On November 29, 2021, the world lost yet another beloved actress. Arlene Dahl is famous for her work as a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer star who reaches peak fame during the 1950s. Dahl is one of the last surviving stars recognized in the Classical Hollywood Cinema era.
Dahl is famous for her signature charm and vividly red hair, which captures in Technicolor films from the 1950s. She died in her home in New York City at the age of 96.
Her son, actor Lorenzo Lamas, announces her death on social media. At the moment, we won’t inform you as to the exact cause of her death. But gauging by her age, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that she died of natural causes.
Lorenzo made an Instagram post on Monday, November 29th saying that his mother had passed. He says that she is ‘the most positive influence’ on his life. He will always remember her laughter, joy, and dignity as she navigates the challenges that she faces throughout her life. Along with those sentimental words, the 63-year-old actor posted a glamorous photo of his dearly departed mother.
Lorenze went on to mention that his mother never uttered an ill word about anyone. He praised her for her ability to leave him feeling speechless at times and called her a ‘force of nature’. He further recalls how, as he gets older he leans on his mother more and as his primary life counselor.
She is the one person in his life that he knew who lives and loves to the fullest. Lorenzo offers his sympathies to his in-law, Marco Rosen, who spend the last 37 years of his life with her.
To pay our respects to Arlene Dahl, her family, and the many people she gets an impact on. Let’s take a look at her prolific life and career.
Arlene Dahl’s Early Life
Arlene Dahl came into this world on August 11, 1925. She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Norwegian immigrant parents Idele and Rudulph Dahl. Her mother was a homemaker, and her father worked as an automobile dealer and executive for Ford.
Interestingly, while her birth year is sometimes listed as 1928, the Minnesota Historical Society lists it as 1925.
When she is a child, Dahl takes dance and elocution lessons. She enjoys taking part in theater at Margaret Fuller Elementary School, Ramsey Junior High School, and Washburn Senio High School.
Once she graduated from high school, Dahl briefly attended the University of Minnesota while she worked various jobs, including working for a short time as a model for area department stores and performing with a local drama group. Dahl’s mother was active in local amateur theater as well.
About a year after graduating from high school, Dahl moved to Chicago, where she found a job working as a buyer for Marshall and Brown. She then relocated to New York, where she worked as a Model for the prestigious Walter Thornton Modeling Agency.
In 1945, she auditioned for and landed a role in the musical Mr. Strauss Goes To Boston. She then appeared in the play Questionable Ladies, which got her seen by a Hollywood talent scout.
Dahl scored her first, albeit uncredited bit part, in the 1947 film Life with Father. That same year, she gets the lead female role in My Wild Irish Rose alongside actor Dennis Morgan. The feature proves to be her first big hit and offers a long-term contract with MGM.
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Dahl’s Film And Television Career In The 1950s
When noticed by Hollywood talent scouts, Dahl signs with MGM, and in 1948 she was given a supporting role in the film The Bride Goes Wild. She then played the female lead in the Red Skeleton comedy film A Southern Yankee later that year.
Eagle-Lion Films then hired her to star in the female lead role in the 1949 film Reign of Terror. That same year she performed opposite Van Johnson in the drama film Scene of the Crime. She followed that turn up with roles in the four 1950 films Ambush, The Outsiders, Three Little Words, and Watch the Birdie. Besides the Outsiders, all of these films were box-office successes for MGM.
MGM then gave Dahl the leading role in a couple of B films, including 1951s Inside Straight and No Questions Asked, which also came out that year, but both of these films failed to turn a profit.
Dahl signed to Pine-Thomas Productions, where she was subsequently cast in the swashbuckler adventure film the Caribbean in 1952. She then hopped on over to Universal to co-star alongside Alan Ladd in the 1953 war film Desert Legion.
After appearing in that flick, she then starred in two more Pine-Thomas features, Jamaica Run and Sangaree, both of which hit theaters In 1953 and the latter of which starred Dahl’s future husband, Fernando Lamas.
Dahl’s next 1953 feature, Here Come the Girls, saw her starring opposite Bob Hope. She reunites with Lamas in the film The Diamond Queen, which is put out by Warner Brothers in 1953. The last project that Dahl appeared in that year is the Jose Ferrar-led play Cyrano de Bergerac, in which she played the character, Roxanne.
