The story of a 64-year marriage is one that is about dedication and consistency. But before those decades of strength, M*A*S*H star and all-around entertainment legend Alan Alda and his wife Arlene started off with an unlikely.
It starts with a pretty incredible setting. Before the success of M*A*S*H and half a century of work in entertainment, Alan Alda was studying in the Big Apple. Attending Fordham University in the 1950s and studying English and theater, Alda didn’t leave the borough he was raised in.
During one of his years at school, Alda was invited to a party. It was there he met Arlene Weiss, a woman studying at Hunter College. Among the activities was a set from Arlene, who was working on her clarinet play. She would go on to play professionally after her studies.
When she concluded her performance of some of Mozart’s finest work, Alda made his move. “Hawkeye” Pierce is one of the most charismatic characters in TV history. Alda is arguably one of the most lovable actors in TV history.
So it’s a given that Alda would have something enthralling.
“You were good,” Alda said, according to a profile with the Washington Post.
M*A*S*H Star Alan Alda Gets Another Chance
Obviously, Alan and Arlene didn’t fall into each other’s arms that night. However, the future TV superstar did get another chance.
They returned to the same apartment for dinner a few weeks later. If one moment of eccentricity or awkwardness wasn’t enough, Alan and Arlene had another one in store, although they didn’t necessarily cause it.
When the hosts rum cake fell off the fridge, Alan and Arlene refused to let the connection with the floor ruin dessert. Instead, the pair grabbed a couple of spoons and salvaged what delicious bits of cake they could. No one else did, which is a hilarious image to think about.
As likely bewildered guests watched as Alda and Arlene dug in, the two began to make the connection. The fact that the two are still together to this day tells the rest of the story.
“So that was it,” he says. “From that time on we were almost inseparable.”