Another Hollywood star has left us. Arlene Dahl’s death was announced by her son Lorenzo Lamas. She was 96 and is survived by her three children and husband of 36 years, Marc Rosen.
It is sad to have to say a farewell to the actress who was known for her flaming red hair and trademark beauty mole.
I was surprised to read on IMDB that Arlene had only made about 30 movies, mostly in the 1950s.
Born in 1925, Arlene’s parents came from Norway. After a modelling career, she came to New York and did some theatre work before being spotted by Warner Brothers for whom she only made one film, “My Wild Irish Rose” before joining MGM.
Arlene said she arrived at MGM one week before the famous 25th anniversary photo was taken.
Arlene was in a range of films, westerns, musicals, period dramas, thrillers. She costarred with Alan Ladd, Robert Taylor, Joel McCrea,Van Heflin ,John Payne , Ray Milland and James Mason.
One of my favourites of Arlene’s films, “Fortune is a Woman”, with Jack Hawkins.
Perfect casting -Arlene and Rhonda Fleming as sisters in “Slightly Scarlet”. ( the poster spells Rhonda’s surname with two ‘m’s)
Another favourite of mine, JAMAICA RUN, with Ray Milland.
One of Arlene’s films I’m have yet to see , “The Black Book”, costarring Robert Cummings and set during the French Revolution. Arlene was loaned out to producer,Walter Wanger for “The Black Book”(1949) which was directed by Anthony Mann.
I found a phone interview Arlene did with Alan Rode in 2009. She spoke very well , and praised ‘Black Book’ film makers Wanger , Mann and cinematographer,John Alton. She also singled out Richard Basehart in the cast.
Probably my favourite Dahl film, “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”, with James Mason.
Arlene held her own with James Mason. She had a beautiful speaking voice and at least she didn’t have to attempt a Scottish accent as James ( and Pat Boone) did!
The Hollywood Reporter described the above photo:
“In ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ ,she played a determined widow who heads to the planet’s core with Pat Boone and a duck!”
(Arlene with a young Lorenzo?)
Arlene did some stage work including the role of Margo Channing in APPLAUSE in 1972.
Arlene, by the late 50s , was leaving acting and became a business woman, firstly writing a syndicated beauty column for many years from 1951, then setting up her own company, Arlene Dahl Enterprises. She was an executive in an advertising company and founded a perfume company. She wrote several books too.
I try to avoid the word, ‘underrated ‘. It usually just means a star you like who doesn’t get enough praise. Well, I feel that way about Arlene. She had a variety of roles , from the French countess in “The Black Book” to the devious wife of Van Heflin in “A Woman’s World”, to the unbalanced kleptomaniac in “Slightly Scarlet” . And she will be remembered for that lovely song, ‘I Love You So Much’ in THREE LITTLE WORDS – which I will always remember Arlene singing at the London Palladium concert, “STAIRWAY TO THE STARS.”
Arlene will be remembered for her beauty and elegance. I look forward to re- watching some of her movies in tribute .
A happy final marriage to Marc Rosen in 1984.
With her son, Lorenzo.