Classical Hollywood Star Arlene Dahl Passed Away at 96

Classical Hollywood Star Arlene Dahl Passed Away at 96

Sadly, the great actress and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer star, Arlene Dahl passed away on Monday, November 29, 2021, at her home in Manhattan. Nothing has been reported clarifying her cause of death; the glamorous 1950s actress was 96.

Her son, actor Lorenzo Lamas, released Arlene Dahl’s death news on Facebook, writing: “Mom passed away this morning in New York. She was the most positive influence on my life. I will remember her laughter, her joy, her dignity as she navigated the challenges that she faced.”

His son added: “Never an ill word about anyone crossed her lips. Her ability to forgive left me speechless at times. She truly was a force of nature and as we got closer in my adult life, I leaned on her more and more as my life counselor and the person I knew that lived and loved to the fullest. My sympathies go to her loving husband @marcrosennyc who, for the last 37 years, made her life so wonderful and joyous. Love you mom forever.”

Arlene Dahl parlayed success as a movie actress in the 1940s and 1950s into a more successful career as an author, beauty expert, astrologist, and fashion and cosmetics entrepreneur.

Arlene Dahl has reportedly died at 96
The great actress and model Arlene Dahl passed away at the age of 96

She was a natural for Technicolor with her fiery red hair; she notably played the seductive sister of a famous redhead, Rhonda Fleming, in 1956.

“Arlene Dahl was another classic case, like Jane Greer and Evelyn Keyes, of a smart, fiercely funny woman being pigeonholed by her beauty,” Eddie Muller, who organizes an annual film noir festival in San Francisco, said. When Ms. Dahl was the event’s guest of honor, said in an interview in 2009: “It was hard for her to break out of the ‘redheaded bombshell’ mold.”

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Arlene Dahl‘s Life and Career

Arlene Carol Dahl was born in Minneapolis. She started as a model and worked in theater before joining Hollywood in 1946. She was briefly under contract at Warner Bros., then signed with MGM.

She played a small part in a short-lived Broadway musical, “Mr. Strauss Goes to Boston” in 1945. The next year, she was discovered by cinema mogul Jack Warner while performing in Philadelphia in “Questionable Ladies,” a production that would close before making it to Broadway. Warner invited her to Hollywood for a film test.

“The Bride Goes Wild” was her first MGM film, starring Van Johnson and June Allyson. She also appeared in many other films, including:

  • Reign of Terror,
  • Three Little Words,
  • Woman’s World,
  • Slightly Scarlet,
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth,
  • A Southern Yankee,
  • Scene of the Crime,
  • Desert Legion,
  • and Jamaica Run.

She founded cosmetics and lingerie company Arlene Dahl Enterprises in the 1950s and sold lingerie and cosmetics, and became a beauty columnist. She started working as an executive in advertising and for Sears, Roebuck & Co, and founded a perfume company after leaving the acting business.

Arlene later appeared in soap operas, including:

  • One Life to Live,
  • All My Children,
  • Love, American Style,
  • Fantasy Island,
  • and The Love Boat.

According to the New York Times, she also appeared on Broadway in 1972, when she took over the lead role in “Applause,” the hit musical based on the 1950 movie “All About Eve.”

Arlene became a regular fixture in Hollywood gossip columns, having married two well-known actors after courting, among many other men, the young John F. Kennedy.

She and Tarzan actor Lex Barker, who she described as the “most attractive man I’d ever seen” in a People magazine interview, split in 1952 after a year and a half of marriage. She married Argentine actor Fernando Lamas two years later.

That union was tumultuous. The couple had several public spats and reconciliations intended to save their marriage, for the sake, Ms. Dahl claimed at the time, of their son, Lorenzo Lamas, who would go on to have a great acting career of his own, but all of them failed.

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Reactions to Arlene Dahl‘s Death

Several fans, friends, and supporters reacted and stated their condolences on social media websites following Arlene Dahl’s death news.

One of her fans tweeted: “Rhonda Fleming and Arlene Dahl together in Slightly Scarlet was almost too intense. It’s no Leave Her To Heaven but it’s a pretty stellar color film noir all the same. The film also includes a favorite line: “You must have gone to college to be so dumb”. RIP Arlene Dahl.”

Another wrote: “Another sad news: The breathtakingly beautiful Arlene Dahl, who was one of the very last surviving stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood has passed away at 96. Time is so cruel and spears no one. R.I.P.”