EVA MARIE SAINT Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Eva Marie Saint.                                                                                 
Born: 4 July 1924 Newark, New Jersey, U.S.                                                             
Other name: Eve Marie Saint                                                                           
Eva Marie Saint (born July 4, 1924) is an Academy Award-winning American actress.                     
She has starred on Broadway, in films and on television beginning in the 1950s.                       
Saint was born in Newark, New Jersey but attended Bethlehem Central High School                       
in Delmar, NY, graduating in 1942. Eva Marie was inducted into the high school's                       
hall of fame in 2006. She studied acting at Bowling Green State University,                           
while a member of Delta Gamma Sorority. There is a theatre on Bowling Green's                         
campus named for her. She was an active member in the theater honorary                                 
fraternity, Theta Alpha Phi.                                                                           
In the late '40s, she began doing extensive work in radio and television before                       
winning the Drama Critics Award for her Broadway stage role in the Horton Foote                       
play The Trip to Bountiful (1953), in which she co-starred with such formidable                       
actors as Lillian Gish and Jo Van Fleet. In 1955, she was nominated for her                           
first Emmy for "Best Actress In A Single Performance" on The Philco Television                         
Playhouse for playing the young mistress of middle-aged E. G. Marshall in Middle                       
of the Night by Paddy Chayevsky. She won another Emmy nomination for the 1955                         
television musical version of the Thornton Wilder classic play Our Town with co-stars                 
Paul Newman (in his only musical role) and Frank Sinatra. Her success and                             
acclaim were of such a high level that the young Saint earned the nickname "the                       
Helen Hayes of television."                                                                           
Saint's first feature motion picture role was in On the Waterfront (1954),                             
directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando — a smart, sympathetic, and                       
emotionally-charged role for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.                       
Her performance as Edie Doyle (whose brother Joey's death sets the film's drama                       
in motion), which she won over such leading contenders as Grace Kelly, Janice                         
Rule, and Elizabeth Montgomery, also earned her a British Academy of Film and                         
Television Award for "Most Promising Newcomer." In his New York Times review,                         
film critic Bosley Crowther wrote:                                                                     
"In casting Eva Marie Saint — a newcomer to movies from TV and Broadway — Mr.                     
Kazan has come up with a pretty and blond artisan who does not have to depend on                       
these attributes. Her parochial school training is no bar to love with the                             
proper stranger. Amid scenes of carnage, she gives tenderness and sensitivity to                       
genuine romance."                                                                                     
In a 2000 interview in Premiere magazine, Saint recalled making the hugely                             
influential film:                                                                                     
“ [Elia] Kazan put me in a room with Marlon Brando. He said, 'Brando is the                         
boyfriend of your sister. You're a Catholic girl and not used to being with a                         
young man. Don't let him in the door under any circumstances.' I don't know what                       
he told Marlon; you'll have to ask him — good luck! [Brando] came in and started                     
teasing me. He put me off-balance. And I remained off-balance for the whole                           
shoot. ”                                                                                             
The watershed success of the film launched Saint into many of the best known                           
films of her early screen career. They include starring with Don Murray in the                         
powerful and pioneering drug-addiction drama, A Hatful of Rain (1957), for which                       
she won the "Best Foreign Actress" from the British Academy of Film and                               
Television, and the lavish Civil War epic Raintree County, opposite Elizabeth                         
Taylor and Montgomery Clift.                                                                           
Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock surprised many by choosing the stately and                         
serious Saint over dozens of other candidates for the femme fatale role in what                       
was to become a suspense classic North by Northwest (1959) with Cary Grant and                         
James Mason. Written by Ernest Lehman, the film updated and expanded upon the                         
director's early "wrong man" spy adventures of the '30s, '40s, and '50s,                               
including The 39 Steps, Young and Innocent, and Foreign Correspondent. North by                       
Northwest became a box-office hit and an influence on spy films for decades. The                       
film ranks number forty on the American Film Institute's list of the 100                               
Greatest American Movies of All Time.                                                                 
At the time of the film's production, much publicity was garnered by Hitchcock's                       
decision to cut Saint's waist-length blonde hair for the first time in her                             
career. Hitchcock explained at the time, "Short hair gives Eva a more exotic                           
look, in keeping with her role of the glamorous woman of my story. I wanted her                       
dressed like a kept woman – smart, simple, subtle and quiet. In other words,                         
anything but the bangles and beads type." The director also worked with Saint to                       
make her voice lower and huskier and even personally chose costumes for her                           
during a shopping trip to Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.                                           
The change in Saint's screen persona, coupled with her adroit performance as a                         
seductive woman of mystery who keeps Cary Grant (and the audience) off-balance,                       
was widely heralded. In his New York Times review of August 7, 1959. critic                           
Bosley Crowther wrote, "In casting Eva Marie Saint as [Cary Grant's] romantic                         
vis-a-vis, Mr. Hitchcock has plumbed some talents not shown by the actress                             
heretofore. Although she is seemingly a hard, designing type, she also emerges                         
both the sweet heroine and a glamorous charmer." In 2000, recalling her                               
experience making the picture with Cary Grant and Hitchcock, Saint said, "[Grant]                     
would say, "See, Eva Marie, you don't have to cry in a movie to have a good time.                     
