Francis, Arlene (1908—)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Francis, Arlene (1908—)

During her long career as one of television's most versatile hostesses, Arlene Francis was the quintessence of wit and charm. Beginning her career as an actress on the stage and screen, Francis hosted a precursor to The Dating Game, called Blind Date, for three years in the early 1950s, while also emceeing the talent shows By Popular Demand and later, Talent Patrol. At the same time she radiated sophistication and good cheer as a regular panelist on What's My Line, the popular game show with which she was associated for 25 years. In 1954 NBC president Sylvester "Pat" Weaver chose Francis as host and editor-in-chief for a new concept in daytime television, Home, a serious talk show for women. The three year run of Home established Francis' credentials as a pioneer in the talk format. She returned to public affairs television in the early 1980s when she hosted a New York program, The Prime of Your Life, a noteworthy series for senior citizens.

—Ron Simon

Further Reading:

Francis, Arlene, with Florence Rome. Arlene Francis: A Memoir. New York, Simon and Schuster, 1978.