|Publisher||King Features Syndicate|
|Created by||Alex Raymond|
|Supporting character of||Flash Gordon|
Dale Arden is a fictional character, the fellow adventurer and love interest of Flash Gordon and a prototypic heroine for later female characters, including Princess Leia Organa and Padme Amidala in Star Wars. Flash, Dale and Dr. Hans Zarkov fight together against Ming the Merciless.
Dale is Flash Gordon's constant companion in his adventures, as well as his one true love. The emperor Ming the Merciless is immediately attracted to her and the early strips were basically based on Flash’s heroic efforts to rescue Dale from Ming's many attempts to marry her.
Filmation’s Flash Gordon’s Bible portrayed Dale Arden as follows:
All errant knights have their true love, and in Flash's case it's Dale – beautiful, independent and capable. In most circumstances, Dale is well able to take care of herself and is an ideal companion for the adventuring Flash. Which is not to say that she is unfeminine. Ming was only the first of Mongo's heroic – though, in his case, absolutely evil – rulers who have sought Dale Arden as their Queen. Dale is sensitive, warm and compassionate – traits which occasionally lead her to trust the wrong person. Where Flash would gladly lay down his life to save her, Dale would do likewise. And the two of them, united, can face any peril that Mongo has to offer.
Dale Arden in other media
- Dale's broadcast debut was in a Hearst Radio series that ran from April to October 1935. The actress who played her is unknown.
- Dale was first portrayed on film by Jean Rogers in the film serials Flash Gordon (1936) and Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938).
- Irene Champlin took the role for the 1954 Flash Gordon television series. Champlin was praised for transforming Arden from the typical damsel in distress of the serials into a trained scientist and a "quick thinker who often saved [Flash and Zarkov] from perishing".
- In 1980, Dale was portrayed by Melody Anderson in the film Flash Gordon, produced by Dino De Laurentiis. In this version of the story, Dale is a newspaper reporter.
- During the course of the 1980s Marvel animated series Defenders of the Earth, Dale is captured and killed by Ming, but her consciousness is left trapped inside a crystal Flash uses to power the Defenders' base on Earth, Monitor. Dale is reborn as the heart of the base, Dynak.
- In the 1974 adult film spoof Flesh Gordon, the character is renamed Dale Ardor and is portrayed by Cindy Hopkins, aka Suzanne Fields.
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- Terrace, Vincent (2002). Crime Fighting Heroes of Television: Over 10,000 Facts from 151 Shows, 1949–2001. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-1395-6.