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Arlene Francis on WML After Tragic Accident This is the introduction of the What's My Line panelists for June 26, 1960. It was the night after a freak accident, originating from Arlene Francis' Manhattan home, in which an unfortunate passerby was killed. Arlene lived in an eighth-floor apartment at the Ritz Tower at the corner of Park Avenue and 57th Street. Eight-pound weightlifting dumbbells were used to prop open a screen window of the apartment where an air conditioning unit had been removed. On the night before this show aired, while Arlene was in Connecticut peforming in a play, a maid accidentally knocked a dumbbell out the window. It struck a luckless pedestrian on the street below and killed him! The victim, Alvin M. Rodecker, a financier from Detroit, was visiting New York City with his wife to celebrate his 60th birthday. (Rodecker's wife noted the last thing her husband said was what a wonderful time he was having.) In 1962 Francis paid Rodecker's estate $175,000 in an out-of-court settlement. The Ritz Tower paid $10,000. John Daly congratulates Arlene on appearing so soon on WML after the awful incident.
Tags: Whats  My  Line    Arlene  Francis  tragedy 
Added: 8th March 2009
Views: 14059
Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2009-03-08 
Arlene Francis was a bit of an accident magnet. Some WML episodes show her wearing an eye patch after an accident. She also had a sling hidden by a stole in a few other WML episodes.
Posted by: Steve on 2009-03-08 
That settlement was generous of her. I'm certain she didn't own the apartment building who owns the defective window. Had the windows worked as intended there would be no need to prop the window open.
Posted by: Naomi on 2009-03-08 
Good grief, couldn't she have used something a little lighter, like a piece of wood??
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2009-03-08 
You can bet she never did that again.

One other bit of Arlene Francis accident trivia: Three years later, in 1963, she was involved in a fatal car accident. (The driver of the other car was killed.) Arlene injured her shoulder. That's when she made a few appearances on the show wearing a sling.
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