In “M*A*S*H,” Alan Alda, who played Captain Pierce Hawkeye, met his wife over cake. The actor claimed that even though it might seem unusual, it was the best way for them to meet. After that, they weren’t in any doubt about their compatibility.
In 1956, they connected at a gathering of friends. At the time, Arlene Weiss was a student at Hunter College, while Alan was enrolled at Fordham. The comedian-actor was spitting jokes from the other end of the table.
He was making jabs, and Arlene was at the other end of the table, laughing at everything he said. When Alan recalled it, he was fascinated. From the other side of the table, he could hear her laughing at his jokes. Alan recalled a rum cake that had slid from the top of a refrigerator and onto the floor at the same party. Only she and Arlene entered with spoons, eating them from the floor. That is how one learns. When two people eat cake off the floor, they become permanently lost.
After their dinner date, Alan did something “unheard of” for a Manhattanite: he drove Arlene home to the Bronx. They got married in a simple ceremony eleven months later. They had no idea they would become so well known. They merely want a simple way of life.
After 65 years, the relationship seems to be built on a fallen cake. Even at their older ages, they enjoy sharing laughs. From the small apartment they shared when they were younger, they have come a long way, but they are still entirely supportive of one another.
After more than six decades of being together, they are still going strong. Thanks to an endless supply of laughter and deep sympathy for one another, they continue to adore one another in their old age. Even though they are all older than 80, they are still actively pursuing their interests.
Alan produces and hosts his podcast, “Clear + Vivid with Alan Alda,” as Arlene tries to balance her to-do list. Despite everything, they always make time for one another. The two claimed that laughter is “the glue that maintains them joyfully and voluntarily bonded laughter.”
Alan, a comedian by profession, is particularly convinced of the value of laughing. The actor claimed that laughter makes people suddenly vulnerable, facilitating more accessible social interactions. Alan and Arlene have adopted this mentality in their marriage.
The two “guffawing ones,” as Arlene put it, gave the earth new life. They had three girls: Eve, Elizabeth, and Beatrice Alda. At first, they supported their family on a low salary, but Alan was soon cast as Hawkeye. But eventually, time management became the key.
Alan was in charge of the kids, while Alan was absent almost daily. She took up photography and started writing projects because she didn’t want to watch as her husband followed his goals. Even the most challenging moments were endured with laughter.
The actors kept themselves healthy even though they were raising Eve, Elizabeth, and Beatrice during one of their busiest seasons. Alan was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2015. He kept it a secret until 2018, when he first made it public.
As he got older, Alan kept acting in movies and television shows. When asked if Parkinson’s has affected his career, he responded that he has been open with the employees about his illness. Filmmakers were frequently not deterred by Alan’s illness but found new opportunities to expand his characters.
When the actor walked with his wife, he first noticed Parkinson’s disease symptoms. She looked at him and noticed that he wasn’t moving his arms. He quickly started acting out his dreams, sometimes brutally, which they thought was strange at first. Not long after, he received a formal diagnosis.
Alan’s way of life had to change to meet his new physical needs. He started sleeping with a cushion or two between him and Arlene so he wouldn’t hurt her during the night. Additionally, he launched a physical training program to deal with stiffness and other physical conditions.
Despite his diagnosis, Alan maintains his confidence. He’s created a successful life for himself. He says that “laughing with his wife” makes him the happiest, as he spends his days recording his podcast and playing chess with Arlene. Because of his illness, he is convinced that life is a never-ending cycle of “adapting, adjusting, and modifying.”
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