Up on Fifth Avenue at Doubles, a hundred New Yorkers were celebrating the 20th wedding anniversary of Arlene Dahl and Marc Rosen
This past Tuesday, Arlene Dahl and Marc Rosen celebrated their 20th anniversary at Doubles
Last Tuesday while four hundred New Yorkers were down at Capitale at the Municipal Arts Society’s memorial testimonial for George Trescher, up on Fifth Avenue at Doubles, the private dining and dancing club in the Sherry Netherland, another hundred New Yorkers (including a number from other parts of the globe) were having a wonderful time, a fabulous time, celebrating the 20th wedding anniversary of their friends Arlene Dahl and Marc Rosen.

Arlene Dahl was one of the stars in the MGM heavens
in the late 1940s and 50s when I was a kid. Stardom in those days was quite different from stardom today. It was all heady technicolor. The image presented to the world was totally glamorous – male or female. The public saw the personalities as glamorous creatures on or off screen. There were dozens of movie magazines to do what the tabloids and People and US Weekly and all the rest of us media organs do today. But the movie magazines were part of the great Studio publicity machine and glamour pervaded and prevailed there also.

Glamour was part of the job description.
It was a lot of work and many didn’t much enjoy it. Which is understandable – in most cases they were people who were actors – that was their job, and not crazy about gussying up for the public when not working. But they did it because that’s what they were paid for – promoting the illusions of the movies.

My friend Leonard Stanley who has lived in Los Angeles most of his life tells the story of when he was a kid growing up in Hawaii his favorite movie star was Lana Turner. It so happened during the War, his family had to evacuate Hawaii for the mainland. The first night in Los Angeles they put up in the old Biltmore Hotel downtown. Leonard, the kid movie fan was so excited to be near “Hollywood,” asked his mother if he could stay up late to sit in the lobby and “watch for Lana Turner.”

Thinking back, he laughs at the naïveté of a kid assuming "Lana Turner would just happen by the Biltmore Hotel some night while this seven-year-old was sitting in the lobby waiting to catch a glimpse of her." However, as fate would have it that very first night in L.A. for Leonard, she did. Lana Turner showed up, in all her celluloidal glory, got up in white satin and white furs and diamonds and that key-light glow. And Lana was famous in the business for her "entrances." (And equally as famous for letting her hair, and everything else, down the minute "the entrance" was over).

So little Leonard went to bed that night dreaming of nothing but seeing Lana Turner the Movie Star in the flesh. Many years later, now living and working in Hollywood as an interior decorator, one day he was invited to a luncheon and found himself seated next to the lady herself: Miss Lana Turner.

Leonard in his excitement told Lana his story of his being a kid waiting up for her in the lobby of the Biltmore Hotel. With his natural penchant for detail, he recounted for her outfit that night, right down to the rings on her fingers (and bells on her toes).

Many years had passed by then, and MGM was long gone from her and everyone else’s life — although she was still very much the star, at least in her own mind (and Leonard Stanley’s). So at this luncheon, Lana Turner listened politely as her lifelong fan Leonard Stanley described her costume of that night in the Biltmore lobby a quarter century before. And when Leonard was finished with his description of her “ensemble,” his favorite star, clearly disinterested in his memory, said: “Oh yeah, I used to have to wear that fuckin' shit all the time."

Nowadays the “stars” look like hell a lot of the time, just like the rest of us. Glamour, like many other things, is just a four-letter word.
The King of Diamonds, Marc Rosen and the Queen of Hearts, Arlene Dahl
Arlene Dahl, however, many years later continues that great tradition, and wherever you may see her, you’ll recognize the familiar face and see the very glamour she always projected for these kids. It’s a trip, and the same kind it always was for those of us who were around to take it: fun.

So: the other night Arlene Dahl and Marc Rosen celebrated their 20th at a black tie dinner. The evening began with cocktails. In the crowd: Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson, Dina Merrill and Ted Hartley, CeCe and James Earl Jones, Kathy and Rick Hilton, Rita Gam and Peter Powell, Patrice Munsel and Robert Schuler, Susan Lucci and Helmut Huber, Sally Jesse Raphael and Karl Soderland, Wendy Carduner, Barbara de Portago, and Barbara Taylor and Robert Bradford.

Arlene Dahl and Marc Rosen
While dinner was being served, things turned into a musical “love-in,” according to our correspondent Roger Webster. Arlene’s son with Fernanda Lamas, Lorenzo Lamas sang “Surrey With a Fringe On Top” to a standing ovation. (Someone later mentioned that he’d love to do a Broadway show. Then Yanna Avis sang “La Vie En Rose” as only a French chanteuse can. Lilliane Montevecchi announced that “I feel like Arlene and Marc are my family because they know I am an orphan and with them I always have a home.” She noted that there are many kinds of love and then sang “Mon Homme.”

Dick Gallagher, who wrote the off-Broadway hit “When Pigs Fly” was the musical director and the accompanist. “They all came to me to rehearse their numbers at least once,” he said. It showed. Tommy Tune sang the Rodgers and Hart’s “I'll Tell the Man on the Street,” with lyrics he altered to fit the occasion including references to the Web and AOL. and then segued into “My Funny Valentine.” Christopher Barker, a son from Arlene’s marriage to movie Tarzan Lex Barker, who had flown in from Geneva for the evening, sang “On The Street Where You Live.”

