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Was Arlene Francis considered a character actress?

What was her thing and intention on "What's My Line?" about character people when she asked if they were? Would she be insulted if you called her a character woman? It seems she was asking them if they weren't good-looking. There were some very good-looking character people as well as they really out there folks as well. Frankly, Glenn Close and Meryl Streep and DeNIro and Pacino and Hoffman are in the leading character category.

by Anonymousreply 208November 29, 2021 1:22 AM

[Quote] There were some very good-looking character people as well

Tuesday Weld!

by Anonymousreply 1October 14, 2021 5:29 PM

She was considered a ‘personality.’ Her acting was incidental.

by Anonymousreply 2October 14, 2021 5:31 PM

She was considered very fecund.

by Anonymousreply 3October 14, 2021 5:34 PM

Bitch killed Jack Kennedy.

by Anonymousreply 4October 14, 2021 5:47 PM

My name is Bevery Boyer and I'm a pig.

And you, Arlene are my supporting (character)!

by Anonymousreply 5October 14, 2021 5:48 PM

Correct quote: Hello, I'm Beverly Boyer and I'm a pig.

You're still supporting, Arlene. I don't care that you're having a baby and getting all orgasmic during the film's opening.

by Anonymousreply 6October 14, 2021 5:49 PM

She was basically an older Phyllis Newman. Married to someone more famous and accomplished in show business. Stage experience, but not much. Did "panel" and quiz shows. Kitty Carlisle was much the same, except she'd done more in films.

by Anonymousreply 7October 14, 2021 5:55 PM

I don't know if I'd call Martin Gabel more famous, but I believe that he did win a Tony.

by Anonymousreply 8October 14, 2021 6:00 PM

Phyllis Newman was pretty accomplished -- her showstopper in "Subways Are For Sleeping" won the Tony over Barbra Streisand's big number in "I Can Get It For You Wholesale".

by Anonymousreply 9October 14, 2021 6:02 PM

She Newman) didn't do much after that.

by Anonymousreply 10October 14, 2021 6:04 PM

Wasn’t her husband gay?

by Anonymousreply 11October 14, 2021 6:04 PM

You consider 26 Broadway shows "not much", r7?

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by Anonymousreply 12October 14, 2021 6:09 PM

R12: Most of them closed quickly. She was no Geraldine Page.

by Anonymousreply 13October 14, 2021 6:29 PM

How would she react if she were Mystery Guest and someone asked her if she were a character actress? She was relatively ethnic looking for the time, despite her stage name.

by Anonymousreply 14October 14, 2021 6:30 PM

It's still 26 times she got hired and appeared on Broadway, r13. She also had a 40 year radio career. You're really short-changing her accomplishments in the business.

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by Anonymousreply 15October 14, 2021 6:40 PM

Plus she co-starred with James Cagney in the hilarious "One, Two, Three" and also Beverly Boyer (Doris Day) in "The Thrill of It All" among others. In character roles (wife), but still...

by Anonymousreply 16October 14, 2021 6:43 PM

I didn’t know she was in the original Broadway run of The Women … two years.

by Anonymousreply 17October 14, 2021 6:51 PM

Arlene was multi-talented, including murder.

by Anonymousreply 18October 15, 2021 5:25 AM

Give it up, R18. DL keeps trying to pin a murder rap on her when ten seconds of online research will show she didn't kill anyone. There was a tragic accident at her apartment while she and her family were away, and she was in a fatal car accident that was not her fault.

And, yes, she would have been proud to be called a character actress.

by Anonymousreply 19October 15, 2021 6:24 AM

🤔 sounds like murder to me…

by Anonymousreply 20October 16, 2021 1:20 AM

Who might Bennett Cerf and Dorothy Kilgallen guess if Arlene had been a mystery guest?

by Anonymousreply 21October 16, 2021 2:06 AM

Lotte Lenya, R21.

by Anonymousreply 22October 16, 2021 2:27 AM

A radio and TV host. Lots of Broadway gigs and a wonderful person. She possessed a unique quality that made you want to look at her. She lived a long time.

by Anonymousreply 23October 16, 2021 2:31 AM

R23 Many years ago, an ex and I were visiting NYC, and while walking on the Upper East Side I saw an elderly, well-dressed and well-coiffed woman walking towards us slowly with the assistance of a younger woman. After we passed them, I realized the elderly woman was Arlene Francis. I looked back thinking about whether to go back to her and tell her how much I had enjoyed her TV work, but I saw how much trouble she was having walking and thought it best to not bother her. I still enjoy watching her on old What’s My Line shows. She was vivacious and had a lovely smile.

by Anonymousreply 24October 16, 2021 4:52 AM

She's no Ann Baxter.

by Anonymousreply 25October 16, 2021 5:03 AM

Or Ann Blythe

by Anonymousreply 26October 16, 2021 5:05 AM

She's no Anne Miller.

by Anonymousreply 27October 16, 2021 5:05 AM

Or Miss or Missus Miller.

by Anonymousreply 28October 16, 2021 5:07 AM

R24, I think she suffered from Alzheimer’s for many years before her death, so you & your ex may have encountered her during this period of her life.

