Rewind Back in Time

For the love and appreciation of the Classic TV shows, music, movies, pop culture, history, etc. of the past few decades (mainly the 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's).

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Mini-Bio: "Little Ricky" Keith Thibodeaux

Keith Thibodeaux (stage name Richard Keith) played "Little Ricky" Ricardo on "I Love Lucy". Before joining the "Lucy" cast he was already a professional drummer discovered by bandleader, Horace Heidt at the age of three. A child prodigy indeed. When his father took him to audition for the "I Love Lucy" TV show Lucy asked him if his son could act. He answered "no". Wondering why he would be auditioning she rather curtly asked him something along the lines of "then what can he do?". Keith proceeded to play the drums and Lucy's attitude quickly changed and she exclaimed "This is the kid! This is him! This is Little Ricky!". He actually took a pay cut when he left his previous gig and became "Little Ricky" on the television series, often displaying his amazing drum playing talent on the show.

Viewers confused Keith with Lucy and Desi's real-life son Desi Arnaz Jr. It didn't help that young Thibodeaux was billed as "Little Ricky" on the show's credits and not as Keith Thibodeaux or his stage name Richard Keith. He grew very close to Desi Arnaz Jr. and they remain friends to this day. He was also very fond of Desi Arnaz Sr. You may also recognize Keith occasionally as Johnny Paul, one of Opie's friends on "The Andy Griffith Show."

In 1994, he published his autobiography, Life After Lucy: The True Story of Keith Thibodeaux -"I Love Lucy's" Little Ricky. Today, Keith lives in Jackson, Mississippi, with his wife, Kathy, a professional ballet dancer. Thibodeaux became the executive director of Kathy's touring ballet company, Ballet Magnificat.

Keith Thibodeaux was born December 1, 1950 in Lafayette, Louisiana.

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