What's My Line? Forums

CBS (ended 1967)

ARLENE FRANCIS Forum

  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [1]Jun 13, 2005
    • member since: 06/07/03
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    Post all about Arlene Francis here.
    Edited on 07/12/2006 5:27am
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [2]Jun 15, 2005
    • member since: 06/07/03
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    For starters, I'll post the TV TOME archives of the Arlene Francis Forum dated FEB 24, 2003 TO APR 23, 2005.

    Suzanne Astorino
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [3]Jun 15, 2005
    • member since: 06/07/03
    • level: 62
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    • posts: 756
    TV TOME ARCHIVES: ARLENE FRANCIS FORUM FEB 24, 2003 TO APR 23, 2005

    What's My Line? - Threads - ARLENE FRANCIS Forum - PAGE 1 of 4

    astorino
    Registered: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 246
    Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 11:20 PM Title: ARLENE
    FRANCIS Forum
    Post all about ARLENE FRANCIS in this forum!


    lovewml
    Registered: Dec 20, 2003
    Posts: 74
    Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2004 11:39 PM Title: Where did all the
    posters go?
    Why doesn't anyone post here? Does anyone know where I can find
    excerpts of Arlene's autobiography on the net?


    mss6969
    Registered: May 2, 2004
    Posts: 2
    Posted: Sun May 2, 2004 11:41 PM Title:
    Hi. I am brand new to this forum (or any forum for that matter).
    The reason that I am responding or wanting to talk on this one is
    because I have found after 37 years of being alive. The BEST Show
    that was ever made. That show is What's My Line. It is without a
    shadow of a doubt the most enjoyable half hour of my day.


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Wed Nov 3, 2004 10:44 AM Title: What's my 'lene?
    Arlene Francis was probably the busiest woman in Television, and of
    course very active in Radio before that. She did dozens of
    programs all over the place, from silly things like TALENT PATROL
    to significant shows like HOME. Unfortunately, outside of WML?
    there's nothing to show for her long long career. For that matter,
    WML? is the only Kinescope show running anywhere on television, and
    that's pretty obscure to find, only a few areas of the country run
    GAME SHOW NETWORK early morning programming, most local cable
    companies take over the time for even more worthless infomercials.


    debbie33
    Registered: Oct 2, 2004
    Posts: 21
    Posted: Fri Nov 5, 2004 2:09 AM Title:
    Apparently she did a great deal of her work on stage and so it was
    not recorded. I was not aware of all her other television work nor
    was I aware that she had written an autobiography (and hope perhaps
    copies could be found in a local library. When I have the time, I am
    going to take a look.) I listened just recently to the radio
    recording of the interview of Peter Gabel and enjoyed it
    tremendously. I have seen the ravages of Alzheimer's Disease and
    find it not believable that someone so bright and intuitive fell
    victim to that awful illness. It's amazing how Arlene zoomed in on
    people's occupations with a radar-like precision. She always seemed
    to me to be exceptionally kind and enormously witty.


    lovewml
    Registered: Dec 20, 2003
    Posts: 74
    Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:01 PM Title:
    Man, I love Arlene! A real class act. Such an engaging
    personality, a true wit, compassionate, intelligent and beautiful.
    My kind of woman. That's my tribute. For now.


    ymike
    Registered: Oct 8, 2004
    Posts: 421
    Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 1:59 PM Title: Arlene
    Did Arlene have children? When did her husband Martin pass away. It
    seems there is a lot of information about D.K., but very little
    about Arlene other then she appeared on Broadway and WML.


    Mark L
    Registered: Jan 7, 2005
    Posts: 17
    Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:47 PM Title: AF Quick Facts
    Arlene Francis was married twice, to Neil Agnew (1935-45) and to
    Martin Gabel from May 1946 until his death on May 22, 1986. They had
    one child, Peter Gabel, born January 27, 1947. Do a search on Peter
    Gabel in the site search box above and you'll find information and a
    picture. (I'm assuming provided by Suzanne but then she does so much
    I'm always assuming that) He is "a progressive activist" who seems
    to fit well in San Francisco, not the most politically conservative
    part of the U.S.
    BTW, she was roughly five years older than MG. And there is a
    substantial Arlene Francis site at
    http://www.arlenefrancis.com/index2.html. A copy of her 1978
    autobiography "Arlene Francis" might also be available at a library.
    There's a great deal around on AF.
    At a guess, there's not as much interest in her in the forum simply
    because she was always so well liked and died at 93 in a far from
    mysterious manner. Not much for the conspiracy theorists there.


    susimae
    Registered: Jan 12, 2005
    Posts: 23
    Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:00 PM Title: Peter Gabel
    I heard that her son Peter is an editor of a progressive Jewish
    journal out of San Francisco called "Tikkun". Though these are guys
    wearing yarmulkes and so forth, from what I have seen they are far
    from traditional or orthodox, but very liberal and left-leaning. I
    live near SF so I know the climate. This is an area, not of
    free-thinking but quite the opposite. If you are not leaning to
    the left, you almost have to hide in the shadows.
    Even the Universities have become like 'thought police',
    no critical thinking allowed!


    susimae
    Registered: Jan 12, 2005
    Posts: 23
    Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:19 PM Title: Beautiful Arlene
    Yes Arlene was beautiful. I could never figure out what she did, but
    I was out of the glamorous Broadway loop. Seems like she was always
    appearing in some Broadway show or another. Did she sing? Dance? I
    would love to have seen her on stage.
    She was very sick the last few years of her life and her son brought
    her to San Francisco, where she died. I felt bad she had to leave
    her beloved New York, but her son was her family and she needed his
    help. I believe she was of Armenian descent, but she got blonder and
    blonder as she got older! She wore beautiful gowns on WML and Steve
    Allen once referred to her as "looking like a lemon drop". In the
    syndicated show of the 1970's she was wearing the paisleys, patterns
    and slacks of the times, but never again did I see her wearing
    lovely dresses like in the original WML.


    lovewml
    Registered: Dec 20, 2003
    Posts: 74
    Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:35 PM Title:
    The lovely Arlene, sadly, had Alzheimer's for roughly the last ten
    years of her life. I don't like think about anyone's sad demise. But
    her spirit is alive and probably smiling knowing the return of WML
    has brought her new fans around the world.


