EXCLUSIVE: Lost Arlene Dahl Interview Highlights One of Hollywood’s Unlikeliest Age-Gap Romances

If you Google the name of retired Hollywood actress Arlene Dahl, the primary search result is a wonderful 1985 article by People magazine reporter John Stark. Today, FishbowlLA is thrilled to be able to add to this strand by means of a “lost” interview done with Dahl ahead of her July 1984 marriage to Marc Rosen.

Separated in age by 18 years, the two tied the knot several decades after the coupling of Mae West and Chester Rybinski/Paul Novak, and years ahead of two other more famous older-woman-younger man Hollywood unions: Susan SarandonTim Robbins and Demi MooreAshton Kutcher. Unlike those last two pairings, Dahl and Rosen are still together today, in spite of an age difference greater than that of Moore-Kutcher (15 1/2 years) or Sarandon-Robbins (12 years).

In the lost, pre sixth-wedding conversation, Dahl explains why she has been married so many times and candidly shares her concerns about the Rosen age difference. Her union was sealed long before the term “cougar” was coined by a Canadian dating site in 1999 and further popularized in a 2001 book by Valerie Gibson. But if the Internet had been around back then, you can be sure bloggers would have made liberal use of the term. From the lost interview:

“I was raised in the Midwest and I’ve done everything according to form. I’ve been a very old-fashioned girl. I don’t have romance until I get married. And I always [until now] marry an older man.”

“A lot of stars have affairs. I don’t have affairs. I get married because of my old-fashioned bringing up in Minnesota. And there’s a set thing in our society that the man has to be older than the woman, but I don’t know why. As a matter of fact, Marc and I have been asked to write a book about older women with younger men.”

Dahl goes on to reveal that one of the advantages of being with a younger man is that she “can dance from dusk until dawn without him wearing out.” Not to mention the fact that Rosen at the time had “his own teeth and his own hair.” Ha ha. What a great lady, and what a great romance.

We salute Ms. Dahl and Mr. Rosen, also partnered professionally under the banner Dahlmark Productions. The audiotape interview referenced here was recently uncovered and authenticated by Hollywood P.I. Paul Barresi, who was kind enough to share it with us. As far as we can tell, the summer 1982 conversation conducted by a veteran Hollywood journalist was either never been shared or has been published in a form that resides far from where Internet spiders roam.

Another thing Dahl talks about is how carefully she chose the date and time of her wedding to Rosen. The longtime believer in astrology relied on his-and-her charts as well as a consultation with the late Carroll Righter to settle very specifically on “high noon” July 30.

P.S. For some reason, Dahl’s year of birth is incorrectly listed on IMDb. She was born in 1925, not 1928, and this summer will celebrate her 88th birthday.

[Photo of Dahl with son Lorenzo Lamas at 2010 Hollywood Walk of Fame anniversary event: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com]

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
Publish date: April 8, 2013 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/arlene-dahl-marc-rosen-mae-west-paul-novak-susan-sarandon-tim-robbins-demi-moore-ashton-kutcher-cougar/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT