Panelist: Alan Dale
Episodes in which Alan Dale appears
My wife, Betty, and I were married in 1948 while I was getting my Engineering/Physics degree at the University of Leeds in England. Subsequently we moved south to Chelmsford where I worked in radar for Marconi’s. I made a business trip to the US in 1955 and liked what I saw so when I received an offer to work there we decided to move and wound up on the Queen Elizabeth headed for a place in N.Y called Rochester that we had never heard of before. I worked there for Stromberg Carlson on aircraft navigation equipment and Betty began a long nursing career at the Genesee Hospital.
After a couple of cold and snowy Rochester winters I was offered a job in Los Angeles. Betty continued in nursing at the Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance and I continued to work in aviation electronics until 1965 when we moved to Northern California where I worked at Lockheed on the Gemini Agena spacecraft. CBS News needed a so-called technical expert to help with their commentaries and I was elected to work with them, giving me my first experience before a TV camera which came in an interview with Mike Wallace in front of an estimated 9 million viewers. A scary day!
During this time Betty continued her nursing career as a medical assistant to a local doctor. I moved on to work with different companies in the electronic field but the CBS experience got me interested in radio and TV with the result that I took radio DJ courses at the local Junior College and did DJ work on several local stations playing big band music. In the mid 80’s I was asked to do pledge breaks for the local PBS outlet which I did for almost 25 years.
In addition to her work in the medical field Betty was very successful as an amateur actor at local area theatres. At one time a TV production was ongoing in a nearby park and the theatre director was asked if he could recommend a mature actress with nice cocktail clothing and Betty was selected! She was hooked (after being chaperoned by handsome actors in dress suits during a filmed cocktail party!) and we went together to a San Francisco casting agency to sign her up and I asked if I could be signed up as well. The end result has been an exciting second career for both of us. We have done many commercials (some together and some solo) and both of us have had tiny film parts. In my case I went to a half time work schedule and Betty was able to get time off from her medical assistant duties. Now that we are both retired we found it easy to go to Rochester for the Second Opinion filming and we are delighted that it received an award.
In addition to our working career we were fortunate enough to be blessed by having three children, the first being born before I ever met Betty. Her husband and father of our son was a victim of WWII. Peter now lives in Carlsbad, CA. Our first daughter (Sally) is a product of Genesee Hospital and now lives in McLean Va and our second daughter was born at the Little Company of Mary hospital and now lives in Encinitas, CA. Thanks to our two daughters we now have seven grandchildren.