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:17 PM Title: ARLENE'S FASHION SENSE
    Well, of course the concept of high fashion was dead or dying by the
    70's. In one of the syndicated episodes, Soupy made a crack (forget
    what exactly) to Arlene about what she had on, and she embarrassedly
    said something to the effect of "I just wear what they give me!".
    The ladies are given clothes to model by a sponsor, who's name
    appears in the "Promotional considerations made by..." section of
    the closing credit crawl. So it wasn't her choice.


    susimae
    Registered: Jan 12, 2005
    Posts: 23
    Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 12:39 AM Title: More on elegant dress
    Yes, the ladies' gowns are really pretty, but then like everything
    else, by the time the 70's hit, dressing became so gauche, like
    regal grandmothers trying to look like teenagers. I can even
    remember my mother wearing a Nehru shirt and bell-bottoms. Arlene in
    this garb looked absolutely ridiculous. By this time, there was such
    a decline in demeanor. Everybody was trying to look like Mike and
    Gloria Stivic.


    astorino
    Registered: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 246
    California Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:46 AM Title:
    On one of the recently-shown Jerry Orbach syndicated episodes,
    Arlene was wearing a dressy black dress. It was probably the
    earliest one of the three, from 1969. I realize this wasn't the
    norm, though.


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 10:02 AM Title: A RANT ABOUT FASHION
    The decline in personal appearance standards is easily tracked by
    seeing someone in the public eye like Arlene Francis, the
    juxtaposition of seeing her in 1954 one night, and then fast forward
    twenty years the next. It would seem the super chic who defined the
    way ordinary level consumers will dress were replaced about 1970 by
    hippie/feminist/communists who saw fashion as some corrupting
    capitalist evil to free the masses from.
    I remember when all females wore dresses and skirts. Trousers on
    women were called "Slacks" or "Slim Jims" and were so unusual that
    one would double take to see them. I also recall women spending
    hours on perfecting hair styles with curls and flips and whatever
    with lots of hairspray. This would be in the course of day to day
    life, not just fancy occasions. Men used to wear white shirts, suit
    and ties everywhere. Both men and women wore hats. Fashion said
    something about the person as well. Clothes were age
    appropriate. There were specific duds for children, young adults, the
    middle-aged, and finally the oldsters. And the stylish modes were
    always changing. If you see old photos and you want to date it, pick
    out the most stylish women and you can pin it down to within three
    or four years. that's how fashion worked; change with the times.
    But now, fashion does not do any of those things. Both men and women
    wear the proletarian uniform of shirt and blue jeans, even in
    corporate offices. Hair styles are limp and casual. Variant ages
    demand only slight modifications. Hats are confined to baseball
    caps. And the most shocking part of all is that it never, never
    changes. we look today like we did thirty years ago. even today's
    high end super clothes, hair styles, etc. could easily fit into 1980
    without notice.
    The world is a lesser place for it.


    dan62
    Registered: Jun 19, 2003
    Posts: 1057
    Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:57 AM Title:
    And when asked about her fellow panelists, she probably never said a
    bad thing.


    susimae
    Registered: Jan 12, 2005
    Posts: 23
    Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 7:08 PM Title:
    to Stopette - that was a most wonderful writing on the demise of style.
    Wow, is that ever true. Have you been to any weddings lately? There
    are ladies there wearing pants! Even my dear mother-in-law who used
    to wear gloves and dresses, wears pants to everything now. She talks
    of the days when they "had" to dress up or wear coordinated clothes,
    as if thank goodness we don't "have to" anymore. Do we not care
    about our appearance anymore? It belies the problem of just not
    caring about much of anything in the name of "freedom". "Now I have
    time for more important things - like people", I have heard.
    Personally, I think it is a copout.


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:45 PM Title:
    The fear of not looking hip and young is probably the driving force
    behind most of the liberal cultural disintegration. Even those who
    were more sensible about it at one time, are blinded by that fear.
    And of course if your mother were to resume her higher fashion ways,
    she would be laughed out of the place by those who are so very cool.


    susimae
    Registered: Jan 12, 2005
    Posts: 23
    Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 5:26 PM Title: Today's "fashion" is Yesterday's nightmare!
    This is a subject that interests me but I can find few who will
    discuss it with me. The reason being, the way we dress reflects the
    culture of the time, and what we are wearing now (or not wearing!)
    tells a lot about us. As we speak, I am heating my iron to press some
    blouses - and I cannot tell you how many times I have been
    incredulously asked, "do you actually IRON!" But I do dress sloppy
    too. I do think that the fashion change came about because of the
    "youth culture", but it has gone from that to just plain laziness.
    On days when I dress "sloppy", run a comb through my hair, no
    makeup, slip on a pair of sandals - it takes me all of 10 minutes to
    get ready. When I "dress up", put on a nice dress, slip, stockings,
    shoes, makeup, a little jewelry, set my hair, style it - it may take
    over an hour. I can remember my mother even dressing for bed. It
    wasn't a 5 minute job like me - throw on an old pair of pj's - but a
    nice gown, and for heaven's sake, a robe to match, and remember
    those boudoir slippers. Do they even make them anymore?!!!


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 11:40 PM Title:
    It's just part of the larger laziness about everything. We've been
    "Liberated" from the impossible to live up to standards of the
    WHAT'S MY LINE? era. Morality in general was steamrollered by the
    hippie lefty elite. Personal appearance is just one of the more
    obvious results of the sea change that took place.


    susimae
    Registered: Jan 12, 2005
    Posts: 23
    Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 11:38 PM Title: On fashion....
    Well okay...gee...I wish more of us would write here, but then I
    guess most of us have a life outside discussions about...fashion
    changes from the 1950's to the present! But if you want to get into
    the deeper issue of culture, I suppose we could get political,
    philosophical, and even religious. I personally see the major change
    in dressing etiquette in the same way as you - it is a sign of a
    decline in the culture as a whole, and actually I see it as
    negativity and pessimism.


    ymike
    Registered: Oct 8, 2004
    Posts: 421
    Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:52 PM Title: Willie Mays
    Wow, I thought Arlene was going to run over and give Willie Mays a
    hug last night. She was so excited he was on the show. I never saw
    her applaud so much for any other mystery guest. She must have been
    a big NY Giants fan. She would be happy in a few months when Willie
    and the Giants would win the World Series.


    tch2mad
    Registered: Feb 2, 2005
    Posts: 34
    Posted: Wed Feb 9, 2005 1:14 AM Title: Fashion
    YIKES! Women have been slaves to fashion since Eve and the first fig
    leaf; at least she had the good sense to forgo stilettos. Did anyone
    catch the eye mask Arlene wore a week or so ago? The one with the
    ghoulish looking eyeball? What happened to it? Did she ever wear
    that again?


    GaryKing
    Registered: May 16, 2004
    Posts: 206
    Posted: Wed Feb 9, 2005 4:35 PM Title:
    That mask was creepy. Hope we never see it again.


