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1960s / 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.