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The Regulars

Archie Dulac

aka, Starchie

Archie was a Regular who had a lot of appeal to ladies of all ages.  His rugged good looks, his big smile, and the mischievous twinkle in his eyes made him a very popular Regular. His Dance Party nickname was "Starchie" because of the stiff  way he danced, but outside of the show all of the guys just called him "Art" or "The King." He had everything in the world going for him, but he lived fast and hard, and used up all of his luck by the time he was 38. Now it is for me to tell his story.

Archie was my buddy; we grew up together in the Mission District, of the City. We lived on the west side of Bernal Heights and spent many hours hiking and playing up there, as kids. My house was on Coleridge Street, and his was behind me on Lundy's Lane. As we got older and got bicycles, we would ride them all over the Mission District, and even down to pier 90 where we would fish with drop lines. Occasionally, we would go out to Fleishacker swimming pool, or to Playland at the beach.

Archie was a lady's man from the word "go," but ironically, it was me (the social zero) who got him onto the Dance Party Show. When he saw me on television dancing with all of the pretty girls was probably the only time that I ever saw him envious of me. I told him to come down with me and that I would get him in, but he didn't know how to dance. So, I taught him the "hold on to the door knob" thing that I did to learn and he finally agreed to come down to the studio.

Wow, the girls liked him, but he clung to the side afraid to go out on camera and make a fool of himself. Finally, one of the girls, Penny Hammond, grabbed his hand and dragged him out on to the floor against his will. He had no choice now because as soon as he got out there the camera went right to him. I don't really know what happened but people must have called the station asking about him because he was offered a Regular's pass on the spot. The camera loved Archie, and the girls were right behind the camera. That was it, he became one of the hot shot Regulars with fan mail, fame, and adoring fans. I remember seeing some of his fan mail, and it didn't just come from girls, it came from middle age ladies who thought that he was the right one for their daughters.

Just about the time that all of this was going on, his mother won a large pot at a church bingo session and bought Archie an old emerald green '50' Mercury in almost mint condition. We would go to parties, dances, and record hops in that car; we were living the good life, but Archie was really way out there on his own. When we went to all of these things, I would get trampled by the herds of girls trying to meet him.

About 6 months into the show, Archie started going steady with a girl named Asa Hetland who was a hold over from the previous Ted Randall Show. They made a good looking couple and they were featured during many dances. It is too bad that Asa's father interceded and broke them up because I do think that they were really in love with each other. After that Asa left the show, and was never seen again. None of us knows what happened to her or where she went.

Archie went on and had other girlfriends, but something had changed in him, and he started drinking alcohol. His life style changed so much that after our Dance Party days were over, we parted ways. Once in a long while we would contact one or the other to reminisce, but each time I could see that he had deteriorated more. The last time that I saw my old buddy was at the unofficial reunion at KOFY TV in March of 1981. His hair was white, and I didn't recognize him; he had to tell me who he was. A few years later, I tried to look him up, and found out that he had died from cirrhosis of the liver from all of his drinking. His older brother had tried to find me, so that Art could see me one last time. Art had asked for me, but his brother had not been able to find me. I do regret that I was not there for my old buddy, but I am not sure how well I would have handled it. There is not much more to say, so I will end Art's story here. - by Manny Interiano

Archie Dulac's Scrapbook



Links to different web pages

Dick Stewart
The Regulars
1997 Reunion


In Memoriam
2004 Reunion
The Missing regulars


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by M. Interiano
  Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.
  Revised: March 4,200408/10/10 12:42:05 -0700.