‘I Love Lucy’ Little Ricky Actor Keith Thibodeaux Said ‘There Was a Lot Riding’ on His Keeping Lucy and Desi’s Secrets

by Jeremy Spirogis
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

Even on the younger age of 5, I Love Lucy‘s Little Ricky, performed by Keith Thibodeaux, was effectively conscious of the tensions between Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

There was strain on the younger actor to not communicate in regards to the Arnaz’s household secrets and techniques. Both he and his father have been employed by the star couple’s firm, Desilu.

He felt on the time that if he wished to maintain his job secure – and his father’s as effectively – his silence relied on it.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz | CBS/Getty Images

Keith Thibodeaux glided by one other stage title

Keith Thibodeaux was solely 5 years previous when he was employed by Desi Arnaz. The Cuban actor and musician employed him on the spot after he heard Thibodeaux taking part in the drums at his audition for the position of Ricky and Lucy Ricardo’s son, Little Ricky.

The position immediately modified Thibodeaux’s life, in addition to his title. His new stage title was Richard Keith.

“That was Desi’s answer to people not being able to pronounce ‘Thibodeaux,’” the actor mentioned. “Which, back then, we didn’t live in such an international climate, the world was a little larger than it is now.”

He defined that Desi Arnaz modified his first title to ‘Richard’ to extra carefully resemble ‘Ricky,’ his on-screen persona.

“He thought that would be good,” he mentioned. “My name Keith, was an aspect of who I really was, and then Richard could be like ‘Ricky.’”

Keith Thibodeaux, center, and the rest of the 'I Love Lucy' castKeith Thibodeaux, center, and the rest of the 'I Love Lucy' cast
Keith Thibodeaux, heart, and the remainder of the ‘I Love Lucy’ solid | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Lucy and Desi took Thibodeaux in ‘as part of the family’

Once Thibodeaux was employed, he not solely turned a part of the solid however, as effectively, of the Arnaz household. He was included in household time with the Arnazes, as he instructed The New York Post in 2019.

“There were very few people that Lucy and Desi trusted to play with their kids and they were very protective of them,” he mentioned. “We’d go to Disneyland and naturally go to the entrance of the road with Lucy and folks would have a look at Lucy and say, ‘Wow, there’s Lucy and Little Ricky!’

Keith Thibodeaux playing the drumsKeith Thibodeaux playing the drums
Keith Thibodeaux taking part in the drums | Arnold M. Johnson/Graphic House/Archive Photos/Getty Images

RELATED: Which ‘I Love Lucy’ Actor Also Was Part of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Cast?

Thibodeaux needed to hold quiet in regards to the well-known couple’s ‘secrets’

Since the younger actor was very shut in age to Lucy and Desi’s personal two kids, Lucie, 4, and Desi Jr., 2, Thibodeaux mentioned he was invited an incredible deal to affix the household at their residence and on outings.

“Lucy and Desi never said an unkind word to me,” he mentioned. “They took me in as part of the family. And I became part of the inside of who they were, and kind of in-the-know about who they were. Sort of, keep their secrets and that kind of thing.”

Asked if he was cautious to by no means share these secrets and techniques, Thibodeaux mentioned, “Yeah, I was. There were a lot of things riding on that. My dad’s job and other things. It was like a family thing. It wasn’t anything horrendous.”

Desi Arnaz and Lucille BallDesi Arnaz and Lucille Ball
Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

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