In 1954, Dahl portrayed the formidable character, Carol Talbot, in Fox’s Woman’s World. She also played Rock Hudson’s leading lady in the adventure war flick Bengal Rifles, which was released by Universal.
Besides acting, Dahl started writing a syndicated beauty column in 1952, and in 1954, she founded Alrene Dahl Enterprises, a company that she used to market cosmetics and designer lingerie.
It was also in 1954 that Dahl began to appear on TV. She appeared in several episodes of Lux Video Theatre, The Ford Television Theatre, and in an adaptation of Casablanca. In 1954, she was also a mystery guest and panelist on the popular CBS game show What’s My Line?
A year prior, she had hosted ABC’s anthology program, The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse.
In 1958, Dahl reunited with John Payne, whom she had previously worked with on the Caribbean for the noir film Slightly Scarlet. Dahl then appeared in several films in England for Columbia Pictures, including 1956s Wicked as They Come and 1957s Fortune is a Woman.
In 1957, Dahl sued Columbia for a million dollars, claiming that Wicked as they Come’s advertisements were lewd and degraded her. However, a judge ended up throwing her suit.
Dahl then hosted the short-lived TV program Opening Night in 1958 before being given the leading female role in the 1950 adventure film Journey to the Center of the Earth, in which she starred opposite James Mason and Pat Boone. While filming that movie, she was injured on set, but even though she suffered for it’s production, the film ended up being one of her biggest career successes.
1960s And Beyond
After finding herself typecast, Dahl left the film industry behind in 1959. In 1960, she played the role of the character Lucy Belle in an episode of the television series Riverboat titled ‘That Taylor Affair’. Later that year she married Texas oil tycoon Christian Holmes. Afterward, she announced her retirement from acting altogether.
After divorcing Holmes in 1964, Dahl returned to acting in a supporting role in the 1964 film Kisses for My President. For the next few years, she worked as a lecturer and beauty consultant, and then in 1969, she appeared in the films The Pleasure Pit and Land Raiders. Around this time, she also made an appearance in the TV series Burke’s Law and Theatre of Stars.
Shifting her focus back to business, she shut down her company in 1967 and then began serving as vice president for the ad firm Kenyon and Eckhardt.
In 1970, Dahl started working for Sears Roebuck as the company’s director of Beauty products, a job that would earn her $750,000 a year, but she ended up leaving Sears in 1975 to start another short-lived company called Dahlia which offered a line of fragrances.
For the remainder of the 70s, Dahl made the occasional appearance on television in shows such as Fantasy Island and The Love Boat while also appearing on Broadway in the production Applause in the role of Margo Channing.
In 1981, Dahl declared bankruptcy after a series of failed business ventures and robberies. She then appeared in the ABC soap One Life to Live between 1981 and 1984 as the character Lucinda Schenck Wilson. In 1988, she starred in the film A Place To Hide.
Her last film role was in 1991s Night of the Warrior, co-starring her son Lorenzo Lamas. She then ventured out into the field of astrology, penning a syndicated column on the subject before later operating a premium astrology hotline company. During this time, she published more than two dozen books covering the topics of astrology and beauty.
Arlene Dahls Personal Life And Marriages
Dahl married her first husband, Lex Barker, in 1951, but they divorced just a year later. Her next husband was Fernando Lamas, whom she married in 1958. The couple had one child together, Lorenzo Lamas.
Dahl and Lamas got divorced in 1960, not long after her career had begun to slow down.
Dahl gives birth to a daughter, Christina Carole Holmes, while she marries her third husband, Christian Homes. She had another son, Rounsevelle Andreas Schaum, with her fifth husband, Rounsevelle W. Schaum.
She had six grandchildren in total and two great-grandchildren.
In 1984, Dahl married her sixth and final husband, Marc Rosen, a packaging designer from New York. She remained with Rosen, splitting her time between West Palm Beach, Florida, and New York City, until her death on November 29, 2021.
Where you a fan of Arlene Dahl’s film and television work? If so, what are some of your favorite memories of her? Let us know in the comments down below.
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