Arline Francis Kazanjian, The First Lady of American Television

American television star Arline Francis Kazanjian was born in 1907 in Boston (Massachusetts), in a family of Armenians who emigrated to the United States from the Ottoman Empire as a result of the Hamid Massacre in 1894-1896.

The future TV star’s youth was spent in New York, where she received her education at Finch College and began her career as an actress on Broadway. Until 1949, Francis was the only showwoman on American television channels and aired on major American television channels – ABC and NBC.

In 1950, an American Armenian woman became one of the hosts of the most popular CBS What’s my Line quiz in the US: the participants of the show asked questions to guess the kind of classes or profession of the people specially invited to the studio I’m doing it.

It was during these years that Arlene became the highest-paid American TV presenter – her income in the 1950s was $1,000. The television show with the participation of an Armenian woman won three American Tele Emmy awards (in 1952, 1953, and 1958), and in 1962, Arlin received the Golden Globe. In 1954, Newsweek called Arlene “the first lady of television,” and in 1973 she was awarded the title of “Woman of the Year” in the United States.

Arlin Kazanjian’s television career lasted until 1991 when due to health reasons she decided to leave the television and move to San Francisco (California). The famous American TV presenter and actress of Armenian descent passed away in May 2001, at the age of 93.

by Iren Vardanyan in Armenians And Armenia

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