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Wed Feb 9, 2005 6:04 PM Title:
    for a while, she had different masks all the time, it was supposed
    to be one of the little things that give a show personality; but it
    didn't last long, perhaps she didn't have the time or interest to
    keep it going.
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [4]Jun 15, 2005
    • member since: 06/07/03
    • level: 62
    • rank: Species #8472
    • posts: 756
    TV TOME ARCHIVES: ARLENE FRANCIS FORUM FEB 24, 2003 TO APR 23, 2005

    What's My Line? - Threads - ARLENE FRANCIS Forum - PAGE 2 of 4


    inhighspeed
    Registered: Feb 9, 2005
    Posts: 3
    Posted: Wed Feb 9, 2005 7:17 PM Title: Fashion
    I'm new to this. I love WML and think Arlene is just great, although
    Dorothy is my favorite. But the above discussion about fashion has
    me rolling my eyes. The idea that there was some "golden era" when
    ladies wore pearls to vacuum the living room or when gentlemen wore
    a top hat everywhere they went is just ridiculous. Certainly some
    people these days don't dress properly for the occasion, but you
    must agree that even "back then" in the wonder years there were
    people who also didn't dress properly for the occasion. Isn't the
    era of WML also the era when they were complaining about bobby
    socks, saddle shoes, poodle skirts and blue jeans? Even in these
    times of, how did someone put it, "liberal cultural disintegration"
    (sure, blame us, we can take it, grrrr), I encounter beautifully
    dressed people. There was no golden era; there have been Cassandras
    for centuries spouting off about the demise of standards and how it
    "used to be" so much better. Mark my words, in twenty years our kids
    will be remembering 2005 as a wonderful time, when standards were so
    much higher, and the sun was so much brighter, the grass greener,
    when Mom wore her pearls to vacuum ... (he said, doffing his top
    hat). - Robert


    tch2mad
    Registered: Feb 2, 2005
    Posts: 34
    Posted: Wed Feb 9, 2005 8:55 PM Title: Fashion and Gender/Racial Bias
    Welcome Inhighspeed and well said! Golden era? Liberal cultural
    disintegration? Brace yourselves. Let's consider such unique guests
    on WML as say, oh, women lawyers, dentists and cow washers!
    Shocking! What gender specific "line" could a present day WML
    introduce that would shock or entertain? Or how about an African
    American captain in the air force? Even more shocking! Okay, the cow
    washers got me.


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Wed Feb 9, 2005 11:14 PM Title:
    Of course there weren't many woman who did housework with pearls.
    The idea of a top hat or evening clothes out of proper occasion was
    just not done. But I can remember when everyone wore the nice
    clothes, hairstyles and jewelry in everyday life in ordinary
    situations. The street level day clothes of the 1950's look absurdly
    stuffy and inconceivable for modern standards or the eyes of anyone
    born after 1969.
    That modern, blue jeans and limp straight hair look that we suffer
    today is the product of a liberalized culture that uses the template
    of the hippie as a normal, acceptable, even ideal look for us all.
    The trouble is, it's been standardized for thirty-five years now
    with no end in sight. For day to day, average people. the old concept
    of fashion is dead.


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:46 PM Title: DOUBLES IN BRASS
    In the recently shown 9 August 1973 episode, during the period that
    had panel members interact with contestants, they had Arlene attempt
    to play a tuba because she had learned how to play a trombone. She
    had learned to do so many years before, and her progress was noted
    daily during the course of her lessons on HOME, her news and feature
    show on NBC.


    astorino
    Registered: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 246
    Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 7:25 AM Title:
    On WML EPISODE #756 on March 21, 1965, Arlene's trombone teacher is
    a contestant! From my notes: Game 1: Lillian Briggs (as Mystery
    Guest #1, but only Arlene is blindfolded. She signs in as Miss X) -
    "Jazz Trombonist (Teaching Arlene to Play Trombone)" (for the
    Broadway play "Mrs. Dally" which is taken from the William Hanley
    work, "Mrs. Dally Has a Lover"; Martin Gabel is producing this play
    which will open in September 1965; Lillian also has a night club
    act; from New York)


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 10:01 AM Title:
    OUCH! What am I thinking of in relation to "HOME"? Was she taking
    some other musical instrument lessons?


    Barb54
    Registered: Feb 15, 2005
    Posts: 4
    Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:07 AM Title:
    Arlene is my favorite female panelist. Of course I like Dorothy,
    she's fabulous.
    I love Arlene's fast wit and her ability to hone in on an
    occupation. She knew who everyone was who was on/off
    Broadway/TV/Movies. She knew the names, faces of every director,
    producer on Broadway.
    I did not know about her being struck with Alzheimer's. I cannot
    imagine it with her superior intelligence. I pray they find a cure
    for that dreadful disease.
    Almost time to watch WML!


    tch2mad
    Registered: Feb 2, 2005
    Posts: 34
    Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:41 PM Title: Arlene's Funny Comment
    Just catching up on some of my taped episodes of WML. Did anyone
    catch Arlene's fun comment with regards to the handsome, muscular
    sewer cleaner? As JCD was remarking on the sewer cleaner's good
    looks, Arlene could be overheard saying, "We must start going into
    some sewers, Dorothy." Wasn't that funny?!?


    tch2mad
    Registered: Feb 2, 2005
    Posts: 34
    Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:47 PM Title: Some Questions:
    Also, in the same episode with the sewer cleaner- during the
    introductions Arlene commented that Bennett Cerf had just gotten
    back from the "west" bragging about 16-year old girls from the Elgin
    Academy. Does anyone know what this is in reference to? And does
    "west" mean the midwest? I've heard the panel and JCD refer to the
    "west" in past episodes, but then mention a midwestern local.


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:59 PM Title:
    It probably just refers to some girl's finishing school where he
    made a speech. That's probably half of Bennett's life- doing
    speaking gigs at schools.


    astorino
    Registered: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 246
    Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:49 PM Title:
    stopette is correct, and they even have a web site!
    www.elginacademy.org/


    tch2mad
    Registered: Feb 2, 2005
    Posts: 34
    Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:13 PM Title: Arlene's off-camera comments:
    Thanks stopette and astorino. I love catching some of the off camera
    comments the panelists make. In episode #238 after the line of the
    Deep Sea Army Diver was revealed, Fred Allen and Arlene could be
    overheard playfully bantering: Fred questions, "Why doesn't the Navy
    do that? Why does the Army butt in with that job?" Arlene's witty
    comeback: "They clear the way to make it safe for the Navy."


