Alan Alda and Arlene Weiss were at a dinner party when the hostess’s rum cake suddenly fell from the top of the fridge to the kitchen floor. They were the only ones who tried eating it with their spoons, and this led to a beautiful, decade-long relationship.
Alan Alda was studying theatre and improvisation at Fordham University when he met his wife Arelene Weiss, who was studying music at New York City’s Hunter College for the first time, after watching her play Mozart on the clarinet at an apartment party in college.
A couple of weeks later, they were both invited by a mutual friend to a dinner party at the same apartment. They were sitting at opposite ends of the table when a rum cake placed on the top of the fridge fell due to the shaking of the refrigerator.
Alan Alda as the surgeon Capt. Benjamin Franklin Pierce (Hawkeye) from the CBS sitcom “M*A*S*H, California,” in 1973 [left]. Alan Alda and wife Arlene Alda attend the World Science Festival’s 12th Annual Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 22, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images
Alda and Weiss were the only ones who tried eating the cake off the floor, and from that moment on, they became inseparable. Alda was also drawn to Weiss when she heard her laugh at his joke.
Afterward, the New York natives walked through 6 inches of snow on the central park, but they were too busy paying attention to one another to care. They then walked around in circles and shared cakes.
Alan Alda at the “Sylvia” opening night held at Cort Theatre on October 27, 2015 | Photo: Getty Images
After their adorable dinner encounter, Alda and Weiss started seeing each other before eventually tying the knot a year later, on March 15, 1957. At the time of their marriage, the lovebirds were still trying to make something of their careers.
Weiss, born on March 12, 1933, in the Bronx, New York, was pursuing her career as a musician, playing the clarinet for the Houston Symphony Orchestra under conductor Leopold Stokowski.
Alda, on his part, did not land his first big television role till 1958, when he guest-starred as Carlyle Thompson III on “The Phil Silvers Show.” Alda embraced the stage and started performing in various stage plays like “The Owl and the Pussycat” between 1964 and 1965.
He also starred in the broadway 1966 production of “The Apple Tree.” His performance in “The Apple Tree” saw him nominated for his first Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical.
Meanwhile, Weiss made a career switch from music to photography after studying with renowned New York photographers Lou Bernstein and Morton Shapiro. She also exhibited several major one-person shows for Nikon House and the Mark Humphrey Gallery in New York.
Her photographs also appeared in Vogue, People Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, and Life Magazine. In 1972, Alda rose to fame when he was cast for the T.V. show “M.A.S.H.” His performance in the series saw him nominated for 21 Emmy Awards; he won five.
He further starred in Hollywood hits, including “The Seduction of Joe Tynan” alongside Meryl Streep and “Woody Allen’s Crimes.” Weiss decided to invest her efforts into children’s books.
From the 1990s, she authored 15 children’s books, including “Lulu’s Piano Lesson” and “Morning Glory Monday.” She also provided her own photography as illustrations in many of her books. The couple are parents to three daughters, Eve, Elizabeth, and Beatrice. They are also grandparents to eight grandchildren.
ARLENE WEISS’S SUPPORT FOR HER HUSBAND
A couple of days before their 63rd wedding anniversary, Alan Alda revealed his wife, Weiss, taught him how to read the newspaper and be a better thinker.
Alan Alda attends the premiere of “Art” in New York City on March 1, 1998 | Photo: Getty Images
She also was very supportive and held Alda to his values. The mother of three also never asked him to get a corporate job during the early years of their marriage when they were still struggling with their careers.
Alda praised her for being the soul of his soul before stating that he would not have been as successful as he is without her. Weiss would encourage him whenever he left the house for work.
On her thoughts about the reason why their marriage lasted as long as it did, Weiss revealed the secret is a short memory. She explained that there is no relationship as close as a marriage that does not go through a rough time.
Alan Alda at the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images
During these tough times when couples are yelling at each other, it is important to remember that the person they are yelling at is someone they love.
Alan Alda and Arlene Weiss are parents to three daughters; Eve Alda, Elizabeth Alda, and Beatrice Alda. Their eldest, Eve Alda, was born on December 18, 1958.
Unlike her parents, Eve decided to stay out of the spotlight, opting for a more traditional life. She studied psychology at Connecticut College and currently lives in Winchester, Massachusetts.
She once posted on Facebook about her father’s choice to reveal he has Parkinson’s disease. She praised her father for continuing with his acting career despite the diagnosis.
Their second born, Elizabeth Alda, was born on August 20, 1960. She followed in her father’s footsteps making her acting debut alongside him in the 1981 movie “The Four Seasons.”
Elizabeth also went on to appear in 1986’s “Night of the Creeps.” After a short period in Hollywood, she traded acting for a career in teaching special education.
Beatrice Alda is the last born of the couple. She was born on August 10, 1961. She also followed in her father, Alda’s footsteps, appearing alongside him and elder sister in “The Four Seasons.”
She followed that up with appearances in “A New Life” and “Men of Respect.” Beatrice made her directorial debut with the documentary “Out Late.” She is the proud owner of the production company “Forever Films Studios” and also mum to four adorable children.