Job Actress
Years active 1929-1987
Known for Wisecracking, heroines' friends
Top Roles Ida Corwin, 'Buzz' Baker, Henrietta, Madame de Talavera, Eve
Top GenresComedy, Romance, Drama, Musical, Film Adaptation, Mystery
Top TopicsRomance (Comic), Show Business, Broadway
Top Collaborators (Producer), (Director), , (Director)
Shares birthday with Cloris Leachman, David Manners, Al Lewis  see more..

Eve Arden Overview:

Legendary character actress, Eve Arden, was born Eunice Quedens on Apr 30, 1908 in Mill Valley, CA. Arden appeared in over 95 film and TV roles. Her best known films include Stage Door (1937, as Eve), Mildred Pierce (1945, as Joan Crawford's friend) and Anatomy of a Murder (1959, as James Stewart's secretary). She also starred in the television series' Our Miss Brooks (1952-1956), The Eve Arden Show (1957) and The Mothers-In-Law (1967, opposite Kaye Ballard). Arden died at the age of 82 on Nov 12, 1990 in Los Angeles, CA and was laid to rest in Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA.

Early Life

Eve Arden was born Eunice M. Quedens on April 30th, 1908 in Mill Valley, California and always said she had a relatively unhappy childhood. Thanks to her parents divorce at a very early age, Arden felt torn between her mother and father. She also considered herself to be grossly less attractive than her mother, something she claims to have needed therapy to help her cope with. After the divorce of her parents, Arden spent most of time living with her mother and aunt. As a teen, she attended Tamalpais High School, where her mother and aunt encouraged Arden to act in the school's staged productions. She proved to have some natural talent and by the age of 16 had decided to drop out of school and take a job with a touring theater company.

Early Career

It was while touring that the shy and insecure Arden found her confidence. As part of the Duffy Stock Company, Arden toured the up and down the coast of California, from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back again. After her tenure with Duffy was over, she then joined the Bandbox Repertory Theater and toured what was then called the "Citrus Circuit" of Southern California. In 1929 the 21 year-old actress made her film debut in the musical Song of Love, as the wisecracking showgirl, Maisie. At this point in her career, she still went by her given name of Eunice Quedens. The film was a huge hit for the fledging Colombia Studios and one of their great early successes. Despite the films success, it would be four years before Arden would again grace the silver screen. She returned to the stage and continued to tour the coast of California. In 1933 she made an uncredited film appearance with Joan Crawford and Clark Gable in the musical Dancing Lady.

In 1934 year Arden made her Broadway Debut in that year's Ziegfeld Follies revue, using for the first time the stage name of Eve Arden. She reportedly came up with the name after looking on her dressing room table and saw two beauty cosmetics: one called Evening in Paris and one by Elizabeth Arden. For the next couple of years Arden continued to act on Broadway, appearing in large ensemble revues. In 1935 Arden received heavy critical praise for her performance in the musical satire revue Parade with major publications such as The New York Times crediting Arden with much of satires success. She then was asked to return for the 1936 edition of Ziegfeld Follies with a featured role as star Frannie Brice's understudy. This allowed the actress to star in several of her own performances. Now with over 10 years of stage experience under her belt, Arden decided it was time to break into the movie business and headed for Hollywood.

Film Career

Arden returned to Hollywood in 1937, this time making her stay more a bit more permanent than her previous two ventures. She first appeared in the rather forgettable comedy Oh, Doctor starring Edward Everett Horton. She then starred in the female driven stage drama/comedy Stage Door opposite Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, and Lucille Ball. In the film Arden played Eve, the wise-cracking, fast-talking best friend with the habit of dishing out the tough love that her good friends so desperately need. The film was a hit, with many taking notice to Arden's fast-paced delivery and witticisms and helped mold what was to become the Eve Arden screen persona. She continued to play a slew a comedic supporting role for the rest of the decade, including films such as Cocoanut Grove, Having a Wonderful Time, and Letters of Introduction. 1939 proved to be a particularly busy year for Arden as she appeared in seven films, including the Marx Brothers film At the Circus. That year she also returned to New York to co-star in the Max Gordon production of Very Warm for May.

