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Keith Thibodeaux

From Academic Kids

Keith Thibodeaux (born December 1, 1950) is a former child actor and musician, best known for playing "Little Ricky" in the popular I Love Lucy and Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour television shows. (Credited as "Richard Keith")

As a child, Thibodeaux also made numerous appearances on The Andy Griffith Show, between 1962 to 1966, as Opie's friend "Johnny Paul Jason". He also accepted small roles on other popular television shows.

Thibodeaux is also a musician, who showed incredible skill on the drums at a young age. Thibodeaux was making $500 a week at the age of 3, touring with the Horace Heidt Orchestra, when he was "discovered" by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. At age 5, he took a $300 pay cut and became "Little Ricky" on the television series, frequently playing the drums on the show.

At the age of 15, Thibodeaux's Hollywood career was over, so he moved back to Louisiana with his mother. Thibodeaux began smoking marijuana in high school, which eventually led to the use of uppers, downers, LSD, and other drugs.

In 1969, Thibodeaux joined a rock group called David and the Giants. The group primarily toured throughout southern states and enjoyed a few regional hits. In 1971, when he reached the age of 21, he received the final payment of $8,000 from a trust fund set up during his days on I Love Lucy. He spent half of that payment on a sports car and the rest on sound equipment for the band.

Thibodeaux married his wife, Kathy, a talented ballet dancer in 1976. The couple then moved to Southern California. It was around this time that Thibodeaux converted to Christianity.

Thibodeaux returned to the southern United States in 1979 to rejoin the band David and the Giants only to learn that the other band members had also become Christians. The band released nearly ten albums in the 1980s, and 1990s for Epic Records and the band's own label Giant Records.

In 1990, became the manager for his wife’s company, Ballet Magnificat.

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