by Anonymousreply 29October 16, 2021 5:09 AM


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by Anonymousreply 30October 16, 2021 5:10 AM

Let’s not forget that, for all her formidable charm, she was also a serial killer.

by Anonymousreply 31October 16, 2021 5:14 AM

Would she have been described as a handsome woman?

by Anonymousreply 32October 16, 2021 5:28 AM

[Quote] According to TV Guide, Francis was the highest-earning game show panelist in the 1950s, making $1000 (equal to $10,757 today[citation needed]) per show on the prime time version of What's My Line?. By contrast, the second-highest paid panelists on TV, Dorothy Kilgallen and Faye Emerson, received $500 (equal to $5,378 today[citation needed]) per appearance.[10]

Interesting that the female panellists were paid for than the men.

by Anonymousreply 33October 16, 2021 5:36 AM

Miss Francis was an accomplished actress on the legitimate stage performing in 25 Broadway plays through 1975.

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by Anonymousreply 34October 16, 2021 6:01 AM

She was also Armenian.

by Anonymousreply 35October 16, 2021 6:15 AM

She wasn't a character actress.

She was The Lovely Star of Stage and Television, MIss Arlene Francis™.

by Anonymousreply 36October 16, 2021 6:18 AM

R29 I think you’re correct. According to her NYT obituary, she started showing signs of Alzheimer’s around 1984 and left NYC in 1995 to be near her son in California. I would have seen her between 1990 and 1995, when she had been in a decline for a long time. It’s just as well I didn’t try to go up to her.

by Anonymousreply 37October 16, 2021 6:31 AM

Wiki says she left New York for a home in San Francisco in 1993.

by Anonymousreply 38October 16, 2021 6:35 AM

Are these F Me pumps?

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by Anonymousreply 39October 16, 2021 7:14 AM

Most of her Broadway work was in short runs or plays no one remembers. The Women, an ensemble, is really her only major credit and that was 29+ years before "What's My Line". Her film credits were "sporadic" as Wiki describes them. She was basically a proto-Phyllis Newman.

by Anonymousreply 40October 16, 2021 1:33 PM


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by Anonymousreply 41October 16, 2021 3:18 PM

Her famous diamond heart-shaped necklace was stolen from her, and I don't think it's ever surfaced since.

by Anonymousreply 42October 16, 2021 4:47 PM

The people who made the WACO mini series are developing a Dorothy Kilgallen - who should be played by Rooney Mara or Emily Blunt - biopic.

Who to play Arlene and the rest of the the panel?

by Anonymousreply 43October 16, 2021 4:53 PM

Rebecca De Mornay

by Anonymousreply 44October 16, 2021 5:10 PM

maybe Wendie Malick as Dorothy (though Wendie is always pretty likeable and Dorothy was mostly bitchy)

by Anonymousreply 45October 16, 2021 5:12 PM

Arlene interviewed. Date unknown, but no earlier than 1987.

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by Anonymousreply 46October 16, 2021 5:18 PM

Dorothy should only be played by chinless wonder. Cast an unknown.

by Anonymousreply 47October 16, 2021 6:33 PM

Goodson-Todman would not have dared pay Arlene twice as much Dorothy. Dorothy would of course have found out and that would be the end of WML as we knew it.

As to Arlene, she was far more famous and talented on television than her husband. He never would have been seen on the program if he hadn't been Mr. Francis.

by Anonymousreply 48October 16, 2021 6:50 PM

[quote]She was basically a proto-Phyllis Newman.

They were both basically TV celebrities despite work on stage, but Phyllis was the ditzy ingénue type. All giggles.

Arlene was sophisticated and witty. A TV pioneer hosting her own show in the 1950s. Had radio shows. She had a lot more substance than Phyllis Newman.

by Anonymousreply 49October 16, 2021 9:21 PM

Arlene was the first woman to host a game show when she subbed for Bill Cullen on The Price is Right.

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by Anonymousreply 50October 16, 2021 9:54 PM

During the interregnum between Jack Paar's departure & Johnny Carson's start date, she also was the first woman to host the Tonight Show.

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by Anonymousreply 51October 16, 2021 10:06 PM

Although different personalities, Arlene and Betty White shared a common denominator: they were just born for TV, live TV especially.

by Anonymousreply 52October 16, 2021 10:13 PM

[quote]Arlene was the first woman to host a game show when she subbed for Bill Cullen on The Price is Right.

Actually Arlene was the host of the TV game show "Blind Date", years before the Price is Right.

She also hosted it when it was on the radio. Starting in 1943.

by Anonymousreply 53October 16, 2021 10:44 PM

I'd consider Betty a pioneer, r52.

by Anonymousreply 54October 16, 2021 10:50 PM

[quote]Although different personalities, Arlene and Betty White shared a common denominator: they were just born for TV, live TV especially.

That would describe Dinah Shore too. And with her own variety show starting in '51.

by Anonymousreply 55October 16, 2021 11:40 PM

Chinless wonder?

You rang??

by Anonymousreply 56October 17, 2021 12:01 AM

What about Bel Powley?

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by Anonymousreply 57October 17, 2021 12:04 AM

They will most likely cast a quince...

