Dale Arden

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 and Padme Amidala in Star Wars.[1][2] Flash, Dale and Dr. Hans Zarkov fight together against Ming the Merciless.

Dale Arden
Dale Arden (1980)
Melody Anderson as Dale Arden in the 1980 film Flash Gordon.
Publication information
PublisherKing Features Syndicate
First appearanceFlash Gordon (January 7th, 1934)
Created byAlex Raymond
In-story information
Supporting character ofFlash Gordon


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.[3]

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.

Alex Raymond's comic strip

Dale Arden is introduced in the first Flash Gordon story, July 7, 1934, as simply "a passenger" on the plane Flash is flying on.[3] After the plane is hit by a meteor, Flash saves Dale by parachuting to the ground. The two are then abducted by Dr. Zarkov, who takes them on his rocket to the planet Mongo.[3] In the 1930s comic strips, Dale often comes into conflict with other female characters who desire Flash romantically (such as Princess Aura and Queen Azura).[3]

Comic books

In the 2011 Dynamite Comics Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist, Dale Arden is a cartographer and researcher for the State Department in 1934.[4] As in Raymond's original story, she and Flash are abducted by Zarkov and brought to Mongo.[4] In the later Dynamite Comics Flash Gordon series, Dale Arden is a modern-day science journalist with a special interest in the space program, as well as a feminist.[5] She travels with Zarkov and Flash on the former's Z-Plane to Mongo.[5]

Dale Arden in other media


  • In the 1974 adult film spoof Flesh Gordon, the character is renamed Dale Ardor and is portrayed by Cindy Hopkins, aka Suzanne Fields.[17]



  1. ^ Ostwalt, Conrad Eugene; Martin, Joel W. (1995). Screening the sacred: religion, myth, and ideology in popular American film. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press. p. 76. ISBN 0-8133-8830-9.
  2. ^ Tasker, Yvonne (1998). Working girls: gender and sexuality in popular cinema. New York: Routledge. p. 82. ISBN 0-415-14005-6.
  3. ^ a b c d "Flash Gordon", in Guy Haley, Sci-Fi Chronicles: A Visual History of the Galaxy's Greatest Science Fiction.Richmond Hill, Ontario: Firefly Books, 2014. ISBN 9781770852648. (p69-70)
  4. ^ a b Eric S Trautmann, Daniel Indro; Ron Adrian Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist. Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment, 2012. ISBN 9781606903339
  5. ^ a b Jeff Parker, Evan Shaner and Jordie Bellaire, Flash Gordon #1 Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment, 2012. April 2014.
  6. ^ Dunning, pp. 255–56
  7. ^ Cline, William R. (1997). In the nick of time: motion picture sound serials. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland. p. 94. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  8. ^ Medved, Harry (2004). The Hollywood Guide to the Great Outdoors: Southern California: Walks, Hikes, and Adventures that Put You into the Locations of Your Favorite Films. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. p. 129. ISBN 0-312-30856-6.
  9. ^ Gil Kane; Michael Eury; Murphy Anderson (2002). Captain Action: The Original Super-Hero Action Figure. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 73. ISBN 1-893905-17-9.
  10. ^ Terrace, p. 46
  11. ^ Giovanni Scognamillo and Metin Demirhan, Fantastik Türk sineması. İstanbul: Kabalcı Yayınevi, 1999. ISBN 975824020X (p. 37)
  12. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2002). Crime fighting heroes of television: over 10, 000 facts from 151 shows, 1949–2001. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co. p. 68. ISBN 0-7864-1395-6.
  13. ^ George W. Woolery. Animated TV specials: the complete directory to the first twenty-five years, 1962-1987. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 9780810821989 (p. 193).
  14. ^ Julius, Marshall (1996). Action!: the action movie A-Z. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 81. ISBN 0-253-21091-7.
  15. ^ Roy Kinnard; Tony Crnkovich; R J Vitone, The Flash Gordon serials, 1936-1940: a heavily illustrated guide. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2008. ISBN 9780786434701 (p.196-8)
  16. ^ "Flash Gordon – TV – review – New York Times". The New York Times. 2007-08-10. Archived from the original on 2008-08-24. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
  17. ^ "Series/Festivals – Movies – Riverfront Timespage 1 – Riverfront Times". 2002-09-04. Archived from the original on 2008-08-24. Retrieved 2008-08-24.


  • Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-time Radio. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 0-19-507678-8.
  • Terrace, Vincent (2002). Crime Fighting Heroes of Television: Over 10,000 Facts from 151 Shows, 1949–2001. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-1395-6.
Alexander Wesselsky

Alexander "Alexx" Wesselsky (born 18 November 1968) is the lead singer of the German band Eisbrecher. He is best known for his 10-year tenure as the former lead singer of the band Megaherz, from 1993 to 2003.

Carol Hughes (actress)

Carol Hughes (born Catherine Mabel Hukill, January 17, 1910 – August 8, 1995) was an American actress. She is best known for her leading roles opposite Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, and for her role as Dale Arden in Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940).

Diane Pershing

Diane Pershing (born in Queens, New York) is an American voice actress, singer, and writer. She began her singing career as a back-up singer for Johnny Mathis and went on to appear in the show group, The Establishment, on tour and on TV.

As a writer, she has written for TV (The Love Boat, What's Happening Now), 19 romance novels, published film reviews for various small newspapers and Rotten Tomatoes, and is a member of Romance Writers of American and Mystery Writers of America and The Authors' Guild.

As a voice actress, she is perhaps most well known for providing the voice of the villainess Poison Ivy on Batman: The Animated Series and its subsequent spin-offs. She has also lent her voice to series such as Inspector Gadget, Darkwing Duck, The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, The Centurions (as Crystal Kane), Dungeons & Dragons, She-Ra: Princess of Power and The Smurfs.

Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon is the hero of a space opera adventure comic strip created by and originally drawn by Alex Raymond. First published January 7, 1934, the strip was inspired by, and created to compete with the already established Buck Rogers adventure strip.The Flash Gordon comic strip has been translated into a wide variety of media, including motion pictures, television, and animated series. The latest version, a Flash Gordon television series, appeared on the Syfy channel in the United States in 2007–2008.

Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars

Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars is a 1938 Universal Pictures 15–chapter movie serial, based on the syndicated newspaper comic strip Flash Gordon. It is the second of the three Flash Gordon serials made by Universal between 1936 and 1940. The main cast from the first serial reprise their roles: Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon, Jean Rogers as Dale Arden, Frank Shannon as Dr. Alexis Zarkov, Charles B. Middleton as Ming the Merciless, and Richard Alexander as Prince Barin. Also in the principal cast are Beatrice Roberts as Queen Azura, Donald Kerr as Happy Hapgood, Montague Shaw as the Clay King, and Wheeler Oakman as Ming's chief henchman.

The serial was followed by Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940).

Flash Gordon (1954 TV series)

Flash Gordon is a science fiction television series based on the King Features characters of the Alex Raymond-created comic strip of the same name.

Flash Gordon (1996 TV series)

Flash Gordon is a 1996 animated television series based on the science fiction comic strip of the same name. The character, who had been around in the comics pages since Alex Raymond created him in 1934, had already starred in several movie serials, a 1980 feature, and two earlier cartoon series — The New Adventures of Flash Gordon and Defenders of the Earth.

Flash Gordon (2007 TV series)

Flash Gordon is an American-Canadian science fiction television series that debuted on Sci-Fi in the United States on August 10, 2007 and continued airing new episodes through February 8, 2008. It has also appeared on the United Kingdom Sci-Fi and Space in Canada. The series was developed by Peter Hume, who served as executive producer/show runner and wrote the first and last episodes, among others.

Flash Gordon Classic

Flash Gordon Classic is a 2015 animated fan film made by Robb Pratt. It is a remake of "The Tunnel of Terror", the second episode of the 1936 Flash Gordon serial.

Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe

Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe is a 1940 American twelve chapter black-and-white science fiction serial film from Universal Pictures, produced by Henry MacRae, directed by Ford Beebe and Ray Taylor, that stars Buster Crabbe, Carol Hughes, Charles B. Middleton, Frank Shannon, and Roland Drew. The serial was written by George H. Plympton, Basil Dickey, and Barry Shipman and was adapted from Alex Raymond's syndicated newspaper comic strip of the same name. It was the last of the three Universal Flash Gordon serials made between 1936 and 1940.

