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THE MIKE WALLACE INTERVIEW
Guest: Dagmar
Monday, August 12, 1957
WALLACE:  Good evening, what you are about to witness is an unrehearsed, uncensored interview, 
my name is Mike Wallace, the cigarette is Philip Morris.
(OPENING CREDITS)
WALLACE:  Tonight, we will go after the story of a television phenomenon that was once described by The New York Times as having the voluptuous curves of a Venus, the provocative grace of a young Mae West,  and the virtue of a girl scout.  You see her behind me, she's Dagmar, television's original and most spectacular dumb blonde.  If you're curious to know what Dagmar thinks of psychoanalysis,  Jane Mansfield, Shakespeare, and the problems of television, we'll go after these stories in just a moment.  
My guest's opinions are not necessarily mine, the station's or my sponsor's Philip Morris Incorporated, but whether you agree or disagree, we feel that none will deny the right  of these views to be broadcast, and we'll talk to Dagmar in just a moment.
(COMMERCIAL)
WALLACE:  And now, to our story.  Six years ago, television introduced a sexy upbeat personality with and intriguing name, Dagmar.   Dagmar postured in low-cut gowns, she stared vacantly the way an owl does in sunlight,  and in her seventh draw she mangled the King's English like a feebleminded Scarlet O'Hara.   This calculated act, seven years ago, put Dagmar into the front ranks of America's glamour girls.   And speaking about television glamour girls, Dag, first of all, let me ask you this if I may... earlier this evening, Ed Sullivan Show featured Jane Mansfield, Steve Allen featured Jane Russell and here you are... 
DAGMAR:  I think you're lucky.
WALLACE:  What's that?
DAGMAR:  I think you're very lucky.
WALLACE:  (CHUCKLES) We count ourselves lucky too, but... Dagmar, what significance, if any, do you see in this trail?
DAGMAR:  Well, I think that sort of disputes the line that at this time of year New York isn't crowded...
WALLACE:  Do you think that...
DAGMAR:  He's tickled, what's that?
WALLACE:  Do you think it's a commentary on television, on American tastes on television, on summer time television or anything of this sort?
DAGMAR:  Well, I think that... Steve Allen and Ed Sullivan like to get the same type of people on their shows and... that's why they rather booked both of them.  Why did you book me?
WALLACE:  We're going to find that out in the next 25 minutes...
DAGMAR:  Are you really... you may be sorry.  (CHUCKLES)
WALLACE:  I wanted to spend a quiet 25 minutes with you anyway...
DAGMAR:  Really?
WALLACE:  Now, may I say...
DAGMAR:  Does it upset you when I interrupt you?
WALLACE:  Not at all.
DAGMAR:  Okay.
WALLACE:  Does it upset you when I ask you questions?
DAGMAR:  Lot of times it might, I'll let you know.
WALLACE:  I want you to be serious with me, for about 20 minutes tonight if you you can do it?
DAGMAR:  May give me a headache, but I'll try.
WALLACE:  First question, and I mean this is serious...
DAGMAR:  Watch it folks, this may be it...
WALLACE:  Which do you think has been more important to you professionally, your brains or your body?
DAGMAR:  I think you have to have a combination of both, I think you have to have brains and you should have some looks, I don't like to brag on myself -- some people say I look nice at times --  and I've even heard when you say that I was witty and I hope I don't make a liar out of you tonight...
WALLACE:  I'm sure that you won't.
DAGMAR:  I think you need both... I started out just sitting, so I didn't have to use my brains.
WALLACE:  That was on Television Open House?
DAGMAR:  Yes.
WALLACE:  I mean... television... not open house... 
DAGMAR: Is Broadway Open House.
WALLACE:  Broadway Open House.
DAGMAR:  Yes, that was seven years ago, as a matter of fact I'm seven years old, so watch what you ask me.  (CHUCKLES)
WALLACE:  (CHUCKLES) You started out just sitting with Jerry Lester.
DAGMAR:  Yes.  I did shows too and I used to read some poems and lectures and plays, so I didn't why really need much brains for that.   I had to use brains a little later on, when I was working in night clubs and  different things, I had to use my brains and also when I did the panel shows and assure you I use some brains when I'm working with you tonight... will they be there or not, I don't know...
