Desi Arnaz moved to the US and entered into show business to support himself. While in New York he took the opportunity to work under his mentor, legendary bandleader, Xavier Cugat. Arnaz learned as much as he could. In 1939, he starred on Broadway in the musical, Too Many Girls. He went to Hollywood the next year to perform in the show's movie version at RKO, which starred Lucille Ball. Arnaz and Ball married on November 30, 1940.
Arnaz performed in several movies in the 1940s, best known for his performance in, Bataan (1943). He received his draft notice, but before reporting he injured his knee. He completed his recruit training, but was classified for limited service during World War II. Following his discharge from the Army, he formed another orchestra. He hired his childhood friend Marco Rizo to play piano and arrange for the orchestra. When he became successful in television, he kept the orchestra on his payroll, and Rizo arranged and orchestrated the music for I Love Lucy.