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by Anonymousreply 58October 17, 2021 12:34 AM

I was just about to post that Dinah Shore didn't have the perfect frame for '50s TV, she always seemed bigger than the screen. Then I just checked. She was 5'3". Yet I remember her as so tall and elegant.

by Anonymousreply 59October 17, 2021 12:43 AM

Dinah was top heavy. Noted for her tits when she was starting out and getting show biz breaks from Eddie Cantor.

by Anonymousreply 60October 17, 2021 12:49 AM

On TV her only rival in the 1950s and early '60s was Perry Como.

by Anonymousreply 61October 17, 2021 12:54 AM

There's something else these three women all have: great voices. So warm, and with that intimacy that lets you somehow feel you really know them. And like them.

I assume this comes from their radio training, when the voice was all a performer had to offer.

That's a lost art today. Listen to Mayim. Her voice is OK, better than nearly all the contenders'. But it's pretty clear she's had no training. She speaks as host exactly the way she speaks on the phone. She'd be so much better as host if a voice trainer worked with her on developing that warm engaging tone that brought Dinah, Betty and Arlene such success.

by Anonymousreply 62October 17, 2021 1:07 AM

R61 For tits?

by Anonymousreply 63October 17, 2021 1:10 AM

Who was Milton Berle's rival?

by Anonymousreply 64October 17, 2021 1:11 AM

Forrest Tucker

by Anonymousreply 65October 17, 2021 1:12 AM

[quote]Who was Milton Berle's rival? For dick, obv.

Betty Furness

by Anonymousreply 66October 17, 2021 1:13 AM

Betty Furness and Harriet Hilliard Nelson (of Ozzie and Harriet) each show up in different Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movies as the 2nd female lead way back in the 1930s.

by Anonymousreply 67October 17, 2021 1:15 AM

I see that we've turned our attention away from Arlene to dick, but, R64, David Steinberg, who saw Uncle Miltie in all his glorious wonder, has recently written that Berle wasn't as well-endowed as he wanted people to believe he was.

by Anonymousreply 68October 17, 2021 1:28 AM

WHET David Steinberg?

by Anonymousreply 69October 17, 2021 1:46 AM

R69, apart from a Showtime series he helmed in the ‘10s where he interviewed other comedians, he’s been a top go-to director of TV sit coms - think Golden Girls, Mad About You, Friends & Curb - since the ‘80s.

by Anonymousreply 70October 17, 2021 1:59 AM

Arlene was one of those people who couldn’t sit still. On WML she was always plugging her appearances in theatre, sometimes on Broadway but more often at local suburban theaters in places like Paramus or Mineola. This on top of her TV and radio jobs. She obviously didn’t need the money.

I read her memoir and she had not one but two anecdotes in there which had to do with her public hair. One about having it shaved into the shape of a heart and dyed red. I believe this was behind Martin giving her the trademark heart necklace. Another anecdote later in the book detailed that no matter what her hair color at any time she was always Armenian in hair color down below. I really wasn’t expecting to get that kind of candor in an old lady’s autobiography.

by Anonymousreply 71October 17, 2021 2:05 AM

Martin was probably a cunning linguist.

by Anonymousreply 72October 17, 2021 2:10 AM

Martin was the Liev Schreiber of his era as he was a leading voiceover artist.

by Anonymousreply 73October 17, 2021 2:17 AM

Martin was brilliant in his small role in Lord Love A Duck. Both he and Arlene were reliable performers; you could count on them to come in prepared and do at least a solid job. Sometimes, when the role was right (as with Martin in LLAD, or Arlene in One Two Three) they was really great. And speaking of Arlene in OTT, she held her own against James Cagney, which is saying a helluva lot.

by Anonymousreply 74October 17, 2021 2:28 AM

I think Arlene is really fine in "The Thrill of It All", too, especially the opening upon hearing of her pregnancy. "One, Two, Three", while now dated because of the fall of the Berlin Wall, is still a fast-moving and hilarious hoot.

by Anonymousreply 75October 17, 2021 2:32 AM

I believe Arlene's casting in 123 originated with Billy Wilder telling his casting people he wanted an "Arlene Francis type'" for Cagney's wife.

I think Arlene had something of a Broadway hit in the mid-60s with a glamorous all-star revival of DINNER AT EIGHT in which she played the Marie Dressler role. The cast included Darren McGavin, Walter Pidgeon, June Havoc and Arlene's 123 co-star Pamela Tiffin.

by Anonymousreply 76October 17, 2021 3:34 AM

Look how tiny Dinah's (granted cinched) waist is...

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by Anonymousreply 77October 17, 2021 3:50 AM

Did Dinah and Carol Channing ever do a medley of Negro Spirituals together?

by Anonymousreply 78October 17, 2021 3:53 AM

WML? with the Dinner at Eight cast...

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by Anonymousreply 79October 17, 2021 4:06 AM

Francis seemed old playing Cagney's wife in One, Two, Three and had a relatively minor role.

by Anonymousreply 80October 17, 2021 4:09 AM

Oh, yeah. It was Arlene who seemed OLD.

