Who is Edith Mack Hirsch?

Edith Mack McSkimming was born in Illinois USA on 15 April 1917 – her zodiac sign was Aries and she held American nationality. Edith was a humanitarian, who is today probably best remembered as the wife of Desi Arnaz, the late Cuban-American actor/producer and musician.

Edith died of cancer on 25 March 1985, around a year and a half before her husband’s death.

Early life and education

Edith was quite secretive regarding her private matters and not a lot is known about any siblings and parents, however, it’s widely believed that she was raised in a middle-class family.

She grew up being interested in travelling and learning about new places, and she often went touring with her parents. Edith attended a high school in Illinois at which she was interested in playing sports, practicing her acting skills with the school’s drama club, and singing. Edith didn’t talk about her further education, but it’s believed that she enrolled at a college upon matriculating in 1935, and that she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 1939.

Edith’s career

Not a lot is known about Edith’s career, as she apparently spent most of it working as a humanitarian.

Love life and marriage with Desi Arnaz

Edith was married once before meeting Desi Arnaz. She exchanged vows with Clement L. Hirsch, but the two kept the date of their wedding as well as later of their divorce hidden – Clement died aged 85 on 15 March 2000. Desi was also married once before meeting Edith – he married Lucille Ball on 30 November 1940, who gave birth to their two children, Lucie and Desi Arnaz Jr., in 1951 and 1953, respectively. The two divorced in 1960.

On 2 March 1963, Edith and Desi married in a private ceremony, after which Desi decided to spend more time at home, and worked only a little as an actor and musician – he remained good friends with his first wife, as they shared custody over their children.

Edith Mack Hirsch and Desi Arnaz

Edith remained married to Desi until her death.

Hobbies and other interests

Edith loved to travel, and keeping her husband company while he was working took her to several US states, but she had travelled even before meeting him, having visited nearly every US state.

She was a huge fan of movies and enjoyed going to the cinema and theatre with her friends.

Edith was a cat-lover, and had a pet cat.

She liked reading books, and was apparently the one who had read the most in her wide circle of friends.

Edith was always interested in the well-being of others, and thus became a humanitarian – she fought for the same rights for the people of all colors as well as for women’s rights.

Age, height and net worth

Edith was 67 years old at the time of her death. She had brown hair and brown eyes, her height was 5ft 4ins (1.62m) and she weighed around 130lbs (58kgs). Her independent wealth was unknown, but her husband’s net worth at the time of his death was estimated at over $20 million.

Who is Desi Arnaz?

Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III was born in Santiago de Cuba, in Cuba, on 2 March 1917 – his zodiac sign was Pisces and he held both Cuban and American nationality. Desi is perhaps still best remembered for his portrayal of Ricky Ricardo in the family comedy series “I Love Lucy”, which aired from 1951 to 1957, and starred Desi, Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance – the series follows a wife of a band singer as she constantly tries to become a star, even though she has no talent. It won eight awards including four Primetime Emmys, and was nominated for 25 other awards.

Desi was raised an only child in Santiago de Cuba by his mother Dolores de Acha, and his father Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Alberni II who was the mayor of Santiago, and was extremely rich before the 1933 Cuban Revolution, after which he was sent to jail for half a year and lost all his property.

The family then came to Miami, Florida USA where Desi studied at St. Patrick Catholic High School, before moving to Saint Leo Prep where he was mostly focused on learning the English language.

Desi first worked at the retail company Woolworths, before he began working with his father who was the owner of his own tile business. Desi then decided to become a full-time singer and actor, and founded his band the Siboney Septet as soon as he matriculated. He was then invited by the late Spanish musician Xavier Cugat to sing and play the conga drums for his orchestra, which later motivated Desi to found his own Desi Arnaz Orchestra.

He became famous in New York City, and in 1939 was invited to appear with his orchestra in the Broadway musical comedy “Too Many Girls”. This marked the beginning of his acting career, as the play was turned into a movie and Desi moved to Hollywood while shooting for it – it was during the shooting that he met Lucille Ball who later divorced him because of his infidelity. One of Desi’s best early performances was in the American black and white World War II movie “Bataan” which follows American forces defending the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines.

Desi was then drafted into the US Army, but hurt his knee before reporting – he completed the training and was signed for only limited service at the Birmingham General Army Hospital as the director of United Service Organization programs.

Desi was discharged on 16 November 1945, and then returned to music after having founded a new orchestra, which often performed for the soldiers at Birmingham Hospital. In 1951, Desi began hosting his own game show “Your Tropical Trip” on the CBS network.

A year before, Desi launched Desilu Productions with Lucille and he with his cameraman, has been credited with creating the multiple-camera set-up production style. He went on to serve as the executive producer of the sitcom “The Ann Sothern Show”, the crime drama series “The Untouchables” and the adventure series “Whirlybird”. The company became very popular, and produced numerous other series such as “The Andy Griffith Show”, “The Lucy Show” and even “Star Trek”.

The ‘70s saw Desi co-host various shows, including the variety program “The Kraft Music Hall”, and released his autobiography “A Book” on 21 February 1976.

He donated a lot of money to charity during these years, most of which went to San Diego State University at which he also taught acting and studio production.

Not long after marrying Edith, the two moved to Del Mar in California and bought a horse breeding farm in Corona, California. Desi died of lung cancer on 2 December 1986, several months after he was diagnosed.

Desi received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Achievement in 1956.

Author

Robbie is currently a reporter for TheBiography based in Santa Monica, CA. Prior to joining TheBiography in December 2020, he was an entertainment reporter in People.

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