Arlene vrhel dating
It was also in high school that Mantegna met Arlene Vrhel, whom he began dating in 1969, when they were cast by chance in a Chicago production of Hair."We just had a lot of fun, but we didn't get married for the longest time because we were hippies," says Arlene, a full-time mother."She's wise beyond her years and really understand Mia." The Mantegnas have enrolled Mia in a public school equipped with special education speech, piano, singing and dance lessons that enhance her naturally prodigious musical aptitude.Mia pitch is flawless, says her mother, that if someone sings even slightly off-key, she covers her ears. "I think her musical skill is a form of expression for her." So is an occasional run in with strangers.Mantegna once threatened to quit a local production of Bloody Bess wen Franz was fired (he was later rehired thanks to Mantegna's hard-balling).
In Los Angeles, Franz almost backed their belonging off a hillside near the place where the Mantegnas were staying."She's reciting all the parts of Pinocchio, in different voices", he says. Sometimes I want to say, ' Hey, you know what?She's autistic and I'm very proud of her'"."Then when she was 2 and a half, we discovered she was autistic." (Autism, for which there is no known cure, strikes about 4000,000 *at the time of this interview* people nationwide, and three out of four autistics are male.) Mia wasn't talking when other kids her age had started forming words, avoided eye contact and later exhibited a condition called echolalia, the habitual repetition of words and sentences.
"You go through a million emotions," says Mantegna. At first you deny it." It took three years for Joe and Arlene to decide to have a second child, Gina, now 6 and healthy.
He saw little of this insurance salesman father, Joe Sr., a hard-drinking chain smoker who spent much of his time traveling the Midwest supervising branch offices and who continued to smoke even after having a lung removed in his 20s (he died in 1970 of tuberculosis).