Arlene Golonka was named after Arline Judge, a beautiful B-movie actress known more for her rocky love affairs than her sterling acting talents. Golonka pursued acting herself, performing in local theater at the age of 11. She went pro while still a teen, performing in summer-stock, while studying at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. At 19, she moved to New York City to pursue Broadway and film. There she studied under three icons of acting technique: Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner, and Uta Hagen. By 1958, she was appearing in noteworthy theater productions in the tri-state area; the following year she made her television debut on the live drama series "The United States Steel Hour." She began snagging roles playing ditsy or eccentric blonde bombshells, and moved to Los Angeles in the '60s, to better pursue film and television. By 1963, she'd landed her first role, in the Natalie Wood-Steve McQueen romance "Love with the Proper Stranger." While she occasionally garnered film roles, she was developing a strong reputation as a television character actor appearing on a number of popular programs including: the spy comedy "Get Smart," the classic sitcom"Mary Tyler Moore," and the family comedy "Mayberry R.F.D.." In the '00s,Golonka took few roles, easing into retirement after accruing over 100 film and television credits in four and a half decades in the business.