During the 1950s, all three of these Flash Gordon serials were directly syndicated to television by Motion Pictures for Television, along with many of Universal's other serial output. To avoid confusion with the Flash Gordon TV series airing around the same time, they were retitled Space Soldiers, Space Soldiers' Trip to Mars, and Space Soldiers Conquer the Universe.

In 1966 Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe was edited down into two feature-length films for television syndication, Purple Death from Outer Space and Perils from the Planet Mongo, by King Features Syndicate. In the early 1970s, a third feature version was re-edited for the 16mm home movie market, using story material from the entire serial. It bore the title Space Soldiers Conquer the Universe and later appeared on television during the 1980s. Afterward, all three edited feature length versions became available through various public-domain video sellers, first on VHS videotape and later on DVD.

In the mid-1970s all three complete Universal Flash Gordon serials were shown chapter-by-chapter by PBS stations across the US, bringing them to a new generation of science fiction fans, two years before Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. From the late 1980s onward, all three serials became available on the home video market under their original theatrical release titles, chapters, and running times.

Flesh Gordon

Flesh Gordon is an independently made 1974 American sexploitation film, an erotic spoof of Universal Pictures first (of three) Flash Gordon serials from the 1930s. The film was produced by Walter R. Cichy, Bill Osco and Howard Ziehm and was co-directed by Ziehm and Michael Benveniste, who also wrote the screenplay. The cast includes Jason Williams, Suzanne Fields, and William Dennis Hunt. The film was distributed by Mammoth Films.

The storyline is purposely reminiscent of the first Universal Pictures Flash Gordon multi-chapter movie serial, Flash Gordon (1936), but written and directed with a purposely campy flavor. The planet Porno (in the serial: Mongo) and major characters are suggestive innuendos: the hero Flesh Gordon (Flash Gordon); his love interest Dale Ardor (Dale Arden); the evil Emperor Wang the Perverted (Ming the Merciless); scientist Dr. Flexi Jerkoff (Dr. Alexi Zarkov); seductive Amora, Queen of Magic (Ming's daughter Aura); and effeminate Prince Precious (Prince Barin). The film features production values comparable to the original serial, as well as stop-motion animation of creatures, and frequent use of gratuitous nudity and brief sex scenes.

Gina Holden

Gina Holden (born March 17, 1975) is a Canadian actress, perhaps best known for her roles as Coreen Fennel in Blood Ties, Dale Arden in Flash Gordon, and Shea Allen in Harper's Island.

Hans Zarkov

Dr. Hans Zarkov is a fictional character appearing in the Flash Gordon comic strip and the following serials, films, television shows and comic books. Zarkov is a brilliant scientist who creates a rocket and forces Flash and Dale Arden to come with him to the planet Mongo, and fight against Ming the Merciless. In the original comic strip, he was first thought to have died when his ship crashed into the planet Mongo. It is later revealed that Ming's minions pulled him out of the wreckage. Zarkov's character in the 1980s DC comic was handled the same way.

Irene Champlin

Irene Champlin (born Irene Parsons March 16, 1931 in Waurika, Oklahoma, died July 10, 1990, Greenwich, Connecticut) was an American actress. Her most prominent role was as Dale Arden in the 1954-1955 syndicated television series Flash Gordon. Her portrayal of Arden has been praised for breaking from the typical damsel in distress of the earlier comic strip and film serials to present the character as a trained scientist and a "quick thinker who often saved [Flash and Dr. Zarkov] from perishing." In addition to her role as Arden, Champlin had lead roles in the stage productions Calculated Risk and For Crying Out Loud and played the female lead in the motion picture Resistance. Other television appearances included The Perry Como Show, The United States Steel Hour and The Guiding Light.

Champlin was married to Paul L. Field and had two daughters, Alicia Field Taylor and Christiane Field. She died following an extended illness.

Jean Rogers

Jean Rogers (born Eleanor Dorothy Lovegren, March 25, 1916 – February 24, 1991) was an American actress who starred in serial films in the 1930s and low–budget feature films in the 1940s as a leading lady. She is best remembered for playing Dale Arden in the science fiction serials Flash Gordon (1936) and Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938).

