DESI ARNAZ SR. - CONTRACT SIGNED 12/11/1957 - HFSID 171165
Desi Arnaz signs a document with RKO Teleradio Pictures, Inc. regarding leases and agreements.
Carbon Typed Document Signed: "Desi Arnaz" in ink for Desilu Productions, Inc. under "Agreed to and Accepted", 4p, 8½x11, separate sheets. Los Angeles, California, 1957 December 11. In letter form from RKO Teleradio Pictures, Inc. to Desilu Productions, Inc., Los Angeles, California. Agreement regarding leases and agreements between the two companies. In part: "We have heretofore entered into the following leases and agreements (a) Lease dated April 4, 1957 with Union Oil Company of California... pertaining to oil, gas and other hydrocarbon substances and allied rights in connection with our Gower Street Studio Properties...(b) An agreement with said Union Oil Company and Paramount Pictures dated March 27, 1957...pursuant to which we became, with certain modifications, a party to an Operating Agreement dated August 24, 1965 between Paramount Pictures and Union Oil Company...pertaining to oil, gas and other hydrocarbon substances and certain allied rights in and about our Gower Street Studio Properties...In consideration of the terms, covenants and conditions herein contained, you and we hereby agree as follows: 1. You and we will use our best efforts to cause Union and Paramount (a) to agree to execute an amendment to the Agreement and Operating Agreement pursuant to which you will become and we will remain parties to said Agreements...In the event that either Paramount or Union refuses to execute such amendment or to agree to such transfer then you and we will use our best efforts to cause Union and Paramount to consent and agree to our assigning to you all of our right, title and interest in and to said Agreement and Operating Agreement and said Union Lease...If we are unable to obtain an authorization and consent from Union and Paramount...we hereby agree that at our sole cost and expense we will file an action against Paramount and Union for Declaratory Relief...." Also signed: "Daniel T. O'Shea" and by an unknown signer for RKO Teleradio Pictures, Inc. On thin paper. In 1957, the year of this contract, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the owners of Desilu Productions, sold the rerun rights to their comedy series, I Love Lucy, to CBS for $5 million and used the proceeds to purchase the 14-acre RKO lot in Hollywood (both Ball and Arnaz had previously been contract players for the studio). This contract refers to the reassignment of utility and other contracts from RKO to Desilu after the sale. Actress/comedienne Lucille Ball (1911-1989) and her husband, Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz (1917-1986), had formed Desilu in 1950 to produce their comedy series, I Love Lucy (1951-1957), after CBS had denied Lucy's request for Desi to play the role of her husband. By 1957, their company was already producing The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show (1957-1960), and it would launch two new series, the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse and The Ann Sothern Show, the following year. Desilu later produced some of the greatest hit television series of the 1950s and 1960s, including Our Miss Brooks, Make Room for Daddy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Untouchables, Mission Impossible, Mannix and Star Trek. Lucy and Desi, who were married in 1941 and had two children, were divorced in 1960. Upon their divorce, they divided Desilu's assets in half; two years later, Lucy bought out Desi for $3 million. Desilu corporate embossed stamp touches the "Des" of Arnaz' signature; RKO corporate stamp touches O'Shea's signature and nicks the second signature. Lightly creased. Staple holes and 2 file holes at upper blank margins. Fine condition.
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