What's My Line? Forums

CBS (ended 1967)

ARLENE FRANCIS Forum

  • Avatar of jimarnone

    jimarnone

    [21]Sep 6, 2005
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    Linneman wrote:
    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.


    You can also avoid the smiley face by separating the "8" and
    the ")" with a space. In fact, you can edit your message after you post it to insert the space. I've done this more than once myself.
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  • Avatar of lovewml

    lovewml

    [22]Sep 17, 2005
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    I just have to say how much I love Arlene Francis and how much she brings to the show- warmth, an abundance of personality, incredible wit, and sweetness- WML wouldn't have been nearly as good without her. And I love it when she goes into one of her fake accents (French,Spanish etc)- it always makes me laugh. She was definately one of a kind.

    I also love it when Martin is on the show. You can tell they love each other even though they're seen kissing or hugging on camera- I wonder why that is.

    And why isn't there a Martin Gabel forum?
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  • Avatar of Linneman

    Linneman

    [23]Sep 19, 2005
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    One reason why a Martin Gabel Forum may not be ideal is the policy of dropping a forum from the site after 30 days of inactivity. Between Martin and Arlene there's always likely to be some postings every month. It's a lot less sure that a Martin Gabel site would meet that standard.

    While dropping "I need episode #whatever" threads does not diminish the site terribly losing postings about Mr. Gabel certainly would be a loss.
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  • Avatar of Linneman

    Linneman

    [24]Sep 19, 2005
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    I think I'll follow my own advice given in the last posting in this forum and post on Martin Gabel.

    "The Rivalry", mentioned several times in the last few shows was the story of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Richard Boone played Lincoln and Martin Gabel Douglas. It ran for 81 performances February - April 1959. AS usual Gabel gets to play the character not generally considered the hero.
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  • Avatar of lovewml

    lovewml

    [25]Sep 19, 2005
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    Such a booming voice he had for such a little guy- I'd bet he was a pretty good actor but I've only seen him in a couple movies. He had a small part in the Hitchcock film "Marnie" and supporting role in another film I happened to catch the end of on FMC- about a man on the ledge of a building threatening to kill himself. Can't recall the name of it or who else was in it. It was from the early 50s. I don't think he did many movies. I'd bet he would have made a good sportscaster as well with that voice and being such a sports fanatic.
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  • Avatar of Linneman

    Linneman

    [26]Sep 20, 2005
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    Marnie was certainly the most famous film he appeared in - what movie work Martin Gabel did was not very large parts in generally forgettable films. And other than WML he really did not do much TV, particularly after the early 1950's.

    But in the theatre he was very busy. He produced, directed and (mostly) acted. In his early years he played Cassius in the Mercury Theatre production of Julius Caesar, with Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles. In the 1965 musical Baker Street he played Professor Moriarity to Fritz Weaver's Holmes. Take a look on the Internet Broadway Database (www.ibdb.com) and you'll find lots of credits for Gabel, many of them for shows that opened and closed quickly. There's a term "Man of the Theatre" that fits him well.

    From his comments on WML interacting with mystery guests it's clear that he had a high regard for those working on stage. He also appears to have worked with an amazing number of actors and to know everybody who's worked on the New York stage.
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [27]Sep 21, 2005
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    lovewml wrote:
    And why isn't there a Martin Gabel forum?


    There should be. I'll make it now. We'll just all do our best to keep it alive. Thanks.
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  • Avatar of victorkiam

    victorkiam

    [28]Sep 21, 2005
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    TiVo/VCR ALERT:

    THE THRILL OF IT ALL (1963)
    TCM Saturday 9/24/05 6pm EST

    A doctor's wife disrupts their life with her new job as star of a soap tycoon's TV commercials.

    Doris Day
    James Garner
    ARLENE FRANCIS
    Edward Andrews
    Writer: Carl Reiner
    Director: Norman Jewison
    1hr., 48min.

    Dated look at whether a woman can have a family and a career. It's 1963 -- what do YOU think?

    Arlene has a small role, yet is utterly charming in the opening sequence. It's unfortunate she didn't do more films.
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  • Avatar of ymike673

    ymike673

    [29]Sep 22, 2005
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    A pretty funny movie. Watch for the "car" in the pool!
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [30]Oct 14, 2005
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    Arlene Francis is a subject of this 2001 article.

    ----------

    '50s Stars Subtly Paved Way for Change

    Imogene Coca and Arlene Francis were pioneers in their medium.

    By JULIA KELLER
    The Chicago Tribune
    Published in 2001

    They didn't march. They didn't mobilize. They seemed too caught up in the current of their times - the 1950s, when women's roles were rigidly circumscribed and sharply limited - to rock the boat.

    But in their own subtle ways, they were readjusting the craft's direction.