David Staller jumped up on the piano to sing Irving Berlin’s “(I’ll Be Loving You) Always,” prefacing it with the story about how Irving Berlin gave the song to his wife Ellin MacKay as a wedding gift, after her father had disinherited her for marrying a Jew. Ironically, Clarence MacKay hit a financial rough spot during the Depression and Irving Berlin lent him money. (Ed’s note: Even more ironically, Ellin Berlin learned from her mother shortly before her mother’s death, that MacKay wasn’t really Ellin’s father; it was Arthur Brisbane, the Hearst editor/publisher).

Jeffrey Butler was emcee and many pals and family members took the microphone to express their affection. Tom McGrath told how he and his wife Diahn had given the couple their first engagement party on Valentine’s Day, 22 1/2 years ago. There was a blizzard that night and the snow accumulated and drifted to form a huge heart in the middle of their garden - how foretelling.

Shayne Lamas and Cindy Adams
Cindy Adams brought down the house when she said that she and Mark had gone into business together with a perfume called “Gossip.”

“The only thing is, we didn’t make any money,” she explained, then turning to Marc, she asked: “What did you do, cook the books?”

Right then, without missing a beat, Joan Rivers jumped up and shouted, “I don’t like to talk in public -I swear to God, but I had to say something because I went into the perfume business with Marc too, and I didn’t make any money either ...! You’re under arrest!” she said in that Rivers mock-seriousness.

Then Rick Hilton grabbed the mike and said to Rivers and Adams, “I don’t know what is wrong with you two, I went into the perfume business with Marc and made a fortune. In fact the money is still rolling in.”

All their children were there. Daughter, Carole Holmes McCarthy, who has her mother’s classic features, said, “They were married on a cruise ship, and life is not a cruise without waves, but your marriage has been smooth sailing.” The youngest, Stephan Schaum perfectly summed the mood saying, “I love you very much.”

Many commented on Arlene and Marc’s roles as parents and grandparents. Thanks to Arlene, Marc has seven step- children and nine step-grandchildren.
Arlene Dahl introduces her family: Marc Rosen, Lorenzo Lamas, Arlene Dahl, Carole Holmes McCarthy, Shanye Lamas, Stephen Schaum, and Christoper Barker
Marty Richards said he thought Lorenzo’s beautiful blonde 17-year-old daughter Shayne Lamas was his date.

Shayne said that her grandmother, who she calls GaGa was her idol, “and yes, I will follow in her footsteps. Just look at the glow in GaGa’s face and you can see how happy she is.” she said. “We call Marc, Papa Marc,’ and he’s awesome,” she added.

Marty Richards and Tommy Tune
Arnold Scassi recalled meeting Arlene in an elevator on the way to a Halloween party. He was dressed as Jackie Coogan (the child star of the silent movies), his date was dressed as Shirley Temple, but Arlene was not in costume, so he asked her, “who are you going as?”

“I’m going as Rhonda Fleming,” she replied, and Arnold “knew she would be a friend for life.”

Arlene was beaming when she made her toast. “Life is a wonderful bouquet of beautiful flowers,” she said. ”I’ve enjoyed all the little things we do together like antiquing or looking all over the world for the best rice pudding with raisins, but most of all, I thank Marc for bringing so many friends into my life, the ones who are here and the ones who have called from all points of the Zodiac and the world.”

It was also at Marc’s 56th birthday. “They all said it wouldn’t last because I was younger than she - and her sixth husband,” he reminded the guests. “But I’m here to tell you that I’ve lasted ten years longer than her last longest marriage,” adding, “and twenty years later, I look older than Arlene.”

Among the other guests singing “Happy Birthday” when the cake came out were Arizona Diamondback star Steve Finley with his wife interior designer Amy Finley, TCM’s Robert Osbourne, Nancy and Gerald Tsai, Isabel Leeds, Marife Hernandez and Joel Bell, Marjorie Reed and Ellery Gordon, Parker Ladd, Barbara and Donald Tober, Frances Scaife and Thomas McCarter, and Mario Buatta.
Lilliane Montevecchi
David Staller
Yanna Avis
Stephen Schaum
Marc Rosen, Arlene Dahl, Lorenzo Lamas, and Shayne Lamas
Arlene Dahl and Maria Theresa Fauci
Vincent Ricardel, Lorenzo Lamas, and Christopher Barker
Lilliane Montevecchi, Arlene Dahl, and Rita Gam
Nell Yperifanos, Arlene Dahl, and Susan Mados
Shanye Lamas, Rose Sachs, and Lorenzo Lamas
James Earl Jones and Cecilia
Sally Jesse Raphael and Karl Soderlund
Helmet Huber and Susan Lucci
Arlene Dahl and Jerry Tischman
John Hendrickson and MaryLou Whitney
Patrice Munsel and Robert Schuler
Parker Ladd and Arnold Scassi
Carole Holmes McCarthy and Marc Rosen
Tommy Tune
Steve and Amy Finley
Marc Rosen, Frances Scaife, and Thomas McCarter
George Mann, Pamela Cherry, and Arlene Dahl
Maria Theresa Fauci and Joan Rivers
Ted Hartley and Dina Merrill
Catherine Nugent and Gerald Tsai Jr.
Janice Avdott, Jeffrey Butler, and Marie Jose Pagliai
George O'Sullivan and Peter Powell
Marife Hernandez and Isabelle Leeds
Wendy Carduner and Joan Rivers
Rick and Kathy Hilton with Audrey and Martin Gruss
Marife Hernandez, Joel Bell, and Isabelle Leeds
L. to r.: Isabelle Leeds and Stephen Stempler; Peter Powell and Rita Gam; Carole Holmes, Barbara Tober, and Audrey Gruss.

Photographs by Rob Rich/516-676-3939 - robwayne1@aol.com


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