WALLACE:  Jane... I was about to call you Jane.
DAGMAR:  Really, who were you thinking of? Dear...
WALLACE:  (CHUCKLES) Which do you think?  Which do you think, Dagmar?
DAGMAR:  Anyone named Jane would like to sit on these seats, lovely.  What's that...?  Is that this a camera?  Yes, I think it is.  Boys, I wish you move that camera back, I can't breath.  
WALLACE AND DAGMAR:  What's that?
DAGMAR:  (LAUGHS) It's true, this hugs you so tight, with this little lens... What did you ask me?  I forgot.
WALLACE:  I was about to ask you, which was more important to Jane Mansfield, her brains or her body?
DAGMAR:  Oh!  Well...
WALLACE:  Honestly.
DAGMAR:  Honestly, I think she has a lovely body and I think her brains... are very important in her rise to fame, because the little girl that I know, she is a nice little girl.   She, now, will get so much publicity and I think that helped her to get to Hollywood, and that was her life's ambition, I'm very happy for her and I think it definitely took brains to do that.
WALLACE:  What's your... What's your life's ambition?
DAGMAR:  My life's ambition is finally just to rest, I'm very lazy. (CHUCKLES)
WALLACE:  Aren't you a really ambitious girl?
DAGMAR:  No, I really am ambitious, what I would like to do next, Mike, is a Broadway musical.   I love to sing and I always have loved to dance.  Singing is one thing I never had too much confidence in...
WALLACE:  We'll come to that later.
DAGMAR:  Oh... you don't want to talk about that yet?
WALLACE:  Not for now.
DAGMAR:  What kind of ambition do you want to talk about?  We better watch him. (WINK)
WALLACE:  I want to stay... I want to stay with Dagmar, Jane Mansfield and Jane Russell.
DAGMAR:  Oh!  When I star on the stage I want to talk about me.  (LAUGHS) 
WALLACE:  How do you think that your appeal differs, shall we say, from Jane Mansfield's and Jane Russell's?
DAGMAR:  Well, I think being on television is a much friendlier medium than movies, or even the Broadway stage,  as a matter of fact, I think, many more people would come to me in the street and say:  "Hi there, Dagmar, I didn't like that dress you were wearing last night," than they would to, say a Jane Russell.   I think... there's sort of a screen in, between the public and movie stars: it's not as a friendly a medium, that make sense to you?
WALLACE:  It makes perfectly good sense.  You mean that you're also a friendlier girl, do you think possibly, than Russell and Mansfield?
DAGMAR:  I don't know either one of those girls, I... I know that Jane Mansfield is very friendly and I heard Jane Russell is also. 
WALLACE:  Professionally, right now, I'm told that you entertain at ballparks.
DAGMAR:  Oh, I love that.
WALLACE:  From minor league baseball games you appear in nightclubs as well.  Is that right?
DAGMAR:  Well, not just minor league now.  Cloyd Poe, is the boy that produces the shows, he just called me tonight,  from... he was in the Niagara Falls, but what's the one right after minor, before they get to major?
WALLACE:  I don't know what you're talking about...
DAGMAR:  He just told me... a league...
WALLACE:  There's minor and major... really?
DAGMAR:  No... no, there's another league right after you leave the minor leagues there's another league that you go into, before you go into majors.
WALLACE:  That was last week... Bob Taylor, I mean.
DAGMAR:  No, no, no...  Oh, he was very good by the way.  No, a friend says now, I've started in the minor leagues...  I'm going to go to Cincinnati on September 24th...
WALLACE:  That's the major.
DAGMAR:  I know it is, but there's a league in between and I can't figure it out... does anybody know what league that is?
WALLACE:  If anybody... is what's that?  The International?  
DAGMAR:  Yes, the International... 
WALLACE:  Is that? Thank you very much.
DAGMAR:  That's it.  I'm going to do a few of those before September 24th.
WALLACE:  Well now, that we have all straight.
DAGMAR:  Oh, I like Cloyd Poe, and I think he's listening, I'm glad we brought up his name.
WALLACE:  The point that I'm trying to make (CHUCKLES) though is...
DAGMAR:  You like points...?
WALLACE:  Yes...
DAGMAR:  I'm glad... yes, what was that...?