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by Anonymousreply 81October 17, 2021 4:11 AM

Miss Francis totally redefined the meaning of character actress in the legitimate theater.

by Anonymousreply 82October 17, 2021 4:14 AM

I think she'd glare at you (then smile -- cameras are on) if the person sitting to her right on 'What's My Line" introduced her as "the dozen of New York's character actresses", though.

by Anonymousreply 83October 17, 2021 5:46 AM

doyen, oy!

by Anonymousreply 84October 17, 2021 5:46 AM


by Anonymousreply 85October 17, 2021 5:48 AM

Merci beaucoup.

by Anonymousreply 86October 17, 2021 5:51 AM

More of a personality than performer

by Anonymousreply 87October 17, 2021 6:05 AM


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by Anonymousreply 88October 17, 2021 6:14 AM

As a reflection of just how much the memory of another Goodson-Todman game show doyenne has receded, today’s Newsday crossword puzzle - always exponentially tougher than the Times’s Saturday puzzle - has this clue: “Six-decade game show panelist in A Night at the Opera.”

by Anonymousreply 89October 23, 2021 7:32 PM

R69, David Steinberg has written an autobiography "Inside Comedy", published this year.

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by Anonymousreply 90October 23, 2021 8:46 PM

She had a potty mouth!

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by Anonymousreply 91October 23, 2021 8:55 PM

I read Steinberg’s book, R90. My greatest takeaway was that he liked everyone he worked … with the exception of Bea Arthur. He related that Bea once asked him why people took such an instant dislike to her. He told her it just saves time. He also wrote about seeing Uncle Miltie in the nude. He said that Berle liked people to think he was more endowed than he really was.

by Anonymousreply 92October 23, 2021 9:24 PM

Oh, I met someone who worked for the Friars club who told me Berle had a very big dick.

by Anonymousreply 93October 23, 2021 10:29 PM

Did he mention the temperature in the room?

by Anonymousreply 94October 23, 2021 10:39 PM

Gentleman, can we please move this dick discussion elsewhere, somewhere not in the presence of a lady like Miss Francis?

by Anonymousreply 95October 23, 2021 10:45 PM

[quote]Gentleman, can we please move this dick discussion elsewhere, somewhere not in the presence of a lady like Miss Francis?


by Anonymousreply 96October 24, 2021 2:37 AM

What was Arlene's favorite word for the male member?

by Anonymousreply 97October 24, 2021 2:53 AM

I was getting confused then I realized this wasn't the Arlene Dahl thread.

by Anonymousreply 98October 24, 2021 3:54 AM

Nah, r98, yer Miss Arlene Dahl thread is here...

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by Anonymousreply 99October 24, 2021 4:01 AM

R99, can you likewise direct me to the Arlene Golonka thread?

by Anonymousreply 100October 24, 2021 4:05 AM

sigh...Fine, r100, but this is the last one. I need to get back to Mimeo.

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by Anonymousreply 101October 24, 2021 4:11 AM

[quote] What was Arlene's favorite word for the male member?


by Anonymousreply 102October 24, 2021 6:15 PM

The Sal Mimeo thread, R101?

by Anonymousreply 103October 24, 2021 6:20 PM

r7 - Phyllis Newman was a wonderful talent. She had a lot to offer as a singer and an actress.

by Anonymousreply 104October 24, 2021 6:30 PM

The Sal Mimeo thread, r103, or the Sal Mimeo Mimeo thread?

by Anonymousreply 105October 24, 2021 6:35 PM

I wouldn't mind a mimeo of Mineo in his pool scenes in "Who Killed Teddy Bear?"

by Anonymousreply 106October 24, 2021 6:37 PM

I dispute that Dinah Shore was 5' 3." She was, by her own admission, closer to 5' 6." I have photos of her standing next to Andy Williams who was about 5' 7" and she is taller because of her heels. She is about the same height as Peggy Lee - who was 5' 6." I was a huge fan as a kid and I met her a few times.

by Anonymousreply 107October 24, 2021 6:46 PM

Arlene looks like an Armenian American house frau in that commercial. Her husband just got a raise at his factory job.

by Anonymousreply 108October 24, 2021 6:47 PM

She had...that certain something...

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by Anonymousreply 109October 24, 2021 6:50 PM

Like JP Morgan on the Gong Show- She was known for being a personality and being famous and didn’t have much of a career before that or ever.

by Anonymousreply 110October 24, 2021 6:52 PM

At first this sounds crazy - Arlene and Helen Mirren have very similar facial features and mannerisms. They both have that “knowing” merry look in their eyes - but intelligent and classy at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 111October 24, 2021 7:01 PM

Helen would be an ideal choice for an Arlene biopic.

by Anonymousreply 112October 24, 2021 7:03 PM

Well, Helen featured a lot more nudity in her career.

by Anonymousreply 113October 24, 2021 7:04 PM

Arlene would have done a topless scene, I'm sure. It's just that no one asked.

by Anonymousreply 114October 24, 2021 7:06 PM

I could see Arlene playing Mrs. Kendall in "The Elephant Man" had she been the right age when it was done.

by Anonymousreply 115October 24, 2021 7:07 PM

All they had to do, r114, is ask!