    Imogene Coca and Arlene Francis, major figures in the early history of television who died last week, seem at first glance to have fulfilled the female stereotypes of the era. Coca, who died at 92 at her home in Westport, Conn., was best known as a loose-limbed clown on programs such as "Your Show of Shows," often playing a man-crazy wallflower or ditsy wife. Francis, who succumbed at 93 in a San Francisco hospital, was a gracious, genteel presence on talk and game shows. Viewed from another angle, however, the two were transitional figures, their work constituting important steppingstones toward a more enlightened era when women's roles in front of and behind the camera could be as varied and ambitious as men's. In other words, they did what they could when they did it.

    "Both Coca and Francis are underrated and understudied," said Marsha Cassidy, an English professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago who is writing a book on daytime television from 1948 to 1960.

    "There's an impression in the 21st century that way back there in the 1950s, TV put women in a certain category - the mom in heels and pearls and shirtwaist dresses in shows like 'Leave It to Beaver.'

    But the reality is that there were women working against the grain as well. They were able to challenge the stereotypical notions of the 1950s. Coca used her comic sensibility to challenge that role. And Francis was more clever than most women were given credit for being in that television environment."

    Comedian Paula Poundstone acknowledges that Coca often was upstaged by characters played by Sid Caesar, Coca's partner in "Your Show of Shows," which aired from 1950 to 1954. "But if she was starting out now, she'd do it differently," Poundstone said.

    "I give her all the credit in the world for doing stuff early on when it made a difference. She was cutting-edge. She fought some things."

    Richard Heldenfels, author of "Television's Greatest Year: 1954" (1994), said of Coca's comedy and Francis' demeanor, "When you look at it in 2001, you see some stereotypes that might have been damaging," but there were, he noted, extenuating circumstances.

    Coca became famous playing broadly comic figures such as the nagging wife or the screeching, helpless female. Francis, as host of "Home," which dished out domestic tips to housewives, and later as a panelist on the game show "What's My Line?," came across as a refined highbrow in white gloves. None of those roles would gain the unqualified admiration of today's feminists.

    Within the conservative context of the 1950s, however, Coca and Francis probably went about as far as they could, said Heldenfels, a television critic for the Beacon-Journal in Akron, Ohio. For one thing, he noted, "They didn't run their shows." As long as women were hired hands, they were required to do the bidding of the men in charge.

    Ironically, when Coca did try to guide her own career by breaking with Caesar in 1954 and launching a solo show, she was criticized for destroying a great comedy team to pursue personal glory, Heldenfels said. The new show failed, and the resentment over her initiative seemed to linger throughout Coca's life, he added. "She takes some of the rap for the ending of 'Your Show of Shows.' There were control issues that come into play."

    Such issues continue to this day, Heldenfels noted. "I always thought Roseanne got a bad rap" as the allegedly tyrannical executive producer and star of the popular ABC sitcom "Roseanne," which ran from 1988 to 1997.

    "You're going to tell me that Michael Landon [producer, director and star of "Little House on the Prairie"] didn't run a tight ship? Or Bill Cosby [producer and star of "Cosby"]?"

    But if a woman is in charge of a TV show or movie, she's sometimes regarded not as a driven and focused auteur (a filmmaker who has a personal style and keeps creative control over his or her works) but as a shrew. As difficult as it is today for women in the entertainment business, just imagine how daunting it must have been for women in the 1950s, Heldenfels said.

    Still, some women attained management status in the early days of television. Lucille Ball, with whom Coca often is compared, co-owned Desilu Studios and profited from syndication and foreign sales of the show "I Love Lucy," in which she starred from 1951 to 1957. And women such as Ida Lupino, Jane Wyman, Betty White and Loretta Young not only starred in but also produced many of the TV shows in which they were involved in the 1950s.

    Yet the contributions of those women, as well as those of Coca and Francis, often are overlooked, Cassidy said. "There were a number of pioneering women we've forgotten about. The history of television has been written primarily as an institutional history - what companies were running what? - and as the history of prime-time male stars."

    Historical attitudes toward Coca and Francis are distorted because "we live in a patriarchal society," Cassidy added.

    The End.
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  • Avatar of ClassicTV

    ClassicTV

    [31]Oct 22, 2005
    • member since: 10/22/05
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    Until the end of October, you can hear Arlene Francis host Part IV of the NBC Radio Network's 50th Anniversary Retrospective that aired in 1976. She was a host on Monitor Radio, a weekend programming service that NBC provided to its radio affiliates from 1955-1975. Her picture appears on the current Monitor homepage (monitorbeacon.com)in a 1964 group photo. Click on "Sounds of Monitor" to listen to the 41 minute audio clip of her narration of the Monitor years.
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  • Avatar of W-B

    W-B

    [32]Oct 22, 2005
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    Alas, Miss Francis wasn't the only G-T associated individual to also have ties to Monitor; so did the man who not only hosted Match Game but also, in the eyes of some, was Match Game, Gene Rayburn, who was on in the 1960's.
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [33]Oct 23, 2005
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    ClassicTV wrote:
    Until the end of October, you can hear Arlene Francis host Part IV of the NBC Radio Network's 50th Anniversary Retrospective that aired in 1976.


