Women who get involved in relationships with celebrities seem to attract a certain amount of fame due to their association. Arlene Silver received this after becoming the romantic interest of Dick Van Dyke, but she also received a healthy dose of notoriety. The two met when Van Dyke was 80, which would not have raised eyebrows except that Silver was at the relatively tender age of 34. Van Dyke is a famous American entertainment figure, who has experience in almost every aspect of the industry – comedy, acting, singing, dancing and producing.
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Even before this relationship, he had attracted a certain amount of infamy after he moved in with the woman he had been having an affair with, Michelle Troila Marvin, after his divorce with his first wife, Margerie Willet. His divorce was allegedly the culmination of the effects of his infidelity, and problems with alcoholism.
Arlene Silver has been prominent in the industry for her work as a make-up artist. She has worked with various prestigious names and on noted projects, and for this reason was attending the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards in 2006 where the two met. At the time, Van Dyke was still in a relationship with Marvin, and so the two initially remained as friends before their association escalated into a romantic venture.
Early Life and Family
Consequent to the nature of her fame, not much is known about the early life of Arlene Silver – she was born on 21 September 1971, in New York City, USA, to unnamed parents. It is known that she has a brother, Jonathan Silver, but beyond that, her family remains shrouded in mystery, except that she spent the majority of her youth living with them in The Bronx, before moving to California to complete her college education. Despite minimal support from her family, and pessimism regarding the viability of her relationship with Van Dyke, she maintains a healthy relationship with her family.
She posts pictures with them on occasion, including one featuring herself, Jonathan and her mother on the occasion of Mother’s Day.
Arlene Silver completed her school education in The Bronx, later moving to California where she attended California State University, Fullerton, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in communications and TV/film in 1999.
After completing her education, Silver enjoyed a varied career both in-office and working as a makeup artist.
Stoney Road Productions
A production company from humble beginnings in California, Stoney Road Productions is known for films such as “The Fashion Devil” (2018) and “TE:CK – A Love Story in White-N-Black” (2018), as well as various music videos.
Silver worked as the office manager for the company for two years, between 2000 and 2002.
During her time as an office manager, from 2001 to late 2002 Silver worked simultaneously as a producer for XM Style, a fashion and design company focused on the impression you make in the office and the marketplace by assisting you in making salient fashion choices.
From 2000 to 2011, despite working various other jobs, Arlene Silver was a self-proclaimed ‘self-employed’ professional. This was turned out to be a brilliant decision on her part, as this period saw her producing some of her best work – she became well known for her make-up artistry on the film sets of “Caroline” (2003), “Men of Delta Force Salute” (2007), and “The Caretaker 3D” in 2010.
— Dick Van Dyke (@iammrvandy) May 7, 2016
By positioning herself as self-employed. she opened herself up to a variety of opportunities in the make-up profession.
El School of Professional Makeup
Arlene enjoyed a position at El School of Professional Make-up as an instructor from 2006 to 2009. Based in Hollywood, El is the most prestigious make-up school in the industry. The first school of its kind, being an instructor there was a sign of Silver’s talent and promise that was evident even then.
During the final years of her self-employed tenure, Arlene Silver worked as an aesthetician from 2006 until 2011, based at the Lucas Echo Park Salon (now rebranded as Lucas LA).
The upscale salon offers various aesthetic services, from hair maintenance to make-up, the section that Silver likely worked in.
Since her marriage to Van Dyke, Silver has appeared in various documentaries and short films. The first of these was “Welcome Home Dick Van Dyke” in 2016, a predominantly sentimental documentary that followed Van Dyke around to hear him talk about his memories as he revisits his old hometown in Danville, Illinois. A year later, she appeared in a second documentary entitled “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast”, an HBO documentary that explores how the twilight years can be rewarding and pleasurable.
Much of what we know about Arlene’s life now is in correlation with the life of Dick Van Dyke; this is only to be expected due to the fame of the older actor.
Meeting in 2006 at the SAG Awards where Silver was doing makeup, Van Dyke was so enamored that he introduced himself to the younger woman – something usually way out of his comfort zone. Silver immediately recognized him as the actor from “Mary Poppins” – a performance for which he received a Grammy. From there their friendship grew, initially no more than that, as he was still living with Michelle Troila Marvin – the woman with whom he had been having an affair during his first marriage.
However, Van Dyke employed Silver as his personal make-up artist to spend more time with her; the two would often have dinner together, or Silver would cook for him and bring the food over. After Michelle’s tragic death in 2008 after a battle with lung cancer, the two finally began dating officially. It was during a night shoot when the two were working that Arlene suddenly became aware of her feelings for the man. As romantic as this may sound, there was one significant obstacle in their way: a 46-year age-gap. Silver reveals that her family was pessimistic about the viability of the relationship, especially her brother who expressed his concern that they were from different eras with nothing in common.
Despite the lack of support from her family, the two married in 2012 in a Malibu chapel, followed by a reception themed ‘seafoam’. Silver is a belly dancer, a talent she displayed at the wedding reception where she performed for the guests, joined by Van Dyke at the end of the performance. Thus, Silver became the stepmother of Van Dyke’s four children – Christian, Barry, Stacy and Carrie Van Dyke. Christian had initially expressed concern about the union, but after the wedding ceremony, he finally understood how age was irrelevant to the two of them.
They are apparently happily married, and have found a way to make their marriage work despite the disparity in age. Van Dyke explained in an interview with Parade in 2013 that “She’s very mature for her age and I’m very immature for my age so it’s just about right!”
There is no formal information about her vital statistics, but Arlene Silver has a larger build, coupled with her reputedly beautiful pale-brown hair that she wears slightly longer than shoulder length, and her magnificent green-blue eyes.
While Arlene’s net worth is estimated at led than $300,000 as of mid-2020, she is due to inherit a large person of her husband’s $50 million wealth. As it stands, she currently earns somewhat of a salary as a by-product of being a family member of Dick Van Dyke.