WALLACE:  And up to now, you're ahead about six to four, I'd say.
DAGMAR:  Well don't worry about it, you'll come out all right.
WALLACE:  You're not, though, Dag, I think you'll agree, you're not in the public eye as much, as prominently as you used to be.
DAGMAR:  No, on television you're seen much more.  When you work at nightclubs or ballparks, naturally if there's fifteen-thousand or twenty-thousand people in the ballpark, that many people see you,  but on television tonight, I'm sure there's millions of people watching.  I know my family alone (CHUCKLES)  makes up a million people...
WALLACE:  What happened there?  What happened to you in television?
DAGMAR:  In television?
WALLACE:  Yes.
DAGMAR:  When I left television, I started doing nightclubs.  Then, I started looking at scripts for other television shows.   And I would rather have someone say, "What happened to Dagmar?" than have him say, "Look what happened to Dagmar, doing a lousy show."   I just don't want to subject them to it, people who do like me or used to like me, I think they still do,  and probably go on, doing a horrible show, I might lose their friendship or the nice letters they used to write to me.   And I just have been looking for a nice script, Mike.  And that's why I was interested in doing your show,  so I could say hello to the television audience, 'cause I haven't done too much television lately.
WALLACE:  Well now look, back in January 1956, on the Boston Evening American in a review by the name of Peggy Doyle said this about you.   You were starring in a show called The Amazing Adele, which died out of town,  and she said, "The handsomely upholstered Dagmar is a revelation, she can sing and dance,  she has a warm captivating personality and she is an eighteen-carat looker," end of quote.
DAGMAR:  I think that lady is a great reviewer.
WALLACE:  Under these circumstances, and I'm quite serious, why hasn't somebody in television found something for you?  Now, television needs ideas...
DAGMAR:  I know they do, television needs a lot right now.  I really don't know, but I'd like to thank that Miss Doyle, because I did had an excellent part in that musical,  and... legally shroud because it was a great book, it did need a little work, the producer didn't bring into a new work...
WALLACE:  But that has nothing to do with what I've asked you.
DAGMAR:  Well, I forgot what you said.  I was still hung up on that nice review, I got. (CHUCKLES)
WALLACE:  Is there's a sensible answer that you can give...
DAGMAR:  But, what was the question?  You mean why haven't they found?
WALLACE:  Yes.
DAGMAR:  Oh, the same reason that happened for a lot of people, right now for instance a lot of the comedians are out of television,  especially singers this year, and evidently they haven't found anything for them either.  I don't know why they haven't for me, I shouldn't be too...  I could be a master of ceremonies, I can do a situation comedy.  I really don't like film shows, I like live shows, like this is very... a lot of fun tonight, because I don't know what I might say...
WALLACE:  Dag, what do you miss most of all?  Now, that you're not quite as big time as you were a few years ago...
DAGMAR:  Wait a minute, while you say: quite as big time, I make three times as much money now as I did when I was in television.
WALLACE:  Three times as much...
DAGMAR:  That's right.
WALLACE:  All right.
DAGMAR:  So, in your opinion... I'm not just too in a different medium, I'm not just in... maybe you're just thinking in television...  since I left television, I make much more money than I did when was in television... so I feel very happy about that,  and, as a matter of fact, I love what I'm doing, the only thing, as I told you, my ambition right now is to do a Broadway musical, even more than television,  I'd like to do television once in a while so I can wave hello to my family. 
WALLACE:  Other words, now you're being perfectly straight for us...
DAGMAR:  Yes...
WALLACE:  Television...
DAGMAR:  I like television.
WALLACE:  ...is not a particular interest for you now.
DAGMAR:  I like television if I have a nice show that I can do a good job on, I hope that I'm doing a good one on this one, do you think I am?
WALLACE:  I think that you're doing a fine job...  Do you miss people, crowds, autographs, recognitions or do you get all of that when you go around...
DAGMAR:  When I go to these towns, they meet me at the airport.  When I go to the ballparks, everybody is waiting for autographs, just like they did here.   When I was doing television, naturally, you got the whole studio each night after the show, everybody is there.   It was the same thing in the ballparks, in the nightclubs, I still sign pictures to husbands, most of the wives ask me for pictures for their husbands;  as a matter of fact, seventy-five percent of my mail is mostly from women and children.
