Still in Love with Lucy
by Thomas Watson
Monday, August 19, 2002
Dear Fellow Lucy Fans,
Welcome back, Little Ricky(s)...
As the 50th Anniversary of I Love Lucy continues, everyone's thoughts are turning toward the 50th anniversary of Little Ricky's arrival in January, 1953. Television historians have heralded the event as one of the most famous births of all time.
For years, people have been asking us "whatever happened to the boys who played the original Little Ricky?"
Ron (left) and Rick (right) with Ron's daughter, Samantha.
Well, I am happy to report that the twins are alive and well and still living in Southern California. We had dinner this past Saturday evening, and Ronald Lee and Richard Lee Simmons are a delight... and they are anxious to re- connect with the World of Lucy! (We assurred them that we will include them in any future fan club-related event we hold, and they are hoping to appear at the Lucy Festival in Jamestown next May.)
The two men have always been very proud of their Lucy heritage, and, even though they were much too young when they appeared on the show (they were 6-9 months old!) to remember things first-hand, their parents kept scrapbooks and mementos, and shared with them, as they were growing up, all the stories about what went on at the studio.
Rick, for example, explained that Desilu's Jim Paisley went to the Los Angeles Hall of Records in January, 1953, to get a list of all the people who had given birth to twin boys the previous year. It was quite a substantial list: the boys' parents (Arthur and Bernadene Simmons, of Burbank) were one of about fifty couples who qualified.
"When the studio called our mom," Ron recalled, "she hung up on them -- three times! But she finally realized they were on the level. We were taken in with forty other sets of twins... There we were, 80 babies all in a row... Lucy came in and very slowly walked up and back down the line. She finally stopped in front of us and said, 'These are the boys... These are Little Ricky.' And we were, for the rest of that season."
As we mentioned, Ron and Rick may become a little more visible to Lucy fans over the next few months, and we will keep you posted regarding any appearances or interviews they have scheduled. Welcome back, Ron and Rick...
Lucie On StageLucie Arnaz will star in "Once Removed," a play about Cuban refugees, at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Florida, April 22 - May 18, 2003.
The play, by Eduardo Machado, interweaves humor, social comment, sorrow and satire in a story about five privileged Cuban exiles who flee Castro's Cuba a few months prior to the 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco. Once wealthy, they are now poor foreigners who move first to Hialeah and then, lured by promises of an easier life, to Dallas, Texas.
Lucie's father and grandparents, of course, were refugees from Cuba after the 1933 revolution.
For more information about the play or the theatre, visit the Coconut Grove web-site at:
Coconut Grove Playhouse
See you next week!
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