Here she is with another beauty, Rhonda Fleming (left), in Slightly Scarlet.
The pair looks pretty sexy but note that hauteur expression on Arlene Dahl’s face indicating that she regards her refined pulchritude chops superior to those of Fleming’s. That’s a debate for another day.
The point is that for much of her career Dahl, as impressive as she looked, was never cut out to be a film noir vixen. (Fleming is aces in that department.) But in Slightly Scarlett, she lets her red hair down, so to speak.
Dahl plays a kleptomaniac with designs on leading man John Payne, who portrays a syndicate mobster. Fleming plays her good sister also with an unhealthy interest in Payne. What a juicy noir plot setup. Slightly Scarlett is certainly worth seeking out.
Ok, let’s get to the answers to our Arlene Dahl Quiz.
1) Question: What does Dahl have in common with Tippi Hedren, Hope Lange and Grace Kelly? a) All four are gorgeous film actresses; b) All four were sexually harassed early in their careers; c) All four were special beauty contest winners; d) Nothing.
1) Answer: a) is acceptable but the real answer is c). All four actresses were winners in the Miss Rheingold Beer contest, a popular competition in the New York area in the Forties and Fifties. The citations provided an early career boost to each.
2) Question: What does Dahl have in common with Elizabeth Taylor and Martha Raye? a) Multiple marriages; b) Stints at the MGM movie factory; c) Hair color; or d) Nothing.
2) Answer: The right response is clear: a). Taylor had eight, Raye had seven and Dahl went through six. Two of her husbands were notable actors: Lex Barker (husband No. 1 from 191 to 1952) and Fernando Lamas (husband No. 2 from 1954 to 1960). That’s Fernando with Arlene below.
3) Question: What did Dahl do after she retired from making big-screen movies? a) Wrote her memoirs; b) Raised racing horses; c) Plowed into the world of big business; or d) Nothing.
3) Answer: After she pretty effectively hung it up in Hollywood around 1960, Dahl parlayed her Hollywood past becoming a beauty columnist and writer and setting up her own business marketing lingerie and cosmetics. She said she liked acting but liked business better. At one point she became a “health and beauty editor” at Sears, Roebuck. Her tome shown below originates from this period.
4) Question: Despite earning pretty good money via her Hollywood career and various business ventures, Dahl declared bankruptcy in her Fifties. a) True; or b) False?
4) Answer: a) True. Dahl declared bankruptcy in 1981 with a nearly million dollar liability versus some $620,000 in assets. Figuring in all this was a $450,000 U.S. Small Business Administration Loan.
5) Question: Dahl’s last movie is 1991’s Night of the Warrior, a routine action outing. Why was it so special to the actress? a) A very large pay check; b) A family member in the cast; c) It was her first movie job in nearly 20 years; d) It wasn’t.
5) Answer: b) The movie starred Lorenzo Lamas, Dahl’s son by Fernando.