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by Anonymousreply 116October 24, 2021 7:09 PM

During her hey day on American television (1951-1967), Arlene surely got some great plastic surgery done but I've always wondered how and when as she seemed to be virtually on camera all the time. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think WML only took a brief month off during the summers and even then, Arlene was usually touring in stock.

by Anonymousreply 117October 24, 2021 7:10 PM

For someone who had a child at a later age, she managed to stay well preserved. Bette Davis and Lucy both aged pretty quickly after having their first children in their late thirties…especially Bette.

by Anonymousreply 118October 24, 2021 7:13 PM

[quote] Helen would be an ideal choice for an Arlene biopic.

Any such production would have to tackle her murderess tendencies.

Hey, R17!

by Anonymousreply 119October 24, 2021 7:21 PM

[quote] Like JP Morgan on the Gong Show- She was known for being a personality and being famous and didn’t have much of a career before that or ever.

R110, you are completely full of shit. She had a big stage career both on Broadway (25 shows) and in stock. Big radio career,TV guest spots, and a sprinkling of films.

by Anonymousreply 120October 24, 2021 9:03 PM

Arlene lifted weights. That says a lot about her attitude to maintaining her body.

by Anonymousreply 121October 25, 2021 12:03 AM

[Quote] At first this sounds crazy - Arlene and Helen Mirren have very similar facial features

That doesn't sound crazy. Helen Mirren came to mind when I Image Searched photos of younger Arlene.

by Anonymousreply 122October 25, 2021 12:04 AM

Dinner at Eight

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by Anonymousreply 123October 25, 2021 12:07 AM

[quote]Like JP Morgan on the Gong Show- She was known for being a personality and being famous and didn’t have much of a career before that or ever.

You don't know what you're talking about.

And BTW: Jaye P. Morgan had quite a career in the 1950s: top-10 hit records, plenty of TV appearances including her own TV show.

by Anonymousreply 124October 25, 2021 12:12 AM

And Jaye P. is family to boot.

by Anonymousreply 125October 25, 2021 12:13 AM

I loved watching the original WML as a little kid, it was very special getting to stay up late on those Sunday nights. I was obsessed with Dorothy Kilgallen but found Arlene kind of boring.

But when I rediscovered the show about 15 years ago on youtube and started watching all the episodes again (and by now I've seen them multiple times) I'm absolutely floored by how spontaneously clever and witty and gracious Arlene always was....it went over my head as a child, I guess. She's always so complimentary to the Mystery Guests when they're revealed, often the first to mention how wonderful they are in their latest project. I can't imagine she wasn't beloved by all of her colleagues. That kind of effervescent personality has sorely been missing from TV for a very long time now.

by Anonymousreply 126October 25, 2021 12:15 AM

Used to confuse Jaye P Morgan and singer Jane Morgan, but the former was infinitely hip and the latter......well, she just wasn't.

by Anonymousreply 127October 25, 2021 12:17 AM

[quote] Arlene lifted weights

It was one of those weights that killed one of her victims.

by Anonymousreply 128October 25, 2021 12:18 AM

[quote]but found Arlene kind of boring.

Same for me when I was a kid. She really didn't register.

But now I'm so impressed everything she did on that show.

by Anonymousreply 129October 25, 2021 12:21 AM

^But now I'm so impressed with everything she did on that show.

by Anonymousreply 130October 25, 2021 12:21 AM

Jaye P. did a disco album in the 70s that is surprisingly good. Beautifully produced. Give it a listen.

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by Anonymousreply 131October 25, 2021 12:25 AM

I think it was produced by David Foster.

by Anonymousreply 132October 25, 2021 12:27 AM

Arlene was not the one who used a weight to prop open the window. It was her maid. Arlene and Martin weren’t even there ar the time.

by Anonymousreply 133October 25, 2021 1:07 AM

[quote] Arlene was not the one who used a weight to prop open the window. It was her maid. Arlene and Martin weren’t even there ar the time.

I never said otherwise. I just said that "[i]t was one of those weights that killed one of her victims." Unless it was the maid's weight.

by Anonymousreply 134October 25, 2021 1:26 AM

HER victims. Don't pretend you didn't know what you were doing with that word.

by Anonymousreply 135October 25, 2021 1:27 AM

If Arlene didn't kill him, how is he "one of her victims" R126/R134?

by Anonymousreply 136October 25, 2021 1:28 AM

C'mon, R135/136, this is Datalounge, where bitchery is part of our constitution. And she WAS associated with the accidental deaths of two people.

by Anonymousreply 137October 25, 2021 1:30 AM

What is your problem, r137? You sound like a real cunt. And you’re a bore, too, which is an even bigger sin on DL.

by Anonymousreply 138October 25, 2021 1:54 AM

Am I a boor or a bore, R138? I'll take either.

by Anonymousreply 139October 25, 2021 1:57 AM

Strange how another singer cut 4 of the same tracks as Jaye P. Morgans 1976 album the next year. "You're All I Need to Get By" is the only really famous song of the four.

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by Anonymousreply 140October 25, 2021 2:38 AM

R79 That episode perfectly sums up why I like WML, yes they could all be elitists, but they celebrated each other's triumphs like they were their own.

by Anonymousreply 141October 25, 2021 2:43 AM

Did you know Bennett Cerf was related to Ginger Rogers?

by Anonymousreply 142October 25, 2021 2:45 AM

She trills...