WALLACE:  So, how do you account for that?
DAGMAR:  I don't know... but I was very flattered by it, and I think that's why I've done so well in the nightclubs,  because if the ladies don't like you, they won't let their husbands come to see you.
WALLACE:  That's correct.
DAGMAR:  I think it's maybe because of the part I played, the part I played on Broadway Open House, was a very dumb part,  and I think if you're on three nights a week, like I was, they get to know you pretty well.  I wouldn't want to do anything to hurt them.  I wouldn't want their husbands. 
WALLACE:  You know, talking about Broadway Open House, this past week we spoke with Jerry Lester, long distance, he's down in Miami.
DAGMAR:  How is he?
WALLACE:  He's fine and sent you his love...
DAGMAR:  Thank you...
WALLACE:  He's the fellow who really did give you your first big play in television. 
DAGMAR:  That's right, that's what he did.
WALLACE:  Now, he's in kind of semi-retirement now and he told us this on the phone from Miami; he said, "What do I need a regular TV show for?  With me, life comes first career second,  but most of the top stars in television are different," he said, "they're like children, they have no other love, no other interest, and little understanding of anything except their job,  they would die if you took their work and acclaim away from them."  And then he went on and said, "Dagmar is pretty much the same, ambitious with a double 'A'."  Now...
DAGMAR:  He should know me a little better than that.  I have liked life, better than I like a career, I like a good time, I'm glad at the joy and such a wonderful time, and he does, he loves to swim, he stays tanned.   I do know certain entertainers that feel they must be on all the time.  I don't, I just like to make money enough to help my family and do things I enjoy show business,  but being married and having a life to me is much more important than being in the show business, it always has been.
WALLACE:  Do you think it's true with other people, generally in the show business...?
DAGMAR:  I think some people like that, although some has the show must be on all time...
WALLACE:  You've been married to Danny Dayton, an actor, for about six years now.  Don't you?
DAGMAR:  That's right, we have, and we've never let our career interfere with our marriage.
WALLACE:  Why haven't you really settled down and tried to raise a family, then?
DAGMAR:  I want to have a family eventually.  Now, I come from a family of seven children. 
WALLACE:  I know that you do... 
DAGMAR:  And... I've always tried to take care of my brothers and sisters, and I want to see they were off school and everything and then I can sit down and have a family of my own.   I feel that I've had one family.  Now I have another family and then I do want a family.  I don't know exactly when wer'e going to have it,  maybe in the next year or two, I don't know when, but I'm not in a hurry because I'm such a young girl. (CHUCKLES)
WALLACE:  (CHUCKLES) How old are you, Dag?
DAGMAR:  I always lie, there's no point asking me, really... I always lie about my age, I think all ladies like to fib... don't you ladies?  But I will tell you this: Coming from a family of seven,  I started out the oldest of seven children.  Now four of them are older than I am. (CHUCKLES) One of my sisters is got to be crawling in a year now. (LAUGHS)
WALLACE:  Dag, do you think you'd make a good mother?
DAGMAR:  I think I'd be an excellent mother.  I think I'd be almost too strict.  I don't want to be, but I have this little toy poodle that I'm madly in love with, I'm just crazy about him, his name is Shakespeare.   You said that's what we were going to talk about, I took it for granted that it was my Shakespeare, and I've had Shakespeare for four years and people say to me,  "Dagmar, for Heaven's sakes, you're so crazy about him, if you have a child, what would you do?"  I say, "I'd put him in a glass cage because if he coughs, I call the doctor, or either faint." 
WALLACE:  You think you'd be a good mom? 
DAGMAR:  Oh, I know I'd be a good mother. 
WALLACE:  Is it because of the fact that you...
DAGMAR:  I'd like to drink the water, pardon me a minute... 
WALLACE:  By all means...
DAGMAR:  I hate people do this on television, but I have to.
WALLACE:  I'll talk to you for a while, while you drink and swallow.  Dag...
DAGMAR:  What were we talking about...?  Oh, about me being a good mother.
WALLACE:  We were talking about... you and...  Is it be...  Would you be a good mother because your mother was such a good mother?
DAGMAR:  My mother is a wonderful mother.  I think that most girls are good mothers, Mike, it's just a natural instinct.