Melody Anderson

Melody Anderson (born December 3, 1955) is a Canadian social worker and public speaker specializing in the impact of addiction on families. She is a retired actress, whose most high-profile role was playing Dale Arden in the 1980 adaptation of Flash Gordon. She later starred in the 1986 film Firewalker, with Chuck Norris. While doing singing, she also trained as an actress, leading to roles in films and television during the 1970s and 1980s.

Prince Vultan

Prince Vultan is the prince of the bird-like Hawkmen in the Flash Gordon comic strip and its adaptations. Vultan and his people dwell in Sky City, a metropolis that floats in the sky. Prince Vultan starts his career as a half-villain (he resents Ming's domination but does not oppose it out of fear of reprisal) with a lecherous side (he lusts after Earth woman Dale Arden). However, after Zarkov saves his city he reforms into one of Flash Gordon's greatest allies. His character fits the stereotype of the barrel-chested chieftain with more than a hint of the pirate captain or the viking reaver in it, endowed with a booming voice and a great appetite for life, food and women. In the original comic, he has several wives, one of whom tries to kill Dale, as she is jealous of her. He claims to have become King of Sky City after winning one of the Tournaments of Mongo. When Ming tries to take Flash, Vultan calls for a Tournament of Mongo. It is revealed that with Emperor Ming and King Jugrid of the Lion Men he is one of the three most powerful rulers on Mongo. When Flash is given the unconquered Kingdom of Caves by Ming,Vultan sends a party of Hawkmen under Captain Khan to help Flash conquer his Kingdom. The Hawkmen later come into conflict with Queen Azura and her Blue Magic Men. The image of the Hawkmen descending to attack Azura's army (from the June 16, 1935 storyline) is one of the most reproduced scenes from the Flash Gordon strip.Vultan and the other Hawkmen provoked some controversy at the time of publication. Some Christian leaders regarded the characters as blasphemous because they resembled angels.

The New Adventures of Flash Gordon

The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, also known as The Adventures of Flash Gordon, is an animated television series. The series is actually called Flash Gordon but the expanded title is used in official records to distinguish it from previous versions. Filmation produced the series in 1979, partly as a reaction to the mammoth success of Star Wars in 1977. The series was a homage to the original Flash Gordon comic strip and featured most of the original characters, including Flash's girlfriend Dale Arden, and the scientist Hans Zarkov. The series is still regarded as one of the most faithful adaptations, and one of Filmation's finest overall efforts.The basic story follows Flash and his companions as they travel to Mongo, where they are forced into battle by its ruler, Ming the Merciless, his daughter Princess Aura, and his army of Metal Men. To help their cause the heroes lead the formation of an alliance beginning with King Thun, leader of the Lion People; Prince Barin, ruler of Arboria; and King Vultan, leader of the Hawkmen.

The original project was produced as a made-for-television feature film. When NBC saw the finished work, it was decided to turn the work into an animated TV series. The change in format resulted in the story being significantly expanded with a subplot of Ming secretly giving military technology to Hitler being dropped, as well as being set in the present day rather than during World War II. When the series was canceled after its 2nd season, the original footage was reassembled with the original soundtrack, including the final role of Ted Cassidy, and aired on primetime in 1982 as a TV movie, Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All. The series was later shown in reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel's Cartoon Quest.

The show marked the first animated Flash Gordon series, although the Flash Gordon character had appeared in animated form before in Popeye Meets the Man Who Hated Laughter.

Wilma Deering

Wilma Deering is a fictional character featured in the various iterations of Buck Rogers which have spanned many media over the years.Through all the versions of Buck Rogers, Wilma Deering has maintained some clear characteristics. She is a sometimes romantic interest for Buck, always a loyal defender of Earth, and an attractive and smart woman. She is generally depicted as having a lot of spunk in her and a penchant for getting herself into trouble. As with other science fiction heroines from the pulp sf genre and others, she has sometimes been depicted as a damsel in distress but more often as an assertive adventurer in her own right. In this way, her character resembles that of Dale Arden of the Flash Gordon comic books and movie serials, and also the character of Lois Lane from Superman.

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