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by Anonymousreply 143October 25, 2021 2:48 AM

Dinner at Eight is one straight play, that I think could be turned into a fun musical.

by Anonymousreply 144October 25, 2021 2:53 AM

[quote]Strange how another singer cut 4 of the same tracks as Jaye P. Morgans 1976 album the next year. "You're All I Need to Get By" is the only really famous song of the four.

Jaye P.'s performance on "You're All I Need to Get By" is very skillful.

Anyway, Arlene Francis never cut a disco album. So there's that.

by Anonymousreply 145October 25, 2021 3:14 AM

[quote]Arlene was not the one who used a weight to prop open the window. It was her maid. Arlene and Martin weren’t even there ar the time.

I propped mine open with the fookin baby, and won a Grammy for it.

by Anonymousreply 146October 25, 2021 3:16 AM

The production on Jaye's version is good. The vocal layering hides her somewhat thin voice. She sounds like late period Dusty Springfield at times.

by Anonymousreply 147October 25, 2021 3:35 AM

This is basically the same arrangement as Jaye's. How odd. Foster is credited for arranging Jaisun's "Closet Man," so maybe he was behind both projects.

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by Anonymousreply 148October 25, 2021 3:37 AM

Jaye would have been 45 years old when she did that album.

by Anonymousreply 149October 25, 2021 4:01 AM

When I was a kid I used to think Arlene Francis and Kitty Carlisle were the same person who just switched wigs from "What's My Line" to "To Tell the Truth".

by Anonymousreply 150October 25, 2021 5:22 AM

They did look like sisters.

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by Anonymousreply 151October 25, 2021 5:26 AM

Arlene broke down in tears live on the radio when Bennett Cerf died.

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by Anonymousreply 152October 25, 2021 5:31 AM

Kate Micucci looks has a Dorothy Kilgallen.

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by Anonymousreply 153October 25, 2021 9:29 AM

Micucci is cringeworthy in everything she does. She lacks Kilgallen's cut throat menace. She and Cerf played to win on WML, but Bennett did it with a bit more finesse.

by Anonymousreply 154October 25, 2021 1:51 PM

Ginger Rogers was first cousin to Bennett Cerf’s wife Phyllis. Ginger was a frequent house guest of the Cerfs. It was mentioned that she was residing with them when she made an appearance on WML in the early 60s, and that obituary posted at r152 says she was a guest in 1971 at the time of his death. Was Ginger broke or something that made her stay with them so often? Surely she wasn’t a house guest all that time.

by Anonymousreply 155October 25, 2021 1:57 PM

Maybe the Cerfs loved her and she loved them, r155?

I've read Bennett Cerf's biography and while it's somewhat entertaining, he really could have written a ferocious tell-all about the hundreds of celebrities he hobnobbed with in all aspects of the arts from first wife Sylvia Sidney (who he divorced because he was jealous of her greater fame), Frank Sinatra (Bennett was an honorary member of The Rat Pack) to Marilyn Monroe (he wrote a fab profile of her for Esquire), to every important author and playwright of the 20th century (Bennett was, of course, the Random House lead publisher). As outspoken as he was, he was an old-fashioned gentleman and knew how to keep his mouth shut in print.

But there's a wonderful audio interview Bennett did near the end of his life where he loosens up and talks all about WML, his dislike of Dorothy Kilgallen and many other things. Check it online. Sorry not to provide a link.

by Anonymousreply 156October 25, 2021 2:31 PM

[quote]But there's a wonderful audio interview Bennett did near the end of his life where he loosens up and talks all about WML, his dislike of Dorothy Kilgallen and many other things. Check it online. Sorry not to provide a link.

Dorothy's politics were a bit more right-wing than the rest of the regulars, but what frosted Bennett's biscuits was Dorothy's attitude that anything and everything was fodder for her newspaper column. He thought some things should stay among friends.

by Anonymousreply 157October 25, 2021 10:52 PM

R157 While she might have leaned to the right, she was killed for trying to uncover the truth about the JFK assassination. People who knew her, and most biographers agree that because of her Catholicism she would never have killed herself and she wasn't the type of person to accidently kill herself either.

by Anonymousreply 158October 26, 2021 12:53 AM

Utter bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 159October 26, 2021 12:55 AM

Through the smoke, Bennett Cerf interviewed by Mike Wallace.

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by Anonymousreply 160October 26, 2021 1:18 AM

Bennett is now famously remembered (if at all) for his horribly old-fashioned attitudes towards women's liberation (he persisted on calling women "girls"), rock and roll (he insisted it was a passing fad), avant-garde theater (he thought Waiting for Godot was a lot of nonsense) and the sack dress ("a disturbing abomination!").

by Anonymousreply 161October 26, 2021 1:30 AM

Well, he was right about the sack dress

He was right about "Waiting for Godot".

And as we now know, Rock&Roll was indeed a passing fad, though it took a while to pass from fashion.