WALLACE:  Well, we could get off on juvenile delinquency and... 
DAGMAR:  Oh, that's a serious thing...
WALLACE:  ...because of bad mothers and fathers, that there is so much... but let's not say anything.
DAGMAR:  ...That's such a sad thing, that whole thing.  You know, I feel so sorry for the children and the parents, because they need somebody to help all of them.   That makes sense?  Do you understand what I'm saying to you?
WALLACE:  Yes, do you want to continue with that?
DAGMAR:  No, let's go ahead into something else, and if we don't like that, we'll come back to this.  (CHUCKLES)
WALLACE:  Yes.  Dag, television, show business in general, is a tough nerve-racking affair,  and perhaps for that reason a good number of people working in show business are under psychoanalysis.  Have you ever?
DAGMAR:  No, I never had the time and patience for that, Mike.  I know a little bit about it, a lot of people go, but you have to make appointments.   And, I really don't know what... like to know what I'm going to do the next day.  I don't even like to do it for my beauty appointments, you know.   If I say, if I was going to be psychoanalyzed... I bet it would take an awful long time and I pity the poor doctor.   But you have to go there and make appointments, and I just... so far no one told me I had to do it, you think I should? 
WALLACE:  No, no...
DAGMAR:  Thank you, that saved me from going to the doctor.
WALLACE:  What do you think the psychoanalysis is for...
DAGMAR:  Have you ever been psychoanalyzed?
WALLACE:  No, never have.  What...
DAGMAR:  Maybe we both should go.  (LAUGHS) You are a very smart boss, you little man.  That cowboy's tickled.
WALLACE:  What... about psychoanalysis for other people?  You've talked about it with some of your show business friends, Dagmar.
DAGMAR:  Some of them told me it helped them quite a bit.  I know one boy that used to cough a lot on television, and now he hasn't cough nearly as much lately, he's off the air now.  (LAUGHS)
WALLACE:  (GUFFAW)
He's not on the air now, but it did happened...  
WALLACE:  What about tranquilizers?
DAGMAR:  Oh, I want all doctors to make money...  Tranquilizers, I think they are wonderful.
WALLACE:  You think tranquilizer pills are wonderful?
DAGMAR:  I really do.
WALLACE:  You take them yourself?
DAGMAR:  Yes, I do.  And... But I don't ever think that anyone should take a pill without a doctor's prescription; I don't ever tell anyone to take a tranquilizer.   I myself sort of high strung and worried about a lot of things.  I guess you can call me a worrywart at times...
WALLACE:  You are a worrywart?
DAGMAR:  Yes, I don't know how to explain it, but it sounded good when I said it... I'm sorry I said it, forget about it... I'm a worrywart and forget it...
WALLACE:  No, wait...
DAGMAR:  Oh, you want to talk about a worrywart...
WALLACE:  You seem to be a very placid, good-humored, sensible person.  You are a worrywart?
DAGMAR:  No, I do worry about a lot of things, like I worried about what was going to wear on your show tonight.  I don't like arms on television, for instance.  I think they make a lady look like a wrestler,  and I was looking for a dress with sleeves and I was very proud of myself to find this tonight.
WALLACE:  I know, but that isn't very much to worry about.
DAGMAR:  No, but I mean little worries... But anyway, I was sort of nervous and I went to the doctor and he gave me some tranquilizers, and I did feel wonderful when I took them.   It's very relaxing, but I don't suggest anybody doing this unless their doctor tells them to.  I think my mother is nervous... she's watching now. -- She'll probably whip me when I get home. --  But I told her... I said, "Mother, I think, if you take a few tranquilizers, you'll feel better."  I talked to the doctor, that I wouldn't have to give her pills.
WALLACE:  And did she...?
DAGMAR:  Well, she was supposed to go this week, and I'm going to call her after the show to see if they think you were charming to me. 
WALLACE:  Dag, critics have charged that the... this past television season has been somewhat less than distinguished, what do you think is wrong with television?  If you think that anything is wrong with television.
