haley was born in 1976 during Amy’s first marriage to Gary Charf. After Amy married Desi, he adopted Haley, becoming her father. Haley’s career began as an accomplished ballerina and is a professional dancer and actress. She also took part in the I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Special.

Linda Purl, Desi Arnaz’s First Wife

Linda Purl, Desi Arnaz's First Wife

Amy was not Desi’s first wife. In 1979 he married Linda Purl, an actress. At the start of 1980, Purl filed for divorce, completed before the year’s end. They had no children together.

Julia Arnaz, Desi Arnaz’s Eldest Daughter

Julia Arnaz, Desi Arnaz's Eldest Daughter

Desi does have one older daughter from his wild teenage years. He and Susan Callahan-Howe were 15 years old when they became parents to Julia Arnaz in 1968. In 1991 a paternity test confirmed Julia was indeed Desi’s daughter.

Julie Arnaz is best known as a breast cancer advocate. Her daughter, Desi’s granddaughter, died at age 31 of the disease.

Sean Astin And Desi Arnaz’s Relationship

desi arnaz jr net worth

Desi was also believed to have a son, actor Sean Astin. At 17, Desi dated Patty Duke. She left him for Michael Tell, and they married. However, less than two weeks later, they broke up, and Duke discovered she was pregnant. She named Desi as the father of her son, who actor John Astin later adopted after Patty and John married.

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However, at the age of 36, Sean asked Tell and Anaz to take paternity tests. It was then that Desi discovered he was not the biological father of Sean; instead, it was Tell.  However, Sean and Desi remain close.

FAQs

You asked, and we’ve got answers.

Where Is Desi Arnaz Jr. Today?

Desi Arnaz Jr. has retreated from the spotlight since his wife, Amy Bargiel, died in 2015. The couple lived in Boulder City, Nevada, where they helped run a non-profit, Boulder City Ballet Company.

The ballet company ran out of the historic Boulder Theater, which the couple purchased in 1998. The building was originally built in 1933, and Arnaz Jr. saw it restored to its former glory and extended its stage.

Who Inherited Desi Arnaz Estate? 

Desi Arnaz died at the age of 69 in 1986, leaving the bulk of his estate to his children, Lucy and Desi Jr. Arnaz also left $25,000 to his mother, who was 91 at the time. Desi Arnaz’s estate was estimated to be worth around 20 million at the time of his passing.

Who Owns The Right To I Love Lucy? 

ViacomCBS, now Paramount Global, has the rights to I Love Lucy. However, Warner Bros. has a license to distribute it through a partnership between the two companies.

Originally, CBS had given Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz the rights after the couple agreed to a pay cut. CBS needed to reduce costs to shoot the show on film rather than kinescope. Consequently, the show’s footage is of much higher quality than other shows from that period.

Ball and Arnaz created Desilu Productions, controlling the I Love Lucy rights and distribution. Arnaz sold the show back to CBS for 4.3 million in 1956. However, Paramount Television (formally Gulf + Western Industries) acquired Desilu from Ball in 1967, who’d bought out Arnez in 1960.

Wrap Up

While Desi Arnaz Jr. did inherit wealth from his parents, much of his 50-55 million was made through his own career and hard work as an actor, musician, and producer.

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