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Tue Mar 1, 2005 10:29 AM Title:
    "HOW WE GUESS THEIR LINES" by Arlene Francis
    From TV DIGEST (Philadelphia) 20 December 1952:
    How do we guess the "Lines" of our television guests?
    Everybody asks that question, though now it's generally realized
    that we are pretty expert after two years on the job.
    Dorothy Kilgallen, Hal Block and Bennett Cerf each have distinctive
    or intuitive ways of deduction. And I have mine, too. But broadly
    speaking we start out aimlessly until we get a lead and from then on
    it's mostly a question of narrowing things down by elimination and
    substitution until one of us comes up with the answer.
    Our first likely clues come from examining each guest save the
    mystery guest in which case we are blindfolded. He or she passes
    down in front and we try to make an estimate of "lines" on the basis
    of clothes, hands, jewelry and other outward characteristics.
    CORRECT "WILD GUESSES"
    Before the questioning begins, the panelists are allowed, of course,
    a "wild guess." Some are pretty wild, but on two occasions we hit
    the target right off. I made the first correct "wild guess" on the
    show, when I identified a motorcycle cop. I even said his name might
    be Maloney. How'd I do it? I once was stopped by a motorcycle cop
    named Maloney and I never forgot his name.
    Miss Kilgallen correctly wild-guessed an atomic scientist, because
    she said "If I were casting a play, he'd be just right for the
    part."
    I have often been credited with being "more systematic" than the
    others in my analysis before and after the guests sit down for the
    guess-fest. Maybe I have a guide. Call it what you will. But first I
    observe a person's bearing, speech, mannerisms, conditions of hands
    and clothes. I sometimes regard the latter as most revealing. Over
    dressing indicates the person is not in contact with the social
    world. And a quick look at a coat label tells me what salary group
    he or she is in.
    I also study the guest's handwriting as he or she checks in. A clerk
    or bookkeeper, for instance, usually writes forthrightly and with a
    good hand. Also, an important thing to watch is the person's face as
    we ask the questions. lots of people try to keep deadpan, but even
    so, if you watch closely, you can see faint reactions in the eyes,
    mouth or nose.
    I think Mr. Cerf uses some of his erudition to beat down the clues,
    but I've never asked him. Miss Kilgallen is very shrewd, indeed, and
    I can see her newspaper training-nose for news and inquiring genius
    - at work when she goes into action. As for lovable Hal Block, I
    once asked him what his technique was. He winked and said with a
    laugh: "Wouldn't you like to know, Honey?" He was only kidding, of
    course.
    SOMETIMES STUMPED
    We have been stumped by about one out of six persons. We've come up
    with the right answers with a baby sitter, baseball umpire, hat
    check girl, veterinarian, lady wrestler, income tax collector,
    dancing teacher, house detective, exterminator, tree surgeon,
    lighthouse keeper, Irish Consulate member, chimpanzee trainer, lady
    lawyer, chimney sweep, sword swallower, weatherman, osteopath, wig
    maker, and high school principal.
    Some of the jobs we couldn't fathom were those of a diaper service
    executive, deep sea diver, ventriloquist, flying instructress,
    landlord and hypnotist.


    astorino
    Registered: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 246
    Posted: Wed Mar 2, 2005 8:02 AM Title:
    stopette - I can't thank you enough for transcribing that article.
    It closed some holes in the wild guess data I've been collecting.
    Your contributions to this forum are always "above and beyond."
    Thanks a million. Suzanne


    stu1
    Registered: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 11
    Posted: Mon Mar 7, 2005 4:59 AM Title: Hi all.
    I will try not to be John Daly windy, but I have so much to say. I
    am a newbie, and greet all of you heartily who presumably adore WML
    and Arlene. I found WML from GSN and now stay up every night and
    watch WML at 3:30 EST. I am semi-retired so this works. I am both
    enchanted and haunted by Arlene and her looks, charm, warmth, wit,
    and story -from WML and the barbells and tribute to Dorothy to the
    Match Game and the Alzheimer's and her sad passing. Thirsting to
    know more about her, I scour the net after the show ends - and it
    was only recently that I found out her sad passing and other great
    lore of WML and Arlene and Peter Gabel etc. I was thrilled to
    recently find www.arlenefrancis.com which is a partially-satisfying
    but bittersweet tribute but wonderfully has a growing list of
    visitors who sign the guestbook there and keep her loving (and to me
    legendary) memory alive. Sad that she hasn't received a lifetime
    achievement award posthumously or other tribute she was a real trend
    setter pioneer as well as an elegant charming great personality. The
    Guestbook helps I visit daily to see who has written but it is not
    like a forum as there is no interchange and exchanges like here. I
    hope I haven't worn out my welcome with this long post. Thanks for
    reading it!


    J.M. Vargas
    Registered: Jan 14, 2005
    Posts: 183
    New York City Posted: Mon Mar 7, 2005 4:05 PM Title:
    How about just taping the show on VHS or TiVO and waking up to the
    show? It's nice to be retired and all but I wouldn't trade the show
    (which I also like) for my all-important beauty sleep!


    astorino
    Registered: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 246
    Posted: Mon Mar 7, 2005 10:40 PM Title:
    Welcome, Stu, I'm glad you found us. You'd probably also enjoy
    reading Arlene's autobiography titled, "Arlene Francis: A Memoir by
    Arlene Francis." It is available online at places like eBay and
    Amazon. - Suzanne


    stu1
    Registered: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 11
    Posted: Tue Mar 8, 2005 2:53 AM Title:
    Thanks for the welcome!! I plan to get the book soon and read:-)
    I confess the world of VCRs and TIVO's still challenges me... I can
    usually muddle through (VCRs) then just forget how to manage them,
    have tried several times to get comfortable with them, and have
    finally given up :-(
    (YAWN) Of course, re-learning (YAWN) may become necessity soon
    (YAWN) Thanks for the tip:-)


    Cindytrellis
    Registered: Jan 30, 2005
    Posts: 65
    Posted: Tue Mar 8, 2005 10:09 PM Title:
    I can see having some trouble with VCRs, but TiVo is beyond easy. I
    think it was designed so that a child of 8 could use it. I think
    a lot of people are intimidated by technology at first, but once you
    use it you will see that it is as easy as changing the channels on
    your TV!


    EveCarla
    Registered: Mar 21, 2005
    Posts: 11
    Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 1:14 AM Title:
    All great comments above about the lovely, witty & warm "Miss
    Francis." I recall her from my childhood in the '70s (I'm 40 now) as
    someone who was "famous for being famous" - I always saw her & liked
    her on quiz shows & talk shows & the like but I couldn't figure out
    WHY she was famous. She didn't seem like a comedienne, I don't
    recall her singing or dancing - so it's great to fill in some
    blanks. She had such a wonderful native intelligence & intuition on
    WML - I can't think of a single current star who could come close to
    her gifts (though there may well BE some - but stars sound so
    "canned" & pat to me these days, all cut from a similar dreary
    cloth). My mom said she liked her a lot, but was very put off upon
    learning that AF had written a book called "How to be Charming." Mom
    said that a charming person probably wouldn't publish a BOOK to that
    effect. Time for me to hit Alibris or Abebooks.com & see if it's
    still out there! Thanks for all the great information & stimulating
    opinion exchanges, everyone...


    stu1
    Registered: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 11
    Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 4:34 AM Title: Welcome Eve
    Don't forget to post in the guestbook at the
    http://www.arlenefrancis.com/ site!
    The WML site on Yahoo tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/whatsmylineoncbs/ is
    also very active. This is a great site also, but a little slow in
    traffic about our beloved angel superstar :-)
    I just want to see the world scream "3 cheers for
    Miss Francis!"