DAGMAR:  I think there's a lot... when I started out on television, it seemed to me that everybody went out after just good shows.   Now, they are all trying to do film shows and they are thinking about how good the show is going to be 10 years from now, so they get residuals, instead of about how the show is right today...   And I don't enjoy television as much as I used to, because I really like live shows, just like we are doing now.  If we make a mistake so everybody knows we did, you know,  but in a film show they can cut it out and put something else in.  And I think there's too much film shows on television.
WALLACE:  You watch a lot of it?
DAGMAR:  I watch a lot and I really enjoy the old movies better than anything else.
WALLACE:  Who do you like who isn't on films or who is in a film but is a half hour television show, native television?  Who are your favorite television people?
DAGMAR:  Well, I like Danny Thomas.  I've always liked Danny Thomas and he has a film show, and I can't really think right now...
WALLACE:  You watch Sullivan or Allen?
DAGMAR:  I watch them both, I have two sets... I put them both on and I... if something's on I want to see, I watch in one room.   That's what I mean about making you nervous and you have to take a pill running from room to room.  That's no good honey.
WALLACE:  How do you explain the popularity of the scatterbrain characterization of women on television like Lucille Ball, or Gracie Allen or Dagmar, for instance?
DAGMAR:  Oh, you mean why do you think people like that kind... They like it because it's silly, it's not serious and that's why I was hoping you wouldn't ask me too many serious questions tonight, because  I think you already have too much seriousness in life and we need a few laughs.  And I ragged a big kick out of Lucille Ball and Gracie Allen and I hope... I didn't have the kind of scripts they have,  mine were just little poems and things, but I like to play a part like that.  I'd rather, I think, play a dumb part. 
WALLACE:  Dag, I hate to go serious on you again, but... 
DAGMAR:  Oh well, her we go...
WALLACE:  ...according to an article called "What men really think of women" in Red Book Magazine, back in January of 1953, an article by John Gibson it said,  "Studies show around the hall, men are attracted to women to whom they can feel intellectually superior.   The average male shies away from girls who he suspects having as many or more brains than he has." 
DAGMAR:  I've never had that problem.
WALLACE:  What about your husband, Danny, is he a much smarter fellow than you?
DAGMAR:  Yes, he is.
WALLACE:  You genuinely believe this?
DAGMAR:  I genuinely believe that.  I think Danny has got a very good mind.  I think I have common sense, and I think that Danny has common sense and he was very well educated.   His mother is listening tonight and should be proud of that, because I manage to spend a lot of money on his education.
WALLACE:  Are you a well educated person?
DAGMAR:  Pretty much so, I graduated from high school, and I went to business college at night, but I've always worked all my life, Mike, since I was a little girl I've worked. 
WALLACE:  According to Look Magazine, back in '51, January 16th, you are, quote, "An avid reader who hates being called an intellectual idiot."  What do you read?
DAGMAR:  What do I read?  Now, wait a minute, when you say intellectual idiot, that sounded so cute last week when you announced it, define that for me.
WALLACE:  An intellectual idiot?  
DAGMAR:  Yes.
WALLACE:  Well, you hate to be called intellectual idiot, evidently you don't like to be called dumb.
DAGMAR:  Yes I do, I think it's funny.
WALLACE:  About things... About things that are academic, not about your television characterizations, but about yourself.  You don't like to be called dumb.   I'm told that the shelves of your library at home are aligned with works by Goethe, Shakespeare, Kipling, William Faulkner.  Do you read all these things?
DAGMAR:  Well, I might read a few, but I tell you my favorite is Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason.
WALLACE:  That's the kind of stuff that you like best?
DAGMAR:  No, well I usually don't have time to read until I'm in bed in the evening, after television is off, and I like mysteries,  I like... like I love Danny Main, but I don't want to do a whole program just of things on books...
WALLACE:  What... What do you think of Shakespeare?
DAGMAR:  I adore Shakespeare, I told you.  I like him better than anybody, he's the cutest thing in the world and he only weighs four pounds.
WALLACE:  Dag, in a moment I want...
DAGMAR:  I know he does, he's talking about the books.  Shakespeare's good.
WALLACE:  In a moment, I'd like to get your opinion on something written by the social critic H. L. Mencken, who had serious reservations when it came to women.   He once wrote as follows, listen carefully, this is a tough one: Mencken said, "The female body is very defective in form, it has harsh curves and very clumsily distributed masses.   Compared to it, the average milk jug or even cuspidor is a thing of intelligent and gratifying design.   Below the neck, by the bow and below the waist astern, there are two masses that simply refuse to fit into a balanced composition."   I'd like to know your opinion of that charge by H. L. Mencken.
