EVE ARDEN Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Eve Arden.                                                                                 
Birth name: Eunice M. Quedens                                                                   
Born: 30 April 1908 Mill Valley, California, U.S.                                               
Died: 12 November 1990 Los Angeles, California, U.S.                                             
Eve Arden (April 30, 1908 – November 12, 1990) was an Academy Award-nominated                 
and Emmy-winning American actress. Her almost 60 year career crossed most media                 
frontiers with supporting and leading roles, but she is now best remembered,                     
perhaps, for playing the sardonic but engaging high school teacher in the                       
classic Our Miss Brooks (radio and television), and as the Rydell High School                   
principal in the films Grease and Grease 2.                                                     
Arden was born Eunice Quedens (pronounced kwuh-DENZ ) in Mill                                   
Valley, California to Lucille and Charles Peter Quedens. Her parents divorced                   
when she was a child. Arden said that she was an insecure child, declaring later                 
in life that she needed therapy because her mother was so much more beautiful                   
than she.                                                                                       
At 16, Arden left Tamalpais High School and joined a stock theater company.                     
She made her film debut, under her real name, in the backstage musical Song of                   
Love (1929). She plays a wisecracking showgirl who becomes a rival to the film's                 
star, singer Belle Baker. The film was one of Columbia Pictures' earliest                       
Eve Arden's Broadway debut came in 1934, when she was cast in that year's                       
Ziegfeld Follies revue.                                                                         
Her film career began in earnest in 1937 when she appeared in the films Oh                       
Doctor and Stage Door. Her performance in Stage Door, where she portrayed a fast-talking,       
witty supporting character, gained Arden considerable notice and was to be a                     
template for many of Arden's future roles.                                                       
Her many memorable screen roles include a supporting role as Joan Crawford's                     
wise-cracking pal in 1945's Mildred Pierce (for which she received an Academy                   
Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress), and James Stewart's wistful                       
secretary in Otto Preminger's then-explicit murder mystery, Anatomy of a Murder                 
(1959). (One of her co-stars in that film was husband Brooks West.) She also                     
performed some acrobatics while trying to steal a wallet from Groucho Marx in                   
the Marx Brothers film At the Circus (1939).                                                     
Arden's quick wit made her a natural talent for radio; she became a regular on                   
Danny Kaye's short-lived but memorably zany comedy-variety show in 1946, which                   
also featured swing bandleader Harry James and gravel-voiced character actor-comedian           
Lionel Stander.                                                                                 
Kaye's show lasted one season, but Arden's display of comic talent and timing                   
set the stage for her to be cast in the role for which she is best known, as                     
Madison High School English teacher Connie Brooks in Our Miss Brooks. Arden                     
portrayed the character on radio from 1948 to 1957, in a television version of                   
the program from 1952 to 1956 and in a 1956 feature film. Arden's character                     
clashed with the school's principal, Osgood Conklin (played by Gale Gordon), and                 
nursed an unrequited crush on fellow teacher Philip Boynton (played originally                   
by future film star Jeff Chandler and later in the series by Robert Rockwell).                   
Arden's portrayal of the character was so popular that she was made an honorary                 
member of the National Education Association, received a 1952 award from the                     
Teachers College of Connecticut's Alumni Association "for humanizing the                         
American teacher," and even received teaching job offers.                                       
Arden won a radio listeners' poll by Radio Mirror magazine as the top ranking                   
comedienne of 1948-1949, receiving her award at the end of an Our Miss Brooks                   
broadcast that March. "I'm certainly going to try in the coming months to merit                 
the honor you've bestowed upon me, because I understand that if I win this (award)               
two years in a row, I get to keep Mr. Boynton," she joked. But she was also a                   
hit with the critics; a winter 1949 poll of newspaper and magazine radio editors                 
taken by Motion Picture Daily named her the year's best radio comedienne.                       
Arden tried another series in 1957 with the eponymous The Eve Arden Show, but it                 
was cancelled after only a few episodes.                                                         
Arden also co-starred with Kaye Ballard in the 1967-1969 situation comedy The                   
Mothers-in-Law, which was produced by her old friend Desi Arnaz after the                       
dissolution of Desilu. A few years afterward, she made a new sitcom pilot co-starring           
Don Knotts, but it failed to attract a network buyer.