As I’ve said many times before, when you watch as many old movies as I do, new “favorites” come into your life regularly. Maybe it’s an actor or actress you’d seen before but seeing them in a particular role bolts them toward the top. Or, maybe it’s one you’d somehow never come across before… but now that you have, you vow to see every movie they ever made.
Eve Arden is fairly new to my world or favorites – I have no idea how our paths hadn’t crossed sooner! She is delightful and entertaining in every conceivable way and I am mowing through her filmography and television appearances. I’m also researching and reading everything I can about her. She was a very, very interesting lady – that always makes research more fun!
“I’ve worked with a lot of great glamorous girls in movies and the theater. And I’ll admit, I’ve often thought it would be wonderful to be a femme fatale. But then I’d always come back to thinking that if they only had what I’ve had – a family, real love, an anchor – they would have been so much happier during all the hours when the marquees and the floodlights are dark.” – Eve Arden
Below are some facts about this VERY lovely and VERY talented actress.
- She was born Eunice Mary Quedens on April 30, 1908.
- Eunice Mary made her film debut in a musical, Song of Love, in 1929.
- In 1933, she moved to NYC to pursue work in theater.
- When she was cast in the 1934 Ziegfeld Follies, she was told to change her name. Looking at her perfume and cosmetics, she chose Eve from Evening in Paris and Arden from Elizabeth Arden. Eve Arden… perfect. She created one of the most lyrical and perfect names in all of classic Hollywood and its elegance fit her perfectly.
- When she returned to Hollywood in 1937, she was cast in Stage Door (only one of the best movies ever made, that’s all) and found herself sharing the screen with Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Ann Miller, and Lucille Ball. I once read where someone said she held her own with these ladies… I remember thinking, “Excuse me? They held their own with her!” Her character, Eve, is one of the many highlights of the movie.
- Like many stars who were simply trying to do what it took to keep working, she was known to “get creative” when giving her age and birth year. Personally, I love a little creativity and would have done the same thing.
She was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. This was so very deserving. If you’ve never heard her and her wonderfully distinctive voice on radio – seek her shows out. They’re spectacular.
- Her autobiography is titled Three Phases of Eve (Amazon link).
She was awarded two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for Television and Radio.
- Eve Arden had four children.
- Jane Wyman and Eve Arden were lifelong friends. (Arden guest-starred on Jane Wyman’s Falcon Crest.)
She was in three movies nominated for Best Picture Oscars: Stage Door (1937), Mildred Pierce (1945) and Anatomy of a Murder (1959).
- Profiled in book “Funny Ladies” by Stephen Silverman.
- She was married to producer/actor Brooks West from August 24, 1952 to his death in February of 1984. He made Anatomy of a Murder with her – he portrayed District Attorney Mitch Lodwick and was so darn good I am FLOORED that this was the only film he made! He shared the screen with James Stewart and Ben Gazzara and you’d never know he hadn’t been in just as many films as either of these legends.