Alan Alda Met the Love of His Life Over a Ruined Rum Cake

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Alan Alda and wife Arlene Alda
Alan Alda and wife Arlene Alda

J Carter Rinaldi / FilmMagic NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 25: Actor/director Alan Alda and wife Arlene Alda attend the 2014 'CMEE In The City' fundraiser at Riverpark on February 25, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by J Carter Rinaldi/FilmMagic)

One of life's tiniest pleasures is scrolling to the "Personal Life" section on a celebrity's Wikipedia page, and discovering some delightfully pure fact about them. That happened a couple of days ago when a Twitter user learned how M*A*S*H and The West Wing actor Alan Alda met his wife almost 65 years ago.

"In 1956, while attending Fordham, Alda met Arlene Weiss, who was attending Hunter College," Alda's Wikipedia page reads. "They bonded at a mutual friend's dinner party; when a rum cake accidentally fell onto the kitchen floor, they were the only two guests who did not hesitate to eat it." The couple married a year later, and the two eighty-somethings are still together, and still very much in love.

A tweet with a screenshot of their adorable meet-cute went viral earlier this week, collecting over 164 thousand likes and 16 thousand retweets. It also got Alda's attention, and he added a couple of additional details to the story. "We did eat the rum cake off the floor and were inseparable after that," he tweeted. "But I was captivated by her even earlier in the meal when I heard her at the end of the table laughing at my jokes. She had me at Ha."

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

"Since reading this story years ago I've been throwing cakes on the floor at dinner parties ever since," one person responded. "Haven't had a single date." Another added that the couple "are the real deal," while another hopeless (or hopeful) romantic wrote that "we all just want someone to eat floor cake with."

In a 2015 interview with the New York Times, the Aldas both agreed that making each other laugh has been an essential aspect of their sixty-plus years together. "I have a very highfalutin notion about laughter," he said at the time. "I think when you laugh you make yourself momentarily vulnerable. Your defenses are not up, and if you can stay in a playful mood, where you are susceptible to laughter, your chances of being antagonistic with each other are lower."

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

They also told the Times about that now-infamous rum cake, and Arlene added that they had a "great chemistry" from the start. "It sure was fun and delightful to be with him that night," she swooned. "Boys from Manhattan didn't date girls from the Bronx. That was a given. It was too long of a trip. He took me home to the Bronx. Unheard of."

They were married 11 months later in front of fewer than 20 guests. When Alan got his first acting job — a $10-per-performance gig with a traveling children's company — they went out for a pizza to celebrate, and they've kept up that tradition: whenever Alan books a new job, the couple still mark the occasion with a pizza.

Their life together seems like it couldn't be lovelier, and the big takeaways seem to be 1) don't be afraid to laugh at yourself; 2) don't be afraid to laugh, period; and 3) if all else fails, push a cake onto the carpet and see what happens.