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 11:28 AM Title:
    Arlene had a long career in radio going back to the early 30's at
    least; I have photos supplied by NBC of her in sexy costumes,
    resembling a belly dancer's, from when she was one of many voice
    talents starting to build a career. She worked very hard in numerous
    programs, but she never really felt that accomplished because she
    always wished she had done more "Legitimate" acting in films or on
    the stage.


    lovewml
    Registered: Dec 20, 2003
    Posts: 74
    Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 11:06 PM Title:
    I wish AF would have done more films than she did- she would have
    left a more indelible legacy. All that we have to remember her
    talents by is WML reruns. On the other hand, had she made more films
    she may have not had the time for WML- and she would probably be
    remembered for a bunch of bad, corny musicals, which were so popular
    back then.
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [5]Jun 15, 2005
    • member since: 06/07/03
    • level: 62
    • rank: Species #8472
    • posts: 756
    TV TOME ARCHIVES: ARLENE FRANCIS FORUM FEB 24, 2003 TO APR 23, 2005

    What's My Line? - Threads - ARLENE FRANCIS Forum - PAGE 3 of 4


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Sun Apr 3, 2005 1:47 PM Title:
    It's too bad there's no episodes of LEAVE IT TO THE GIRLS, which
    showed a panel of gals that often included Dorothy, in which they
    would grill - and make sarcastic comments about - a lone male guest.
    You'd love that. This was before WML? in 1949.


    jan_simonson
    Registered: Feb 10, 2005
    Posts: 31
    Posted: Sun Apr 3, 2005 8:42 PM Title: Kinescopes:
    A few kinescopes of Leave It To The Girls exist, but Dorothy isn't
    in any of them. One web site of rare Kilgallen collectibles suggests
    there was a radio version of LITTG in which Dorothy participated,
    but the link for the audio doesn't work.
    NBC's decision to kinescope and then destroy every Steve Allen
    Tonight show illustrates the absence of LITTG. NBC was the worst
    offender in the kinescope era. They were planning to destroy every
    single You Bet Your Life with Groucho until a horrified Steve Allen,
    reeling from the loss of his own show, made NBC brass a financial
    offer for those kinescopes.


    jaybee7414
    Registered: Apr 1, 2005
    Posts: 54
    Posted: Sun Apr 3, 2005 10:54 PM Title:
    I can't understand why kinescopes were destroyed-aren't they FILMED
    from the TV monitor? It was either Mike Douglas or Merv Griffin
    (always get them mixed up) that said their shows were always "taped
    over", so they didn't have a recording of many of their programs.
    Because of the high cost of video tape at that time shows were
    constantly taped over. Kinescopes are filmed rather than videotaped,
    so what's the sense in discarding them?


    jaybee7414
    Registered: Apr 1, 2005
    Posts: 54
    Posted: Mon Apr 4, 2005 7:30 AM Title:
    Was it my imagination or did Arlene roll her eyes a bit when John
    mentioned the reason for the new format as being a request for the
    audience to "see the girls gowns"? The "rolling of the eyes was
    picked up by a long camera shot, so maybe it was something else.


    J.M. Vargas
    Registered: Jan 14, 2005
    Posts: 183
    New York City Posted: Mon Apr 4, 2005 8:45 AM Title:
    Does this mean the state of Steve Allen gets a financial
    residual for every DVD Box Set or TV showing of 'You Bet Your Life'?
    Because I've seen 'Best of' Box Sets of the show and there's an NBC
    logo on the back. But if Allen bought the kinescopes from NBC then
    that means he owned them, right? Or did he sell them back to NBC (or
    the state of Groucho) before his passing? I'm confused!


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Mon Apr 4, 2005 10:57 AM Title:
    No, I'm sure Arlene would love the opportunity to show off the
    expensive gowns wears, and the beautiful diamonds and make-up too.
    The money and time invested in these things would probably indicate,
    like any woman, she appreciated being looked at, and not just by
    men, after all, it was the distaff side of the audience that kept
    asking to see the fabulous evening attire worn by the girls. They
    very rarely wear street clothes.


    jaybee7414
    Registered: Apr 1, 2005
    Posts: 54
    Posted: Mon Apr 4, 2005 12:34 PM Title:
    I wouldn't doubt that, I just thought she might have been
    momentarily embarrassed, particularly since John mentioned it twice.


    stu1
    Registered: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 11
    Posted: Tue Apr 5, 2005 5:14 AM Title:
    I looked at guestbook.html at arlenefrancis.com and although it says
    0K (zero "K" bytes, NOT "O.K.dokey" haha) it had an update stamp of
    April 4, 2005. Maybe Sue or Becky are trying to fix or delete that
    spam that came to it last week 3 or 4 times. (I hope!)
    OK I just have to ask: Is Sue of "Sue and Becky" and Suzanne Astorino
    one and the same person?)


    astorino
    Registered: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 246
    Posted: Tue Apr 5, 2005 7:24 AM Title:
    Stu - No, I'm not the "Sue" at arlenefrancis.com - Suzanne Astorino


    stu1
    Registered: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 11
    Posted: Thu Apr 7, 2005 12:52 AM Title: FYI a note sent to
    Peter Gabel
    This might be of interest to fellow "fan-atics" - it is an email I
    sent to Mr. Gabel tonite:

    Dear Mr. Gabel;

    I apologize for contacting you through this email address; it was
    the only contact information I could find in the public archive.

    I admire your work and achievements, for example "The Fear of Gay
    Marriage" article, as well as your spirit. But more to the point; I
    am a huge (albeit somewhat recent) fan (or "fan-atic") of your late
    mother, particularly her WML endeavors. I learned about you and your
    work as well as her twilight years through the quite charming
    www.arlenefrancis.com website by Sue and Becky.

    The guestbook at www.arlenefrancis.com was filled in recent
    months with posts by many new (and old) fans of your mom's work,
    especially regarding WML. Tributes and compliments seemed to be
    added daily, and of course words like "charming", "beautiful",
    "talented", and "warm" were repeated dozens of times. In many way
    this website and the attention it has garnered is indeed a lasting
    tribute and memorial to her greatness. For a new fan like myself,
    visiting the site regularly was a small way of showing respect and
    admiration.

    Then a week or so ago, some spam "bot" appeared to acquire the
    guestbook's post-address, and several ads for medications and drugs
    became intermingled with the growing tributes and compliments.
    Attempts to contact Sue and Becky (about this) appeared fruitless,
    and then in the last few days, the guestbook itself appears to have
    become a blank (or missing) link.

    Again, attempts to contact Sue and Becky have been fruitless; at
    least - no replies have been received, nor updates to the site (or
    on the "what's new" page) have been made in quite some time. I am
    hopeful one or both are fixing the guestbook problem
    (accounting for it's disappearance) but I am very doubtful. While
    this is not an emergency, I felt disposed to do something.

