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Arnaz at the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, 2013
|Born||Lucie Désirée Arnaz
July 17, 1951
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, Singer, Dancer, Producer|
|Spouse(s)||Phil Vandervort (m. 1971; div. 1977)
Laurence Luckinbill (m. 1980)
|Parents||Desi Arnaz (1917-1986)
Lucille Ball (1911-1989)
|Relatives||Desi Arnaz, Jr. (brother)|
Having had walk-on parts in her mother's television series The Lucy Show, Arnaz made her first acting appearance in a continuing role in the series Here's Lucy from 1968 to 1974. She played Kim Carter, the daughter of the eponymous Lucy—who was played by Arnaz's real-life mother, Lucille Ball.
Arnaz branched out into television roles independent of her family from the mid-1970s. In 1975, she played infamous murder victim Elizabeth Short in a production of Who is the Black Dahlia?, while in 1978, she appeared in an episode of Fantasy Island as a woman desperately trying to save her marriage. She has continued to make appearances in a number of popular television series over the years, including Murder, She Wrote, Marcus Welby M.D., Sons and Daughters, and Law & Order. Arnaz also briefly had a series of her own, The Lucie Arnaz Show, in 1985.
She has also had a lengthy career in musical theatre. In the summer of 1978, she played the title role in Annie Get Your Gun at the Jones Beach Theatre on Long Island. This was the first production at Jones Beach Theatre after the death of longtime producer Guy Lombardo. She made her Broadway debut in 1979 in the musical They're Playing Our Song. Arnaz won the Theatre World Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Sonia Walsk in the show. In 1986, she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her tour with Tommy Tune in the international company of the musical My One and Only. She has numerous other theater and musical credits both in the United States and abroad, including roles in Seesaw, Annie Get Your Gun, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, The Guardsman, The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True, Sonia Flew, The Witches of Eastwick, Vanities, Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Terence McNally's Master Class.
Arnaz also made some feature film appearances, the most prominent of which was 1980's The Jazz Singer, in which she co-starred with singer Neil Diamond and renowned actor Laurence Olivier. She earned a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe nomination for her work in the film.
In the summer of 2010, Arnaz performed in (along with Raul Esparza and Valarie Pettiford) and directed "Babalu: A Celebration of the Music of Desi Arnaz and his Orchestra". There was a Miami, Florida performance in July 2010.
From about 2002 to 2007, Arnaz was the President of the Board of Directors of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, New York. She resigned over a dispute with the Executive Director over the future direction of the Center.
In October 2008, Arnaz and long-time family friend, Hollywood columnist and Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne participated in a tribute to Arnaz's mother, Lucille Ball, at The Paley Center For Media in New York City. The program, Lucie and Lucy: Lucie Arnaz Shares Treasures From The Family Video Collection, included a discussion between Osborne and Arnaz about Ball, and also focused on Ball's last long-running series, Here's Lucy (which was celebrating its 40th anniversary) as well as several of Ball's television specials and guest appearances during the 1970s, which Arnaz had recently donated to The Paley Center for Media.
On July 17, 2010, Heritage Auction Galleries planned to auction off some items that belonged to Lucille Ball. Arnaz has gone to court to block the auction of love letters from Ball to her second husband, Gary Morton, as well as photos and awards, which Arnaz claims are hers. Morton's third wife, Susan McAllister Morton, had sued Arnaz for the right to conduct the auction. A judge agreed with Arnaz, but charged too high a bond, so the auction went on but the auction house agreed to return lifetime achievement awards to Arnaz.
She appeared live on stage in Jamestown, New York at the Reg Lenna Palace Civic Center on Friday August 3, 2012 to promote the Lucille Ball Festival of New Comedy in which new comedians are invited to perform. She gave tribute to both her parents, and expressed a desire to further expand the Festival of New Comedy and expand the Jamestown New York Lucy Fest. She gave the history behind the Lucy-Desi Museum and Lucy-Desi Playhouse, and the 2011 one hundred year birthday bash for Lucille Ball (which was recorded in the Guinness Book of World records for the highest number of people dressed like Lucille Ball in one place at one time), and announced intent to start utilizing the recently renovated Jamestown train station to further the mission and vision of the Lucille Ball Festival of New Comedy. Lucie Arnaz praised and appeared on stage with the new executive director of The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center and applauded her work and dedication to the Lucille Ball Festival of New Comedy. Comedians that performed at the 2012 Lucille Ball Festival of New Comedy included Billy Gardell, Paula Poundstone and Tammy Pescatelli.
She and actor-writer Luckinbill have three children together: Simon, Joseph and Katharine. Luckinbill has two sons from his previous marriage: Nicholas and Benjamin.
She shares a birthday with her uncle, her mother's brother, Fred Ball.
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