May 15, 2019

Arlene Dahl's Beauty Spot, circa 1966

When you've seen as many of TV Guide's listings from the 1960s as I have, you get used to certain things that probably haven't been on TV in at least 40 years. One of those things is the daytime five-minute newsbreak. All three networks aired these, primarily in the '60s and '70s, and the faces of these brief news updates were quite well-known: Edwin Newman and Floyd Kalber on NBC, Douglas Edwards on CBS, and Marlene Sanders on ABC, among others. In the mid-60s, however, ABC had a five-minute break of another kind.

It was called Arlene Dahl's Beauty Spot; in last Monday's listing, it aired at 3:25 p.m. CT. Arlene Dahl, the host, was a Hollywood actress who achieved quite a bit of success thanks to her talent and her, well, anatomic assets.* However, she was no dumb blonde—actually, she was a redhead, but you get what I mean—and in 1954, while her acting career was still going strong she branched out into Arlene Dahl Enterprises, marketing cosmetics and designer lingerie. She also had her own syndicated newspaper beauty column, and later she became vice president of an advertising agency. Somewhere in there, she also gave birth to Lorenzo Lamas; her husband at the time (the second of six) was Fernando Lamas who undoubtedly looked marvelous.

*She's also yet another celebrity who hales from Minneapolis, graduating from Washburn High School, which is where I might have gone had we remained here during my teen years, rather than being exiled to the World's Worst Town™. She was a few years ahead of me, of course.

On September 27, 1965 the five-minute Arlene Dahl's Beauty Spot began on ABC; it would run until June 24, 1966, following Never Too Young, and later, Dark Shadows. Here are a couple of episodes, to give you an idea of what to expect the next time you see Arlene Dahl in the daytime listings.

Arlene Dahl is still alive today, at age 93. After all, we grow them hearty here in Minnesota. TV  

1 comment:

  1. The following is 100% guaranteed Off-Topic, but I wanted to make sure you saw it.
    Here goes:

    HBO is mounting a "re-imagining" of Perry Mason, which based on what I've been reading, is about as wrong-headed as anything in this realm that I've heard of - EVER.
    Two recent purchases I've made are my firm evidence of this:

    (1)- A book published in 1975 (reissued in 2015), Secrets Of The World's Best-Selling Writer, by Francis L. and Roberta B. Fugate.
    The Writer in question is, of course, Erle Stanley Gardner; the Fugates (husband and wife) assembled this work from Gardner's papers, archived at the University of Texas, accompanied by their own researches and interviews.
    The book provides an overview of Gardner's career writing hard-boiled mysteries for pulps and slicks, while maintaining a full-scale career as a trial lawyer in '30s Los Angeles.
    Here are excerpts from an introduction ESG wrote for a 1961 paperback reissue of a 1934 Perry Mason novel, The Case Of The Lucky Legs:

    Perry Mason shares the prerogative of all good fictional characters: They never grow old ...
    ...(TCOT Lucky Legs) occurred in a period when … (Mason) had the great advantage of complete freedom of action …
    … a young, relatively unknown fighting criminal lawyer can get into a series of most attractive escapades with skeleton keys and an impulsive disregard for the finer points of legal ethics …

    The whole intro is quite a bit longer (it helps if you're familiar with Gardner's speaking voice), but I think you get the idea.
    My point (?) is that the HBO Mason "re-imagining" is the wrongest possible approach to the character: if there was a "real" Perry Mason, it was the 1930s Erle Stanley Gardner himself, who idealized himself (after a few false starts) into Perry Mason - and that's where the HBO people ought to go for their inspiration, instead of third-hand pulp detective stuff.
    By the way, I've only basically scanned the book, but I'm reasonably sure that the word noir never appears therein (I've always thought that the whole noir notion is so much expired horseradish - but that's another story …).

    (2) - A few weeks back, purely by chance, I came upon a DVD collection of nine (9) episodes of The New Perry Mason, the 1973 redo with Monte Markham.
    I happened to already have one NPM show from Martin Grams, which looks like he found it in somebody's basement, beside the water heater; this "new" set I found at the Windy City Pulp & Paper Show (and I didn't get the name of the seller *darndarndarndarndarn*), so this gives me 10 of the 15 episodes, So There Too.
    My own view in '73 (I was 20-something at the time) was that this wasn't a bad show at all, and with time could have gotten pretty good; I noticed that the behind-the-scenes staff was almost all carried over from the original show.
    But The FBI and Disney were more than the market could bear, and so much for The New Perry Mason; it happened that way back then …

    As I said above, Off-Topic, but I thought I'd pass it along.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!