    I therefore looked up contact information for you (after finding
    nothing current for Sue or Becky) and hoped you might be
    sympathetic, and forward this email to one of them, or otherwise
    contact them if you have the means. I know you would have been
    pleased and proud of the plentiful recent tributes posted there in
    honor of your wonderful mom, and I hope you can somehow find a way
    to get a message through to those in a position to allow the
    plaudits to continue.

    Thank you and best regards, Stu


    jan_simonson
    Registered: Feb 10, 2005
    Posts: 31
    Posted: Fri Apr 8, 2005 1:38 PM Title: Kinescopes:
    To Jaybee7414:
    As weird as it sounds, NBC was so stingy about the ongoing cost of a
    New Jersey warehouse in the 1950s that executives chucked the
    kinescopes they stored there. Yes, you invest in a roll of 16
    millimeter film and in labor every time you kinescope a live
    television broadcast. Then you're faced with the ongoing cost of
    storage. NBC didn't like the storage, so it trashed kinescopes for
    which it already have invested money to make.
    To J. M. Vargas:
    I don't know if the Steve Allen Estate gets a piece of the DVD sales
    of You Bet Your Life, but he wrote in one of his many books that he
    saved them from total destruction in the early 1970s. That you see
    the NBC logo on the DVD box doesn't put a dent in Steve's claim. He
    lived all the way until 2000, so maybe he gave consent to using the
    old 1950s NBC logo so it would look authentic. You do see the pre -
    peacock logo, right ?


    ymike
    Registered: Oct 8, 2004
    Posts: 421
    Posted: Fri Apr 8, 2005 1:58 PM Title:
    Those "You Bet Your Life" were not kinescoped. They were never shown
    live. Groucho filmed the shows and then the shows would be edited
    before broadcast. The shows ran about 45 minutes to an hour when
    done before an audience. This way if any of Groucho's jokes bombed
    or were a little to "off color" they could be taken out of the show
    before it was broadcast.


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Fri Apr 8, 2005 2:39 PM Title: THE ONE, THE ONLY...
    After they were first run, NBC put them into their daytime lineup,
    now retitled "TELL IT TO GROUCHO", if I recall correctly. While a
    show was still running, they used to rerun things in syndication
    with a new title, like DRAGNET became BADGE 714 and GUNSMOKE became
    MATT DILLON. But when YOU BET YOUR LIFE went into syndication, it
    was already discontinued, so it kept it's title. There were some,
    the earliest ones, that couldn't go into the package because the set
    had a huge DeSoto/Plymouth sign behind Groucho. In about mid 1952
    they did away with it, perhaps thinking in advance of a syndication
    deal in the future, where new sponsors would be reluctant to give
    free exposure to the old one. So for years and years they more or
    less used the plain set. (I think the DeSoto logo was at the
    opening, but then raised up out of sight on wires, to join the
    "Secret Word" duck.)
    At some point, they realized they had left the "NBC" call letters on
    Groucho's mike. So when they went into syndication, years' worth had
    to be optically tampered with, so a white dot obscures the offending
    letters, to prepare the shows for local, not necessarily NBC
    stations. The closing credit did have the NBC "Hieroglyph" logo over
    a spinning reel of film, with the words NBC FILMS present. So it
    would seem that NBC was the owner and distributor, and that many
    copies of each film were made for syndication sales. At one time,
    stations bought outright the prints. When they wore out or just hung
    around too long, dumpster time!
    What Steve Allen bought or rescued that had something to do with
    Groucho, I can only guess, were the pre-1952 ones that were useless
    for recycling. I have an October 1951 episode, and can vouch for the
    Desoto-slathered stage.


    ymike
    Registered: Oct 8, 2004
    Posts: 421
    Posted: Fri Apr 8, 2005 3:23 PM Title:
    You are right. I purchased a DVD box set of early "You Bet Your
    Life" shows last year and they were the "Desoto" shows. The
    syndicated name of this show was "The Best Of Groucho". "Tell It To
    Groucho" was a very short lived series that Groucho hosted in the
    early 1960's.


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Fri Apr 8, 2005 3:36 PM Title: DeSOTO WATER AND SCOTCH
    Ah yes, that's right, it was BEST OF GROUCHO.
    There were so many episodes over the years, there's even a fair
    number from post-1952 that weren't put in the syndication package.


    ymike
    Registered: Oct 8, 2004
    Posts: 421
    Posted: Fri Apr 8, 2005 3:50 PM Title:
    Yes, they really tried to only include the "Best" shows in the
    syndication package. Had this been a "live" kinescoped show instead
    of being on film, most of these shows would have been lost. This
    might have been the first TV "game" show that was completely on film
    and never broadcast live.


    stu1
    Registered: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 11
    Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:27 AM Title: It's Back!
    The Guestbook (unfortunately with some recent tributes deleted due
    to problems) is back at www.ArleneFrancis.com

    Mr. Peter Gabel replied with a very sweet note to my message (shown
    above) and I am sure he was helpful in bringing the problem to Sue
    or Becky's attention. In keeping with their supreme dedication and
    wonderful attentions, the lovely website now again has a working
    Guestbook solely to leave blessings, compliments, accolades, and
    tributes to the charming Miss Arlene Francis. I hope everyone will
    visit and leave a new message to show their appreciation.


    jaybee7414
    Registered: Apr 1, 2005
    Posts: 54
    Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:15 PM Title:
    When did they do away with the regular contestant "walk by"? I
    noticed Arlene urging the TV audience to write in if they wanted the
    "walk by" eliminated. On the next show John asks the first
    contestant to meet the panelists, and then notes that the "walk by"
    doesn't take that much time, and that Arlene and him have had a
    small disagreement about it.
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [6]Jun 15, 2005
    • member since: 06/07/03
    • level: 62
    • rank: Species #8472
    • posts: 756
    TV TOME ARCHIVES: ARLENE FRANCIS FORUM FEB 24, 2003 TO APR 23, 2005

    What's My Line? - Threads - ARLENE FRANCIS Forum - PAGE 4 of 4


    ymike
    Registered: Oct 8, 2004
    Posts: 421
    Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 1:40 PM Title:
    In a few more episode it will be history. Like the "Wild" guess.


    stu1
    Registered: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 11
    Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:51 AM Title:
    Miss Arlene giving a warm and friendly and charming: "How do you do,
    Mr. Jones?" - "Nice to meet you, Mrs. Brown", etc. is actually a
    highlight for me.
    I like to think of her as sitting next to St. Peter at Heaven's
    Gate, greeting those newly arrived in the same wonderful way!


    jaybee7414
    Registered: Apr 1, 2005
    Posts: 54
    Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:15 PM Title:
    She's a classy lady, but the panel and her obviously viewed the walk
    by as unnecessary, if not tedious.


    stopette
    Registered: Nov 1, 2004
    Posts: 486
    Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:26 PM Title:
    When the "walk by" is changed, it's only switched to AFTER the game.
    It saves time this way, because while the contestant shakes hands,
    we see John, and he is announcing that the next contestant, Sign In,
    Please! or that it's time for a commercial.


    stu1
    Registered: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 11
    Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 1:03 AM Title:
    I always thought the contestants were at times nervous. Wouldn't you
    be? Although John did a lot to put them at ease, I thought Arlene's
    warm greeting BEFORE the game also must have done wonders for some.
    Her post-tragedy comments after Fred's passing were equal to
    expectations. DK was a disappointment, not that one should judge how
    anyone reacts to tragedy or behaves in unusual circumstances. But
    wasn't Arlene both a trooper and a wonderfully soothing voice
    amongst the understandable agitation?