DAGMAR:  Do you want it now?
WALLACE:  No, no, no.  We will get Dagmar's answer in just about 60 seconds.
(COMMERCIAL)
WALLACE:  Now Dag, what's your reaction to this Mencken quote?  Shall I do it for you again?
DAGMAR:  If you'd like to, it was such a horrible thing, I'd like to hear it again.
WALLACE:  "The female body is defective in form, it has harsh curves and clumsily distributed masses.  Compared to it, the average milk jug or even cuspidor is a thing of intelligent and gratifying design.   Below the neck, by the bow and below the waist astern, there are two masses that simply refuse to fit into a balanced composition."  What about it?
DAGMAR:  I... that fellow is definitely a bottle baby.  He must lead a very lonely life, that's all I can say for him.
WALLACE:  That's your total comment on Mr. Mencken?
DAGMAR:  Well, I think, to be normal, you should like women, if you're a man, that is.  I don't know what his excuse was.
WALLACE:  ...Quite seriously.
DAGMAR:  Well, I'm serious.
WALLACE:  Are you... are you devoted, and I'm talking about this in a purely aesthetic fashion now... to exaggerated female figures,  or slimmer female figures?  Now, you were born with...
DAGMAR:  You are very observant.
WALLACE:  (GUFFAW) Well, I was talking about...
DAGMAR:  Well, I don't care where you are, but that sounded lovely.  Keep going, honey.  He's really a nice fellow, this isn't a hot seat, not even warm... Oh, somebody back us is giggling.
WALLACE:  I think you know what I mean, should I go on with it or...?
DAGMAR:  Well, I think that you... I think get a little better what you want.  Certain men like slim girls and some like them...
WALLACE:  I'm talking about you.  
DAGMAR:  Oh, me!
WALLACE:  Do you like slim girls or big girls?
DAGMAR:  Well, my family thinks that I'm the cat's meow, so I think I'm all right the way I am.
WALLACE:  All right, all right.
DAGMAR:  No, I don't like to be fat and I do have to watch my weight.  I go on diets about every six months.
WALLACE:  You do?
DAGMAR:  Uh-hum.
WALLACE:  Should you want to talk about that for a while, what is your diet?
DAGMAR:  It's a horrible diet.
WALLACE:  Is it really?
DAGMAR:  Yes, I'm an extremist that way.  I rather not eat very much for two weeks and have fun for six months than to diet all the time.
WALLACE:  And when you do it?
DAGMAR:  And when I do it, I never go off the diet.
WALLACE:  I thought possibly that you'd like to tell the ladies...
DAGMAR:  Well I would, but I don't think it's very healthy for them.
WALLACE:  Really?
DAGMAR:  I will tell you what I do: I get up and have coffee in the morning, in the afternoon I have two poached eggs on a piece of dry toast, at night, I have...  -- see me while I wave this little finger -- at night I have meat and tomatoes.  But I don't think that's a healthy diet, no doctor gave it to me, I just made it up myself.   That's why I think I have to take a tranquilizer eventually, finally.
WALLACE:  And you lose how much at a time?
DAGMAR:  I lose ten pounds in a week.
WALLACE:  Oh boy!  And you stay on it for how long?
DAGMAR:  I stay on it for two weeks, I lose ten pounds the first week and about three the next, and I have fun again for six months. -- (WINK) Just wait for me.
WALLACE:  Dag, you know that occasionally on this program we ask for capsule opinions about things we have about a minute and a half left.
DAGMAR:  Gee, where did time go to?
WALLACE:  I think you are so entertaining, I thank you.
DAGMAR:  Thank you.  You were very nice, you really behaved yourself.
WALLACE:  Thank you, ma'am... What do you think about the income taxes?
DAGMAR:  Oh, I wish I could forget about the whole thing.
WALLACE:  That's it completely.
DAGMAR:  I really do, it just takes so much money.  I wish I could figure out a better way... Boys I wish you try and figure it out.
WALLACE:  Astrology?
DAGMAR:  I love astrology
WALLACE:  What's your sign?
