Hunter Hall of Fame

Dorothy Arnold

Born Nov. 21, 1917, in Duluth, Minn.
Died Nov. 13, 1984, in Palm Springs, Calif.

Dorothy Arnoldine Olson graduated from Denfeld in 1935 and went on to become a Hollywood actress, using the stage name Dorothy Arnold. Her 20-year movie career began with 1937’s Freshies and ended with 1957’s Lizzie.

At age 12 she performed on amateur nights at Duluth’s Lyric Theater and with the local Salvation Army Band. Her first theatrical job was with the Band Box Revue, traveling out of Chicago. She studied at Paramount School in New York and played bits in pictures as a dancer.

Arnold tested twice with Paramount Pictures, but it was Universal Studios that offered her a stock contract. She appeared in 15 films between 1937 and 1939. Her most memorable roles were as the imperiled heroine Jean Drew in The Phantom Creeps (with Bela Lugosi and Robert Kent) and the undercover chorus girl Gloria DeVere in The House of Fear (with Irene Hervey and William Gargan).

She met baseball star Joe DiMaggio in 1937 on the set of Manhattan Merry-Go-Round. DiMaggio had a minor speaking role in the film; Arnold had no lines. They soon became a couple, and married on November 18, 1939 at SS Peter and Paul Cathedral in San Francisco.

On October 23, 1941, the year of DiMaggio’s famous 56-game hitting streak, Arnold gave birth to their first child, Joe DiMaggio, Jr. The couple split up in 1942 and divorced in 1944.

Following her marriage to DiMaggio, she quit acting. A brief comeback in 1957 included her last film, MGM’s Lizzie (with Eleanor Parker and Joan Blondell) and appearances on TV’s The Adventures of Jim Bowie and Dragnet.

Arnold and her third husband, Ralph Peckovich, owned and operated a supper club together in Palm Springs, California, called Charcoal Charley's, where she performed until her death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 66.

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