Arlene Alda | Biography 2021
Arlene Alda | Biography 2021

Quick Information

  • Full Name Arlene Alda
  • Occupation Musician, Photographer, Writer
  • Nationality American
  • Birthplace New York, USA
  • Born Year And Birthday Mar 12, 1933
  • Age 88 Years, 3 Months
Cast of 'Four Seasons'

Arlene Alda | Biography 2021

Clarinetist

Arlene Alda was the writer, director, and one of the leading characters in the 1981 movie 'Four Seasons.' The movie was about three wealthy couples who take a vacation together and encounter marital, parental, mid-life, and other predicaments. On the discography of the movie, she said that she incorporated some characteristics of herself, her husband Alan, and their married life in the movie, which could be relatable to the characters.


Quick Information
  • Full Name Arlene Alda
  • Occupation Musician, Photographer, Writer
  • Nationality American
  • Birthplace New York, USA
  • Profession Clarinetist
  • Birth Date Mar 12, 1933
  • Age 88 Years, 3 Months

Arlene Alda is an American musician, photographer, and writer famously known for her work in the movie 'Four Seasons' and her book 'Just Kids from the Bronx.'

Who is Arlene Alda?

Arlene Alda is a professional musician, photographer, and author of the book 'Just Kids from Bronx' published in 2015.

Alda started her career as a musician. She graduated with honors in music from Hunter College and received a Fulbright Scholarship to study Clarinet in Europe. She then worked at the National Orchestra in New York. Alda became the assistant first clarinetist in Houston Symphony under the baton of Leopold Stokowski, who is famously known for his work in Disney's Fantasia.

In 1957, after getting married to actor Alan Alda, she quit her professional music career to take care of their children. While raising them, she started doing photography, and her works were eventually published in national magazines like Vogue, People, and Good Housekeeping. Further, her pictures were also displayed in one-man shows in New York. She received 'Chicago Graphics Communications Award' for her photo essay 'Allison's Tonsillectomy' published in Health Magazine.

Alda is also a successful writer. She had penned over 20 books. The majority of her compositions are children's books, and some of them, such as 'Just Kids from Bronx' and '97 Orchard Street- Arlene's Photographs', are non-fiction and photographic books.

Early Life

Arlene Alda, originally Arlene Hope Weiss, was born on 12 March 1933 in Bronx, New York.

Alda grew up learning music and graduated with honors in music from Hunter College in 1954. Her parents made her take piano lessons in her childhood, so she grew up practicing the piano. As she got older, she lost interest in the piano and tried learning the clarinet instead. She fell in love with it and pursued it as her career. 

Recounting her choices, she said, "When I was a kid, I loved music but hated to practice. When I got older and playing an instrument was my own choice, I loved playing the clarinet and took off with it."

Alda received the Fulbright Scholarship and went on to study clarinet in Germany. After returning from Germany, she started working at the National Orchestra in New York. She then became assistant first clarinetist in the Houston Symphony, where she worked under the baton of Leopold Stokowski.

Photography and Movies

Alda gave up her music career in 1957 after marrying Alan Alda. She stayed home to take care of their children and took to photography as she could do it freely. Her photos soon got published in national magazines like Vogue, People, and Good Housekeeping. Her photographs were also displayed in one-man shows like Mark Humphrey Gallery in Southampton and Nikon House in New York City.

She was honored with 'Chicago Graphics Communications Award' for her photo essay 'Allison's Tonsillectomy' published in Health Magazine.

Further, she was on the camera and electrical department of Punky Brewster- a comedy TV series on air from 1984 to 1988.

She was also the writer, director, and one of the leading characters in the 1981 movie Four Seasons. The movie was about three wealthy couples who take a vacation together and encounter marital, parental, mid-life, and other predicaments.

On the discography of the movie, she said that she incorporated some characteristics of herself, her husband Alan, and their married life in the movie, which could be relatable to the characters.

She was one of the executive producers of the short film based on George Orwell's short story, Shooting an Elephant, released in 2016.

Books

Alda had published over 20 books since she started writing in 1981. Among them, 16 were children's books, and five were non-fiction and photo books. 

Some of her books include 'On-Set- A Personal Story in Pictures and Words' in 1981, 'The Last Days of MASH' in 1983, '97 Orchard Street- Arlene's Photographs' in 2001, and 'Just Kids from the Bronx' in 2015.

'Just Kids from the Bronx' was one of her critically acclaimed books. She described what it was like to grow up in the town Bronx that produced today's influencers in almost every field of the sphere. She featured her own Bronx memories, including encounters with a nun, a cop, and an urban planner, as well as with Al Pacino, Mary Higgins Clark, Carl Reiner, Colin Powell, Maira Kalman, Bobby Bonilla, and a slew of other celebrities, athletes, scientists, and entrepreneurs.

The former president of the United States, Bill Clinton, reviewed her book and said, "Arlene Alda must be a great listener because all kinds of amazing people tell her remarkable things in 'Just Kids from the Bronx.' No matter where you grew up, you'll find this a down-to-earth, inspiring book about the American promise fulfilled."

In 2018, the duo co-authored and released the book 'Journeys: An American Story: 72 Essays about Immigration and American Greatness.'

Personal Life

Arlene met her husband, Alan, at a Manhattan party hosted by a mutual friend in 1956. The hostess, by mistake, dropped a rum cake off from the top of the refrigerator. Arlene and Alan picked their spoons and sat down on the kitchen floor to eat the cake.

They bonded over that incident, and Arlene recounted it as the beginning of their lifelong friendship in a 1981 interview, "We were the only two people who did it and I think it cemented our friendship for life. That sort of playfulness has stood us in good stead for 24 years."

They got married 11 months later, in 1957.

Alan was a struggling actor at that time, and Arlene had stopped working after giving birth to their first daughter. So, to make their ends meet, from time to time, Arlene gave piano lessons and played at parties and gatherings. Alan went on to star and co-write on the popular comedy series M*A*S*H. He later received an 'Academy Award' nomination for the movie The Aviator, released in 2004.

The couple has three daughters Eve, Elizabeth, and Beatrice, and eight grandchildren.

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