When it comes to iconic Latinos, perhaps none may be more accomplished or universally renowned as Desi Arnaz. Responsible for popularizing conga music in the United States with his band, the Desi Arnaz Orchestra, Arnaz parlayed his musicianship into a successful acting career. Alongside his wife Lucille Ball, they would enjoy a near decade-long run of success between I Love Lucy (1951-57) and the Lucy Desi Comedy Hour (1957-60).
Still, the lasting impact of Arnaz has to be in his brilliance as a producer. He was the first to employ the use of a live studio audience, a staple in nearly every sitcom over the last half-century. Arnaz pioneered the multiple-camera setup, allowing for continuous filming of a scene from multiple angles, as well as the practice of recording his programs rather than airing live. This allowed for the advent of reruns, as film copies of the episodes could be distributed to multiple networks. Arnaz’s influence over the growth of television production was nothing short of revolutionary.