You’re So Glamourous

By | Mar 12, 2021 | No Comments

One of the great Hollywood actresses I would often see when working at Trattoria Dell’Arte was Arlene Dahl. She’s still full of energy and probably well into her 90s.

Arlene Dahl
Arlene Dahl

She was once married to actor Lex Barker, best known for playing Tarzan, and then later to Argentine-American actor Fernando Lamas, with whom she bore several children, one being the actor Lorenzo Lamas. On one occasion, she organized a reunion of sorts and invited some Hollywood royalty to the restaurant. In addition to Lorenzo, Jane Powell and Dick Moore were guests, as were Rosemary Clooney (George Clooney’s aunt) and her husband, Dante.

One of the last surviving stars from the classic Hollywood era, Dahl first made a name for herself in the hit movie My Wild Irish Rose (1947), then as a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract star in such films as The Bride Goes Wild (1948), A Southern Yankee (1948), Scene of the Crime (1949), Ambush (1950) and Three Little Words (1950) with Fred Astaire.

When her party arrived, we sat them in the middle of the dining room as this is where we often sat large parties as we could combine several tables in a row. Arlene was always magnificently dressed—I assume she never left her apartment unless she was completely put together, dolled up to the max. And her gorgeous auburn hair was always perfectly coiffed. She was the archetypal glamorous Hollywood movie star. On the other hand, Jane Powell was a hoot, as was her husband, Dick. They loved to tell me all kinds of ribald tales about their Hollywood years. And together with Arlene, they were a fun gang. But Arlene always kept her composure unless she was in their company. Then she would get a little looser, but not much.

I miss those times a lot, as these people were cut from an entirely different cloth and represented a time and place that was magical and special and where civility and decorum, at times, ruled supreme.

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