As for calling women "girls": it's a lot more sensible than claiming men can be women.

by Anonymousreply 162October 26, 2021 1:40 AM

[quote] he persisted on calling women "girls"

How dare he, a man born in the 19th Century?!

by Anonymousreply 163October 26, 2021 1:42 AM

The T obsessive will always find a way to change the subject to his fave.

by Anonymousreply 164October 26, 2021 1:43 AM

[quote] Her acting was incidental…

😂 I love it when jokes tell themselves.

by Anonymousreply 165October 26, 2021 1:47 AM

Incidental as two lentils?

by Anonymousreply 166October 26, 2021 2:21 AM


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by Anonymousreply 167October 26, 2021 3:28 AM

Well aren’t we all chummy up here in Mount Kisco? …. Actually a few years ago I googled Bennett Cerf in Mt Kisco New York - it gave his address and I don’t remember if it had a real estate listing or not - but there were several beautiful photos of his house. I don’t think I looked up Arlene & Martin Gabel’s Mt Kisco house …

by Anonymousreply 168October 26, 2021 9:00 AM

Around 1932, Cerf went to Paris, met James Joyce, signed him up as a Random House author, then returned to the U.S. and fought the court battle to overturn the U.S. Customs ban on Ulysses.

In my book, that if nothing else earns him his star in the Literary Hall of Fame.

by Anonymousreply 169October 26, 2021 9:01 PM

Here’s Bennett’s house

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by Anonymousreply 170October 26, 2021 9:19 PM

Ted Geisel was far and away Cerf's most profitable author. Children's books like his never grow out of fashion. They just keep selling and selling.

by Anonymousreply 171October 26, 2021 9:31 PM

Here's more pics of Bennett's house.

It really is such a comfortable looking house. I love the grounds.

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by Anonymousreply 172October 26, 2021 10:16 PM

As a little kid I fantasized about the WML mentions of Bennett's home on Mt. Kisco and thought of it as some kind of little kingdom. It helped that they sometimes referred to him as the Count of Mt. Kisco.

by Anonymousreply 173October 26, 2021 10:21 PM

I've always had the sense that his wife Phyliss must have been quite a handful. After he died you can see her throwing down her pearls in disgust and declaring Mame-like that she is NOT going to be spending the rest of her life as the Widow Cerf.

And so she became Mrs. Robert Wagner, and lived another 35 years after Cerf's death.

by Anonymousreply 174October 26, 2021 10:24 PM

Do you think she donned a sack dress in celebration of Bennett's death, r174?

by Anonymousreply 175October 26, 2021 10:27 PM

I think Arlene's house was on an adjoining lot within walking distance. Looking at the satellite Google street view there are some lovely old houses on both sides of Orchard Road, but part of the land butting up to Cerf's house has a cul-de-sac of newer mcmansions, so that land was sold off by somebody for developers. No idea which old house might of been hers or if it was torn down. I do know it had a pool as Arlene mentions it in her memoir. Saw Mill Parkway runs behind Orchard, so the traffic noise must be considerable there (the highway opened in 1954, so it was build around the time they all lived there).

Anyway - why am I stalking these old, dead people?

by Anonymousreply 176October 26, 2021 10:42 PM

[quote] Anyway - why am I stalking these old, dead people?

Because they had more class and elegance in their small toes than most current stars have in their entire bodies.

by Anonymousreply 177October 26, 2021 10:45 PM

Idk about that, R177, as that outtake upthread shows, Arlene had a filthy mouth. The so-called class & elegance may be a reflection of the belief that the past was so much better.

by Anonymousreply 178October 26, 2021 10:50 PM

R178 OMG she said shit, let me clutch my pearls and grab the smelling salts.

by Anonymousreply 179October 26, 2021 10:52 PM

Oh please, r178. Loretta had a swear jar *and* an illegitimate kid.

by Anonymousreply 180October 26, 2021 10:52 PM

Classy women don’t have a potty mouth. Just sayin’.

by Anonymousreply 181October 26, 2021 11:20 PM

Yes, that's it indeed r177.

OK, so I found an old Facebook page where someone who grew up in Mt Kisco posted a 1960 local news article about some kids blowing up Arlene's mailbox with firecrackers and the address given was 4 Orchard Road. So, if that is correct then this is her house (as it was built in 1925).

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by Anonymousreply 182October 26, 2021 11:27 PM

Thank you for the links to the Mount Kisco homes! Aren’t they beauties? They spoke of Mount Kisco so frequently on the show - so neat to see them. ….. Bennett being a liberal Democrat must have had some tense moments with Ginger Rogers - I have a feeling if she was alive today she would be a Trumper.

by Anonymousreply 183October 26, 2021 11:42 PM

She was married to Martin Gabel and they were a very social theatrical couple and knew everybody. Gabel played the part of “Strutt” in Hitchcock’s Marnie. I read Bennet Cerf’s memoir At Random and the couple figure largely as a part of their social group.

by Anonymousreply 184October 26, 2021 11:48 PM

So according this this article, when the barbell fell from Arlene's window and killed a guy (1960) she and Martin were living at the Ritz Tower at the corner of Park Avenue and East 57th Street.

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by Anonymousreply 185October 27, 2021 12:01 AM

In 1967 and 1968 Bennett Cerf was interviewed extensively by journalist Robin Hawkins for an oral history project about notable New Yorkers. On January 23, 1968, he spoke for almost 40 minutes about his experiences on "What's My Line?". This is part one.

