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Arlene Francis

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Arlene_Francis&chld=H_100&junk=junk.png Arlene Francis Venus symbol.svg
Theatre arts december 1958.jpg
Birth name Arline Francis Kazanjian
Birthplace Boston
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Birth date 20 October 1907
Death date 2001/05/31
Death year 2001
Profession Actress
Ethnicities Armenian

Arlene Francis was born Arlene Francis Kazanjian on October 20th, 1907 in Boston, Massachusetts. She died on May 31st, 2001 in San Francisco, California at the age of 93 after a long bout with Alzheimer's disease.


Arlene Francis had one of the broader and varied careers of any entertainer of the 20th century. She was an accomplished actress with 25 Broadway plays to her credit, from "La Gringa" in 1928 all the way up to "Don't Call Back" in 1975. She also performed in many, many local theatre and off-Broadway plays during her career.

Arlene was also a well known New York radio personality, having hosted several radio shows,including one that she hosted up until her diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in the early 1990s.

Arlene was also an accomplished game player, including some 25 years on the legendary US panel game show What's My Line. She appeared for the first time on the 2nd episode of What's My Line in 1950 and remained right through to the end of the syndicated version of the program in 1975. She also appeared on many other game shows, including Match Game, Password (game) and essentially any other program that Mark Goodson and Bill Todman produced.

Arlene was a pioneer for woman on television. She hosted the "Home" show for NBC in the early 50s and she later hosted "Talent Patrol" in the mid 50s. Arlene was one of the first women to host a non musical or dramatic program.

Arlene also acted in several films in her career, including "One Two Three" (1961), which co-starred James Cagney and the tv version of the play "Laura" (1968), which she had played on stage several times, including just after "What's My Line" went off of the air.

On top of that, Arlene wrote an autobiography in 1977 entitled "Arlene Francis: A Memoir". The book is out of print, but can still be occasionally found on Ebay, among other places.

Personal Life

Arlene was married twice. Once was to Neil Agnew from 1935 to 1945. Her second marriage was to actor Martin Gabel from 1946 until his death on May 22nd, 1986 of a heart attack. Her marriage to Martin produced a son, Peter Gabel, who is currently (as of 2004) the president of the New College of California in San Francisco, California. Peter was at his mother's side when she passed away [edit]

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