Arlene Francis-The first lady of television and charm.

“Trouble is a sieve through which we sift our acquaintances. Those too big to pass through are our friends.”- Arlene Francis
Arlene Francis quote about friends.

In a recent article I noted Dorothy Kilgallen asked “Why can’t I be the adorable one?”; the adorable one in the situation was Arlene Francis, her co-panelist on the game show ‘What’s My Line?’. It wasn’t a competition or an intentional attempt by Francis to be the charming and personable one; that was how she was.

A great many women are seen as the groundbreakers of Television; the name Arlene Francis doesn’t appear among those names to current generations. Arlene Francis was:

  • Hosted ‘Blind Date’ from 1949-1952 on ABC and then NBC, after being the radio host of the same show since 1943.
  • A panelist on ‘What’s My Line?’ from 1950 until 1975 on CBS.
  • The editor-in-chief and host of ‘Home’ from 1954-57, a one hour morning show that was a show for NBC viewers to compliment the ‘Today’ and ‘Tonight’ shows. She also stepped in for ‘Today’ show hosts as well as guest hosted the Tonight Show.
  • In 1954 she hosted the reality show ‘The Comeback Story’ on ABC.

If you read that closely, you see she was on all three networks at the same time.

And all of those were sidelines. She was also a Broadway star, movie actress, radio host, and author.

During the 1950s, Newsweek put her on the cover as the “first lady of television”. You need to remember something very important about this time; Lucille Ball was a big hit with ‘I Love Lucy’.

People naturally loved Arlene. She didn’t try or take herself too seriously to the point of not being able to have fun in front of the camera as herself. Then there was that strength you knew would come out when it needed to.

Her radio career predated television, and her The Arlene Francis Show ran from 1960 to 1984 where she interviewed people from her first guest in Rock Hudson through others such as Frank Sinatra.

Her husband wasn’t the tall, dark and handsome type, although a great Broadway actor. No, he was short, balding, slightly overweight, wore glasses, and an average sort looks wise, but highly intelligent. That was another part of her charm; she went for the real and what she liked, not image. She and Martin Gabel stayed married from 1946 until his death in 1986.

You don’t stay the love of the public for so long without charm. Dorothy Kilgallen was smart, tough, and personable enough, but you could see her trying hard to be something a bit more; she wanted acceptance in a way she wasn’t. On ‘What’s My Line?’, you would see Dorothy and Arlene alternate sitting next to Bennet Cerf, the founder and publisher of Random House. Dorothy would wear on Bennet’s nerves, and you can see him ignore her suggestions. Everyone wanted to sit next to Arlene. She was fun, and not intrusive.

I think Dorothy was never comfortable in her own skin, while Arlene was comfortable anywhere.

For a woman known for knowing so much, her life came to an end in 2001 from cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Arlene Francis quote about people interested in your interests.“…apathy is about as near to the undertaker as you can get.” – Arlene Francis

“People are much more fascinated by your interests than they are by your opinions.”


Part of #BeWoW and Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Click HERE for more Quotes on SilverThreading.com hosted by Colleen Chesebro. See the comments here for any links to more #BeWoW articles and check out the hashtag on Twitter to ReTweet those positive posts that apply to the #BeWoW message of positivity sharing.



Ronovan Hester is an author, with a debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in February 14, 2016. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of writing, authors and community through his online world has led to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge, Weekly Fiction Prompt Challenge, and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

Dorothy Kilgallen-Her Pen was Her Scalpel.

“Why can’t I be the adorable one?” Dorothy Kilgallen

Dorothy Kilgallen-Adorable Quote

It’s doubtful many of you have heard the name Dorothy Kilgallen. The shame of it is you should have. Moreover, if born in the right generation, you couldn’t wait for Sunday nights at 10:30.

Groundbreaking journalist, TV legend, and hard as nails crime investigator, Kilgallen was generations and decades ahead of her time. If not for her, Harrison Ford wouldn’t have a hit in The Fugitive.

Kilgallen’s testimony is the reason Dr. Sam Sheppard received a new trial for the murder of his wife, and ended up released from prison. Forensic advancements years later proved Kilgallen was right in her deductions of Sheppard’s innocence.

She dissected crime reports and testimonies like a skilled surgeon. Her abilities amazed millions, yet she wanted more. She wanted to be the girl next-door people loved for being adorable, cute. However, her wit, her intelligence, and her honesty with a pen in her weekly column read by millions earned her powerful enemies that were cruel in their retaliation.

When Dorothy did a series on Frank Sinatra in the 1950s and spoke of his egocentric personality, he fought back by calling her a chinless wonder in his nightclub acts. He couldn’t argue the facts of her reporting, so he attacked her on a personal level.

In the 1960s she sunk her teeth into the JFK assassination. She ripped the Warren Report to shreds, had a rumored interview with Jack Ruby, and was about to publish her findings when she was found dead in her bed—the file with all her findings—missing. On the nightstand were two glasses, though her husband slept in another room. The sleeping pills in her stomach—Three different kinds. It was ruled an accident from the mixture of alcohol and pills.

The journalist surgeon with a pen was dead.

The lady who became famous by traveling around the world in 24 days back in 1936, when she was 23, for a contest amongst three reporters and newspapers, never understood the adulation she had. Maybe it was in part due to her philandering husband.

On the panel game show juggernaut of the time, What’s My Line?, Kilgallen wanted to be the adorable one, but couldn’t match the personality of Arlene Francis, the darling of Broadway who had a show on all three networks at the same time, and performed in Broadway shows. What she did instead was guess more professions of contestants than anyone else.

From beginning to end, Dorothy Kilgallen was an untypical woman in a world not ready for her. On the other hand, maybe she didn’t realize the world was happy with who she was, regardless of when it was.

She may not have been the perfect person, friend, or wife, but she was dedicated to her field. And she was unmatched.

This is one of my favorite quotes of hers.

“I think sometimes it is more important to be gracious than to win.” Dorothy Kilgallen

dorothy-kilgallen-gracious-quote



This is my contribution to Colleen Chesebro of SilverThreading.com’s#BeWoW and Writer's Quote Wednesday Writer’s Quote Wednesday. For those participating in the #BeWoW movement of positive posts, you may leave your links in the comments below, or do a ping back to this post if you wish. Use the hashtag #BeWoW on Twitter to help your posts receive RTs from others.



Ronovan Hester is an author, with a debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December of 2015. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of writing, authors and community through his online world has led to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge, Weekly Fiction Prompt Challenge, and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015