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‘That ‘70s Show’ star will pay tribute to Desi Arnaz

May 12, 2008 (AP): “That ‘70s Show'' star Wilmer Valderrama will pay tribute to Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball as part of a festival devoted to the comedy legends.

Valderrama will present ``A Tribute to Desi Arnaz'' Saturday as part of the Lucy-Desi Days Memorial Day Weekend festival in western New York. The tribute will include a question-and-answer session on Arnaz's work, and clips of some of Valderrama’s favorite scenes.

Valderrama, who played Fez on ``That '70s Show'' and hosts MTV's ``Yo Momma!'', said he has always been inspired by Arnaz. Arnaz, who died in 1986, was Cuban.

Wilmer Valderrama

``I'm sure a lot of performers say this, but I think 'I Love Lucy' was one of the most influential pieces of work in any decade,'' said Valderrama. ``It kind of paved the way for people who wanted to think outside the box.''

The 28-year-old actor and producer, who grew up in Venezuela before moving to the United States in 1994, said watching sitcoms like “I Love Lucy'' helped him learn English. He said it was exciting to see a Latino actor established on television so many decades ago and to see someone who looked and sounded a little like himself.

The actor's appearance in Lucille Ball's hometown headlines dozens of events during the annual Lucy-Desi Days Festival, including art exhibits, tours and workshops.

On the Web: www.lucy-desi.com






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