    THE END
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  • Avatar of ymike673

    ymike673

    [7]Jun 16, 2005
    • member since: 06/16/05
    • level: 11
    • rank: Red Shirted Lt.
    • posts: 961
    At least ymike will still be listed somewhere. From now on thanks to TV.Com my user name will be ymike673
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [8]Jul 15, 2005
    • member since: 06/07/03
    • level: 62
    • rank: Species #8472
    • posts: 756
    From Garrison Skunk: I thought it was amusing when Arlene (jokingly) suggested that they show Joe Camel smoking on the Broadway Camel billboard. Little did she know that very type of ad campaign would get RJ Reynolds in deep trouble 35 years later.
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  • Avatar of The1Factotum1i1

    The1Factotum1i1

    [9]Jul 20, 2005
    • member since: 07/20/05
    • level: 13
    • rank: Regal Beagle
    • posts: 3,224
    It's really amazing that she kept hurting her eyes, and having to show up with an eye patch! When John referred to her as "Lady Hathaway" on the recent Errol Flynn episode, he was alluding to the famous "Man in the Hathaway Shirt" advertisements featuring a classy dude that always had an eye patch.
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  • Avatar of Fat-tote-bag

    Fat-tote-bag

    [10]Jul 20, 2005
    • member since: 07/06/05
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
    • posts: 220
    The1Factotum1i1 wrote:
    It's really amazing that she kept hurting her eyes, and having to show up with an eye patch! When John referred to her as "Lady Hathaway" on the recent Errol Flynn episode, he was alluding to the famous "Man in the Hathaway Shirt" advertisements featuring a classy dude that always had an eye patch.


    Why so amazing? If you mix with people in the flesh, as opposed to online, then you know that lots of people are clumsy. Substance abusers aren't the only people who make the same mistake again and again.

    Until the recent terrorist attack on the London tube, officials of the tube talked openly of the many personal possessions that passengers have left behind over the years. Newspapers around the world have published the story.

    Longtime employees of Red Top Cab AKA Transportation General in Arlington, Virginia remember a passenger who left a computer terminal behind in a cab. The person never claimed it.

    Arlene Francis never was a substance abuser, but she had other serious problems. That's okay. Lots of people do. She just looks problematic because she appeared on live network television every week for 17 years. Most people don't.

    And there are substance abusers who NEVER scratch their corneas and NEVER get in car accidents (some hire chauffeurs) and NEVER lose personal possessions in public. It takes all kinds, doesn't it ?
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  • Avatar of The1Factotum1i1

    The1Factotum1i1

    [11]Aug 4, 2005
    • member since: 07/20/05
    • level: 13
    • rank: Regal Beagle
    • posts: 3,224
    From TV GUIDE (New York) 17 February 1951:
    Who's Who in the cast- Arlene Francis Couldn't Be Stopped(uncredited)

    Arlene Francis, regular cast-member
    of What's My Line? (Sundays, 10:30-11
    P.M., (2) )and Blind Date (Thursdays,
    9:30-10 p.m., (7)) and one of the most
    sought-after guests in
    video, has been markedly
    successful also on stage,
    screen and radio. Born
    in Brookline, Massachu-
    setts, the daughter of a
    well - known portrait
    photographer, Arlene
    was early smitten by a
    love for the footlights. Her stage debut
    came when, as a schoolgirl at mount St.
    Vincent Academy, in Riverdale,New York,
    she appeared in Shakespeare's Taming of
    the Shrew. Then she studied voice,piano
    and dramatics at Finch Finishing School,
    American Academy of Art and the New
    York Theatre Guild School.
    But her father was firmly against her
    theatrical ambitions.To discourage her,he
    packed her off on a European tour. But
    still was stagestruck.He set her up in
    her own Madison Avenue gift shop. She
    still was stagestruck.
    So Father sighed heavily and gave up-
    and Arlene embarked on a season of sum-
    mer stock at the Provincetown Playhouse.
    Arlene rapidly went onward and upward
    in the theatre. She scored heavily in the
    wartime success, The Doughgirls.
    Before the war, Arlene had been divid-
    ing her time between Hollywood, the stage
    and radio. At one point in her radio career,
    she was known as the Queen of the Soap
    Operas. She was also in favorites like Mr.
    District Attorney and Blind Date-the lat-
    ter winding up in the present video version.
    Arlene is 5-feet-5, weighs 120 and has
    brown hair and eyes. She plays sound
    tennis. She is married to actor-producer
    Martin Gabel. The couple, with their four-
    year-old son, Peter, live in a Park Avenue
    duplex complete with marble staircase.
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    astorino

    [12]Aug 4, 2005
    • member since: 06/07/03
    • level: 62
    • rank: Species #8472
    • posts: 756
    Thanks The1Factotum1i1! Once again you've posted an excellent vintage article from your fine collection of TV Guides.
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [13]Aug 30, 2005
    • member since: 06/07/03
    • level: 62
    • rank: Species #8472
    • posts: 756
    To help save this thread from the deep-six due to almost 30 days of inactivity, I'll post Arlene's "Honest Answer."

    May 2005

    From: Garrison Skunk

    Arlene's "Honest Answer" on the WML syndicated show:

    I don't know if you have a place for it anywhere, but I was wondering if you wanted to post Arlene Francis' reply to the lady who accused her of cheating during the mystery guest rounds. Even though it happened on a color episode, she refers to her 20 years on WML, so it would be relevant to her B&W years. It was very heartfelt. After she said it, she turned to Bennett Cerf to say, "The nerve of that..." I might be mistaken, but her tone on saying that sounded to me like she was about to end that comment with an unflattering word describing the letter writer. But, she stopped herself, remembering: 1) that she's on TV and 2) that she's a lady.

    Wally Bruner: "And now, time for Honest Answers. Questions from our audience in the studio and letters from home viewers. Let's start with this letter from Mrs. Florence E. Watts from Washington DC. Mrs. Watts writes, 'I wish someone would tell Arlene Francis to pull her blindfold all the way down so she can't peek out the left at the mystery guest.' Arlene, what do you have to say to Mrs. Watts?"

    Soupy Sales: "THAT you can say on the air!"

