I Love Lucy was a groundbreaking sitcom on the small screen that made them bigger stars than they ever had been on the big screen. Lucy reigned as the Queen of Comedy. The sitcom success established Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball as a top Hollywood power couple with Desilu Productions. Then came Desilu Studios.
Desilu Productions gave TV viewers other shows that became huge hits -- like The Untouchables starring Robert Stack as Eliot Ness, The Danny Thomas Show, Our Miss Brooks starring Eve Arden, The Andy Griffith Show, My Favorite Martian, Family Affair and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
He moved up to work on such popular network shows as Batman and The Six Million Dollar Man.
Washburn was first assistant director on Sounder and Lady Sings The Blues, films that made Hollywood history in that the black women in the lead roles, Cicely Tyson (Sounder) and Diana Ross (Lady Sings The Blues), were both in the Oscar race for Best Actress of 1972. That was the first time more than one African-American actress had been nominated for the Oscar in that category. In the 1980s, he worked on Star Trek: The Next Generation, the popular TV spin-off starring Patrick Stewart and Levar Burton.
Reportedly, the grateful Charles C. Washburn said that back in 1967, there were only three black people on the Desilu lot. He was there with Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek cast member, and the third person was the gentleman who operated a food truck. Charles Washburn passed away 2012 at age 73.
"Icon" is an overused word nowadays. But Leonard Nimoy truly was a pop culture icon with his intelligent work as Mr. Spock. On Twitter, NASA wrote "So many of us at NASA were inspired by Star Trek. President Obama said, "I loved Spock." William Shatner said of the late actor, "I loved him like a brother." Mr. Nimoy and Mr. Washburn left us with fine work to enjoy. They contributed to significant work in the TV and film arts, work that embraced diversity. And both benefitted from Desilu Productions, the company started by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. May diversity also "Live long and prosper."