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by Anonymousreply 186October 27, 2021 12:15 AM

Part two.

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by Anonymousreply 187October 27, 2021 12:15 AM

Argh. My bad about the house I posted at r182. That house at 4 Orchard wasn't Arlene's. Apparently the street numbers on that street were reorganized at some point. The Gabels' place is described as up a 200 yard long driveway and it was built in 1957 so it clearly is a different houe. It may have been demolished, but some posters and one real estate site say the house ended up being the one now located at 9 Caren Court (the street where a new subdivision was built around it). Zillow says that house was built in 1965 (the house is clearly decades older than the rest on that street and it does have the pool). It hasn't been on the market in recent years so there aren't any pictures to be found.

by Anonymousreply 188October 27, 2021 12:30 AM

My father drove a cab and once had Arlene as a passenger. He referred to her as a “pot marked bitch” whenever he saw her on tv or someone mentioned her name.

This had to be sometime in the early to mid 60s when I was a kid, so I don’t remember the particulars.

by Anonymousreply 189October 27, 2021 12:37 AM

Martin would hit her in the head with a fondue pot, r189.

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by Anonymousreply 190October 27, 2021 12:47 AM

Ignore part two of the Cerf interview as it's just a repeat of part one.

A brief summary. He loved Arlene & John Daly, but Dorothy, who wrote a "disgusting column," was always the outsider. He & the others didn't like her politics & that she was always the reporter, with one such incident involving Mike Wallace causing John Daly's permanent dislike. He did say she was a "nice woman," with none of her "cattiness" from her column in person. He said he started out making $300 a week, eventually making a "scandalous" amount later on, which included profit-sharing.

by Anonymousreply 191October 27, 2021 1:00 AM

Then there was the Famous Writers School scandal, in 1970. I often wondered whether it was a factor in Bennett's death at 73 in '71. It certainly was hugely embarrassing to a man who had spent his life developing his reputation.

Jessica Mitford was a master with the knife. Here's Bennett's reply when she asks how many graduates of the school have written for Random House:

"Oh, come on, you must be pulling my leg—no person of any sophistication, whose book we'd publish, would have to take a mail-order course to learn how to write."

Her exposé is still worth a read today to learn how a good writer does it.

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by Anonymousreply 192October 27, 2021 2:28 AM

I had never before seen the original WML in living color.

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by Anonymousreply 193November 27, 2021 11:10 PM

"In Living Color" was an NBC phrase. WML was on CBS. (Those things counted at that time.)

by Anonymousreply 194November 27, 2021 11:19 PM

Is that What's My Line taped in color, or is it a colorized episode? I know CBS filmed one episode of Perry Mason in color to see how it looked

by Anonymousreply 195November 28, 2021 12:24 AM

[quote] Because they had more class and elegance in their small toes than most current stars have in their entire bodies.

It only seems like it because they didn’t have social media back then. Look at all of those biographies about famous entertainers who were exposed as not being like their public persona.

by Anonymousreply 196November 28, 2021 2:44 PM

But this was live unscripted TV year in and year out for around 17 years. Bennett and Arlene and John and Dorothy couldn't hide their real selves that long.

by Anonymousreply 197November 28, 2021 5:05 PM

^^^ Not unless you consider them brilliant character actors. ;)

by Anonymousreply 198November 28, 2021 7:50 PM

They were playing a game for an hour. It was hardly Celebrity Big Brother.

by Anonymousreply 199November 28, 2021 7:53 PM

R199 You're obviously not even familiar with WML, just troll posting.

by Anonymousreply 200November 28, 2021 8:55 PM

Daly and Cerf didn't like Kilgallen. Was that obvious watching the show? No, it wasn't.

by Anonymousreply 201November 28, 2021 9:10 PM

R201 The tension between Dorothy and John was obvious from time to time. If you'd actually watched the shows.

by Anonymousreply 202November 28, 2021 9:22 PM

Hindsight is 20/20, r202.

by Anonymousreply 203November 28, 2021 9:27 PM

Here's Arlene cunting it up with Jackie Kennedy. She's oh so subtle, but Jackie knew what time it was.

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by Anonymousreply 204November 28, 2021 9:31 PM

Arlene's chef d'oeuvre, "The Thrill of It All," is on TCM today.

by Anonymousreply 205November 28, 2021 9:38 PM

Martin Gabel was great as the Viennese shrink in Billy Wilder's remake of The Front Page. After being shot in the nuts by Austin Pendleton: "Fruitcake! Fruitcake!"

by Anonymousreply 206November 28, 2021 9:49 PM

No one on the show really liked Dorothy. the tension was one of the things that made the show---once she was gone, something seemed to be missing. They should have gotten a new shrew, but I would imagine that most of them would have been more obvious than her.

by Anonymousreply 207November 29, 2021 1:20 AM

[quote]No one on the show really liked Dorothy. the tension was one of the things that made the show---once she was gone, something seemed to be missing. They should have gotten a new shrew, but I would imagine that most of them would have been more obvious than her.

You could have written that, word-for-word, about "The Golden Girls."

by Anonymousreply 208November 29, 2021 1:22 AM
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