DAGMAR:  I'm Sagittarius.
WALLACE:  How long does it... How seriously do you take it?
DAGMAR:  Well, I read it today and it told me to keep my mouth shut, and I really didn't listen to it.  (LAUGHS)
WALLACE:  (LAUGHS)
DAGMAR:  I do like it, I read it every day, I think it kind of gives you a lift. 
WALLACE:  What's your husband, Danny's sign?
DAGMAR:  Scorpio.
WALLACE:  Is a Sagittarius and a scorpio a good mixture?
DAGMAR:  Must be, we've been married six years and we're very happy.
WALLACE:  Dag, do you think girls should go to college?
DAGMAR:  Yes, if she has the chance I definitely do.
WALLACE:  Why?
DAGMAR:  Well, I think the more you learn, the better equipped you are for life.  I have my younger sister right now, who is in college.  And... she's the only one, all my brothers had gone to college,  my brother Jack is in law school now, he's a very brilliant boy.
WALLACE:  What do you think of women wrestlers?
DAGMAR:  I think they don't look very nice.
WALLACE:  Are you afraid of mice?
DAGMAR:  Yes.  (CHUCKLES)
WALLACE:  Are you?
DAGMAR:  And I'm bigger than they are too, I don't know, I don't like them.
WALLACE:  Bachelors?
DAGMAR:  I don't think they should wait too long.  I know a boy who waited his life for a ship to command and his pier collapsed. 
WALLACE:  (LAUGHS)
DAGMAR:  Bachelors, get with it!
WALLACE:  We were looking for a closing line, and we found it, and I thank you very much Dagmar.
DAGMAR:  Thank you, you've been most charming and good bye everybody.
WALLACE:  Dagmar, has fashioned a career out of being beautiful but dumb, she has been heard to say, "I was past twenty when I learned about the bees and the flowers,"  but Dagmar adds smiling, "of course long before that, when I was seven or eight, I learned about people." 
(COMMERCIAL)
WALLACE:  Next week we'll go after the story of a left wing labor leader who's been called a menace to both American capitol and labor.   You see him behind me, he's the boss of the West Coast longshoremen, Harry Bridges, who has beaten five US government attempts to deploy him as a communist alien.   If you're curious to know why Harry Bridges attacks labor leaders like George Meany and Walter Reuther and why he defends Jimmy Hoffa.  
If you'd like to know how Harry Bridge's envisions a coast to coast union combine that could paralyze the entire nation with a strike,  and if you'd like to hear why he's sometimes criticized the FBI and sometimes defended some of the evils of Soviet Russia, we'll go after these stories next week.   Till then, for Philip Morris, Mike Wallace.  Good night.
ANNCR:  The Mike Wallace Interview is brought to you by Philip Morris Incorporated, The Quality House.
(CLOSING CREDITS)
(DIGITIZATION CREDITS)
Dock windowContents
Start of film
Introduction
Opening credits
Introducing Dagmar
Philip Morris commercial
Interview
Sequence of television glamour girls
Brains vs. body in an actress career
Life ambition
Appeal of Jane Mansfield and Jane Russell
Experience of TV acting
Ideas for a TV show
Things Dagmar misses about television
Future of regular TV shows
Marriage and family
Being a mother
Psychoanalysis
Tranquilizers
Wrong things with television
Favorite television people
Intellectual superiority of men
Personal education
Philip Morris commercial
Female body
Exaggerated female figures
Personal diet
Capsule opinions
Income taxes
Astrology
Girls in college
Woman wrestlers
Fear of mice
Bachelors
Closing
Mike Wallace closing monologue
Philip Morris commercial
Next week: Harry Bridges
Closing credits
Digitization credits


Credits

The Mike Wallace Interview
Dagmar


The Dagmar interview was digitized by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center and Quinn Stewart, School of Information, University of Texas and indexed by New Media UFM Guatemala in June 2007. 

Project coordinated by: Steve Wilson (HRHRC), Quinn Stewart (School of Information, University of Texas) and Grete Pasch (UFM). Rich media players and software tools by GLIFOS. Hosting and technical support provided by Shane Williams, David Wilson, and the School of Information IT Lab. 

Made possible by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services.






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