    Arlene: "Well, I'd like to say this, Mrs. Watts, wherever you are. I've done this show for twenty years and I'd like to think I've won my service stripes through integrity and honesty. And I think I can say the same for the rest of the panel. NOBODY CHEATED!"

    (The panel and audience both applaud loudly at this. Arlene turns to Bennett as it dies down and says, "The nerve of that....!")

    Wally Bruner: "Do you think that answer was firm enough?"

    Arlene: "Well, if she could feel my insides right now, she'd know how I really felt!"

    Wally Bruner: "Thank you, panel, for your Honest Answers!"
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  • Avatar of Linneman

    Linneman

    [14]Sep 5, 2005
    • member since: 06/21/05
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
    • posts: 110
    They've been mentioning (pushing) Arlene's new play "Once More with Feeling" on WML. A little information about the play might be helpful.

    "Once More" ran for 263 performances, from October 1958 to June 1959. Certainly sucessful in that it should have made money but not an enormous hit. It starred Miss Francis and Joseph Cotton, with the Walter Matthau as the most important actor in support. It won no major awards, but Matthau was nominated for a Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Play. George Axelrod directed and Martin Gabel was co-producer.

    There's not a lot of information around on the plot etc. It is listed as a "romance" in one source.
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    jimarnone

    [15]Sep 5, 2005
    • member since: 06/25/05
    • level: 4
    • rank: Thighmaster
    • posts: 120
    Movie Info: "Once More with Feeling"

    This play, written by Harry Kurnitz (who also wrote "A Shot in the Dark") was brought to the big screen in 1960. Yul Brenner and Kay Kendell starred in the film which reportedly has been broadcast on TV but is not currently available on VHS or DVD.

    A 1960 NY Times review of the movie begins with a synopsis:

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    Kay Kendall and Yul Brynner in Comedy

    By BOSLEY CROWTHER
    Published: February 12, 1960

    THERE'S something wrong with "Once More, With Feeling," which came to the Music Hall yesterday. What's wrong, it appears, is no feeling—at least, no feeling of joyousness and mirth.

    In a sour and perfunctory fashion, Yul Brynner and Kay Kendall plunge through an exceedingly artificial trifle about an ill-tempered symphony conductor and his disillusioned "wife" who find that they have to get married in order to get a divorce. Trapped in this transitional status, the wife discovers that her spouse is not so bad, after all, and decides to carry on with him. He reciprocates by conducting a request number: John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" march (joke).
    ------------------

    While the NY Times review obviously dislikes the film, the IMDb user reviews praise this movie (users rate this movie at 5.9/10 with 76 votes).

    The following excerpt from a IMDb review is an example of the praise:

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    Why does such a delightful comedy go unrecognized?, 5 August 2004
    Author: rich brown (drgafia@comcast.net) from Arlington, Virgina

    This film is just plain funny. Yul Brenner is perfect as the fiery uncompromising symphony conductor, Kaye Kendall likewise as his companion of many years who has kept his orchestra afloat by her unfailing ability to soothe the many feathers ruffled by the maestro -- until, that is, she returns one night to find him compromised with a beautiful 21-year-old pianist. The first-rate performances here are not limited to their acting alone; this is a fine piece of work and everyone involved can be justifiably proud of their part in making it so.
    ------------------

    For more info on the movie, check these links:

    http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=104778
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054141/

    Thumbnail images of the Lobby Card Set (1960) can be viewed at:
    http://www.learnaboutmovieposters.com/posters/db/poster.asp?pid=367

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  • Avatar of jimarnone

    jimarnone

    [16]Sep 5, 2005
    • member since: 06/25/05
    • level: 4
    • rank: Thighmaster
    • posts: 120
    Play Info: "Once More with Feeling"

    For more info on the actual play in which Arlene Francis performed, check:
    http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID=2702

    ----

    A web site that has a manuscript of this play for sale (at $15.00) gave this summary of the story line:

    (Ref: http://www.dramatists.com/cgi-bin/db/single.asp?index=0&key=2118 )

    THE STORY: The central figure is a symphony conductor, a perfectionist, but also one possessed of a temper that causes him to bang instruments on the heads of his musicians, break batons by the scores and tear the shirts off his fiddlers as a form of constructive criticism. His ex-wife, who was never legally married to the conductor, who now wants a divorce, finds herself on the French horns of a dilemma. The conductor's agent, a colorful fellow addicted to larceny, perjury and skullduggery in the interest of a client and his commission. Knowing that the lady in the conductor's life is the only female who can tame him long enough for the sponsors of an orchestra to sign him, he finally brings the two together and out of the resulting cacophony finally creates harmony."

    -----

    The actual script for the play was published by Random House and is available on Amazon.com for at little as $4.29:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0006D9H5K/qid=1125984104/sr=1-24/ref=sr_1_24/002-3568488-7650417?v=glance&s=books

    ----

    A book based on the play and the movie script written by Ann Pinchot is available for $12.00 at:

    http://www.andbookstoo.com/books2/agora.cgi?cart_id=556193.2824*6O7j41&p_id=6327&xm=on&ppinc=1a

    ----
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  • Avatar of victorkiam

    victorkiam

    [17]Sep 6, 2005
    • member since: 06/14/05
    • level: 4
    • rank: Thighmaster
    • posts: 38
    For those who like to dig really deep, here's a link to the 1930 Census where we find the Kazajian family, complete with Irish servant and uncle, living in the Bronx.

    Arlene's father was a successful photographer able to own his own home in the very nice neighborhood of Riverdale.

    For Arlene Francis Kazajian:

    http://www.rootdig.com/1930census/1930_arlene_francis.html
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  • Avatar of Linneman

    Linneman

    [18]Sep 6, 2005
    • member since: 06/21/05
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
    • posts: 110
    Thank you for all the additional information on "once More".

    It's interesting that the film version was Kay Kendall's final film (released posthumously) - I always thought her last was the "Reluctant Debutante" (195 with her husband, Rex Harrison. Thirty-three is far too young to die.

    And now back to Arlene.
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  • Avatar of Linneman

    Linneman

    [19]Sep 6, 2005
    • member since: 06/21/05
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
    • posts: 110
    Why does this system put smiley faces in dates? I'm just not used to some of the peculiarities yet.

    And "The Reluctant Debutante" was a 1958 film for those who care.
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  • Avatar of W-B

    W-B

    [20]Sep 6, 2005
    • member since: 06/14/05
    • level: 39
    • rank: Fonzerelli
    • posts: 525
    Linneman wrote:
    Why does this system put smiley faces in dates? I'm just not used to some of the peculiarities yet.

    Happens all the time when you type the number 8 followed by close parentheses; that combination is the code for the particular smiley face in question. My advice: Next time try brackets and see what happens.

    Also . . . did anyone, on the last show (#440), notice the announcer introduce Miss Francis as "our delightful star of stage and television" (rather than the usual "the delightful star . . . ")?
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