- Joe Mantegna is an American actor who got his start in 1969 in a production of the musical ‘Hair’
- The Chicago native earned a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in Glengarry Glen Ross
- He has been married to his high school sweetheart for over 40 years
Joe Mantegna has signed on to host the National Memorial Day Concert at the U.S. Capitol for the third straight year. The event, which “unites the country in remembrance and appreciation of those who gave their lives for our nation,” per the concert’s website, will take place on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on May 28 and will be co-hosted by Joe’s good pal Gary Sinise. The Criminal Minds alum even teased the winning collab on his Instagram.
With all eyes on Joe during the elaborate celebration, fans want to know more about the star’s personal life, including his gorgeous wife, Arlene Vrhe, whom he has been married to for over 4 decades! As she doesn’t have any social media accounts at this time, let’s learn more about her, below.
How did Arlene Meet Joe?
As mentioned, Joe and Arlene were high school sweethearts and began dating in 1969 when they happened to be cast together in a Chicago production of the musical Hair, per People. “We just had a lot of fun, but we didn’t get married for the longest time because we were hippies,” Arlene told the outlet in 1997.
They Exchanged Vows On Top Of Eiffel Tower
After kicking around Chicago and the theater scene for a bit, the couple got hitched in 1975. The matrimony came a few weeks after they had already exchanged “private, informal vows at the top of the Eiffel Tower,” according to People.
Arlene, Joe and Dennis Franz Moved Out To Hollywood Together
While the young couple were hitting up the Windy City drama scene, they became friends with fellow actor Dennis Franz, who would go on to big fame with NYPD Blue. The three of them packed up their bags and hit the road in a U-Haul for Hollywood in 1978, per People. And the rest is history!
Their First Daughter Was Born Three Months Early
When Joe and Arlene welcomed their first child, daughter Mia, on June 5, 1987, the couple were parents to one of the smallest babies born in California that year, as Mia arrived three months early, per People. Although the premature birth was a shock at first, the parents handled it well. “Here’s our daughter and she’ll be fine…. That was the beginning of the adventure,” Joe explained to the outlet.
When Mia was 2, she was diagnosed with autism. “You go through a million emotions,” said Joe. “Your heart flies out of your chest. At first you deny it.” With the help of special schooling and music lessons, Mia has excelled in life. “She’s incredible,” Arlene added. “I think her musical skill is a form of expression for her.”
Arlene’s Second Daughter Changed Her Name
Three years after Mia was welcomed into the world, she got a baby sister! Joe and Arlene celebrated the arrival of another daughter in 1990: Gina! Mia’s little sister certainly was a big help for the family too. “She’s wise beyond her years and really understands Mia,” Joe told People of his youngest child.
Gina would go on to follow in her parents’ acting footsteps. She changed her name to Gia and has since become best known for her role as Devin Levin on the ABC sitcom The Middle. Her Instagram is private at this time.