    Thanks so much for these links!

    MAIN PAGE WITH ARLENE'S PHOTO:

    http://www.monitorbeacon.com/index.html

    THE SOUNDS OF MONITOR:

    http://www.monitorbeacon.com/sounddownloads.html
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  • Avatar of jimarnone

    jimarnone

    [34]Oct 23, 2005
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    ClassicTV wrote:
    Until the end of October, you can hear Arlene Francis host Part IV of the NBC Radio Network's 50th Anniversary Retrospective that aired in 1976.


    I would like to add my thanks also. I enjoyed listening to this program so much, I was sad that the previous 3 episodes in this five part series were no longer available. But a little searching paid off. The following comment and reply was posted on the Monitor Guestbook page.

    -----
    http://www.monitorbeacon.com/guestbook.html
    ----
    Comments: Hi. I heard this site mentioned today on the Chuck Schaden radio show. I'm interested in finding out how I can hear the previous three episodes of the
    "Sounds of Monitor". What a nice job. Really interesting. Thanks for putting this together.

    Ann Jones

    October 1, 2005

    Editor's note: Ann refers to the four-hour "Salute to Monitor" that aired on WDCB-FM in Chicago on Saturday, Oct. 1, on Chuck Schaden's "Those Were the Days" program. In December on this website, we will post a link allowing everyone to access all five parts of NBC Radio's "First Fabulous Fifty" anniversary celebration.
    -----

    This website brings back many old memories. It's super. When I see the complete series available in December, I'll post a reminder here. Thanks again.
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  • Avatar of ymike673

    ymike673

    [35]Nov 10, 2005
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    Just making sure Arlene's thread is not lost.
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  • Avatar of mehitable

    mehitable

    [36]Nov 16, 2005
    • member since: 10/20/05
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    Is it totally wrong of me to adore that crazy Easter hat that Arlene wore on the 'potted episode of WML'? Maybe I shouldn't admit that in public... Anyone know the maker?
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  • Avatar of QueenArlene

    QueenArlene

    [37]Dec 1, 2005
    • member since: 12/02/05
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    Hey.. new here, but I'm also on the GSN board. I tried to make an edit, but I don't have enough points. Perhaps Astorino can make it? In episode #520, the twins who sold worms are FROM Tooele, Utah and their dresses were purchased in Salt Lake. The episode guide has it backwards. THANKS!

    And congrats to whoever got the spelling of Tooele right because it isn't spelled like it sounds "Towilla".
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [38]Dec 2, 2005
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    QueenArlene wrote:
    In episode #520, the twins who sold worms are FROM Tooele, Utah and their dresses were purchased in Salt Lake. The episode guide has it backwards. THANKS!

    And congrats to whoever got the spelling of Tooele right because it isn't spelled like it sounds "Towilla".


    Hi QueenArlene! Welcome to the TV.com forums. I recognize your name from the GSN boards where you are QueenArleneFrancis.

    On the twins, I didn't have it listed backwards, but I can see how my original listing could be misleading:

    "Game 2: Miss Barbara Harker & Miss Virginia Harker - "Sell Worms" (self-employed; during the summer, they catch and sell earthworms to fishermen; Dorothy asked them where they bought their dresses; from Tooele, Utah)"

    I'll amend it to show where the dresses were bought.

    Yes, indeed, it took me a few minutes to discover the spelling of Tooele! First I was searching for Twilla, Utah, which I knew was wrong since it did not show up on this site which lists all the cities in all the states:

    http://officialcitysites.org/usa.php3

    I found a web page showing "Twilla" was the site of the "Dougway Proving Grounds," which was also misspelled. A search for Google's suggested spelling of "Dugway Proving Grounds" led me to web pages that showed it was in Tooele.

    Thanks again, Suzanne
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  • Avatar of QueenArlene

    QueenArlene

    [39]Dec 2, 2005
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    OH! I did misread that. I was just so overwhelmed with the Tooele thing. :-) I should have known you'd get it right.

    I had to laugh at Dorothy asking where they bought their dresses. I think I would have fallen off my chair if the twins had bought their dresses in Tooele! I can't imagine Dorothy finding anything to her liking in Tooele. Possibly in Salt Lake, but I doubt that, too. :-)
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [40]Dec 9, 2005
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    During the introductions on EPISODE #528 on August 28, 1960, Joey Bishop announced that the name of Arlene Francis' new radio show on station WOR at 3:15 PM daily is called "Arlene Francis at Sardi's." Net references call the program "Luncheon at Sardi's." As we all know, Sardi's was, and still is, a famous New York City restaurant.
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