Just kick up your heels and have fun." Hitchcock said, "I don't want you to do a                       
sink-to-sink movie again, ever. You've done these black-and-white movies like On                       
the Waterfront. It's drab in that tenement house. Women go to the movies, and                         
they've just left the sink at home. They don't want to see you at the sink." I                         
said, "I can't promise you that, Hitch, because I love those dramas."                                 
Although North by Northwest might have propelled her to the top ranks of stardom,                     
she elected to limit film work in order to spend time with her husband since                           
1951, director Jeffrey Hayden, and their two children. Nevertheless, in the 1960s,                     
Saint continued to distinguish herself in both high-profile and offbeat pictures.                     
She co-starred again with Paul Newman in the historical drama about the founding                       
of the state of Israel Exodus (1960), directed by Otto Preminger. She also co-starred                 
with Warren Beatty, Karl Malden, and Angela Lansbury as a tragic beauty in the                         
1962 drama All Fall Down. Based upon a novel by James Leo Herlihy and a                               
screenplay by William Inge, the film was directed by John Frankenheimer. She was                       
seen with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the melodrama The Sandpiper for                       
Vincente Minnelli, and with James Garner in the World War II thriller 36 Hours,                       
directed by George Seaton. Saint joined an all-star cast in the comedic satire                         
The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, directed by Norman Jewison and                       
the international racing drama Grand Prix presented in Cinerama and directed by                       
Frankenheimer. Although she was announced as the leading lady opposite Steve                           
McQueen in Jewison's ultra-stylish romantic caper film The Thomas Crown Affair (1968),                 
the meteoric rise of newcomer Faye Dunaway, who was cast instead, cost Saint a                         
glamorous and sexy role.                                                                               
In 1970, she received some of her best reviews for Loving, co-starring as the                         
wife of George Segal in a critically-acclaimed but underseen drama about a                             
commercial artist's relationship with his wife and other women. Because of the                         
mostly second-rate film roles that came her way in the 1970s, Saint returned to                       
television and the stage in the 1980s. She appeared in a number of made-for-TV                         
movies, played the mother of Cybill Shepherd on the hit television series                             
Moonlighting, won an Emmy nomination for the 1977 miniseries How The West Was                         
Won, plus a 1978 Emmy nomination for Taxi and an Emmy in 1990 for the mini-series                     
People Like Us.                                                                                       
Saint was cast as the mother of Frasier Crane's radio producer, Roz Doyle, in a                       
1999 episode of the TV comedy series Frasier.                                                         
In 2000, she co-starred with Kim Basinger in the motion picture I Dreamed of                           
Africa, with Jessica Lange for director Wim Wenders in Don't Come Knocking (2005)                     
written by Sam Shepard, and in the heart-tugging family film Because of Winn-Dixie.                   
In 2006, Saint appeared as Martha Kent, the adoptive mother of Superman, in                           
Superman Returns.                                                                                     
She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for motion pictures at 6624                       
Hollywood Blvd., and one for television at 6730 Hollywood Blvd.