At the start of the new decade Arden traveled regularly between New York and California, splitting her time between Broadway and Hollywood. Over on the Great White Way, she starred in the musical revue Two for the Show at the Booth Theatre before heading back to Hollywood appear the comedies No, No, Nanette and Comrade X. In 1941 she appeared in no less than nine films, including Ziegfeld Girl and Manpower before once again shipping of to New York to star in the musical comedy Let's Face It! opposite Danny Kaye. The play was a tremendous success and ran for over 500 performances. Because of her New York success, she only released one film in 1942, Obliging Young Lady. She continued to play the supporting comedic characters for the rest of the decade. Her most prominent of these type of roles was as Ida Corwin in Mildred Pierce. In the film she plays Crawford's fast-talking, jape-making friend who wasn't afraid to tell her friend the harsh truth, albeit in humorous manner. The film was hit with Arden even gaining a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.

Venture into Radio and Television

Now an accomplished stage and screen actress, Eve's talent would inevitably lead to another medium: radio. She became a regular guest on Broadway co-star Danny Kaye's variety show. In 1948 she was cast as the feisty English teacher, Connie Brooks, in her own series Our Miss Brooks. The radio show was such as resounding success with numerous reiterations of the series, including a television show that last lasted from 1952 to 1956 and a film that was released in 1956. She radio series itself lasted from 1948 to 1957. Her character was so popular that she was made an honorary member of the National Education Association, received an award from the Teachers College for Connecticut for her humanizing portrayal of American teachers, and was even offered a few teaching position, despite her lack of credentials.

By the late 1950s and into the 1960s, Arden could be seen mostly on the small screen and heard across the airwaves. In 1957 she starred in her television show, the aptly titled The Eve Arden Show and two years co-starred in the 1959 Otto Preminger courtroom drama Anatomy of a Murder. She worked tirelessly into the 1960s making appearing on series such as Checkmate, My Three Sons, Bewitched and The Man from U.N.C.L.E, and even had reoccurring part of Clara Appleby, a charm school teacher on The Red Skelton Hour. Although she spent much of her on the tube, Arden still remained on good terms with the silver screen with a supporting role in the 1965 film Sergeant Dead Head.

Later Career

By the 1970s Arden mostly performed on the medium of television. She appeared a series of made for TV movie like A Very Missing Person and All My Darling Daughters as well as series such as The ABC Afternoon Playbreak, A Girl with Something Extra and Ellery Queen. By the end of the decade, in 1978, Arden was introduced to new generation of film-audiences with her performance as Principal McGee in the hit 1978 musical comedy Grease. She then revived her role in the less popular Grease 2 in 1982. In 1985 the veteran actress released an autobiography titled The Three Phases of Eve. She continued to appear on TV until she retired in 1987, with her last performance being as Lillian Nash on the TV series Falcon Crest. After her retirement, she lived a quiet, comfortable life in Los Angeles, California and was posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. Eve Arden died on November 12th, 1990 at her Los Angeles home. She was 82 years old.

(Source: article by Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub).



Although Arden was nominated for one Oscar, she never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1945Best Supporting ActressMildred Pierce (1945)IdaNominated

She was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the categories of Radio and Television. In addition, Arden was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame .

BlogHub Articles:

THE BLOGATHON: The Doughgirls (1944)

on Nov 11, 2017 From Caftan Woman

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies is hosting The blogathon running November 11 and 12. Click HERE for the fun times with everyone's favourite wisecracking dame. The Doughgirls was a successful Broadway play by Joseph Fields that ran for 671 performances beginning in 1942. Fields, son of ente... Read full article

THE BLOGATHON: The Doughgirls (1944)

on Nov 11, 2017 From Caftan Woman

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies is hosting The blogathon running November 11 and 12. Click HERE for the fun times with everyone's favourite wisecracking dame. The Doughgirls was a successful Broadway play by Joseph Fields that ran for 671 performances beginning in 1942. Fields, son of ente... Read full article

The Moment I Fell for

By Judy on Dec 18, 2014 From Cary Grant Won't Eat You

In the early eighties, all the girls I knew pined for large hoop earrings, curly hair, and tight pants just like the changed Sandy in Grease. We piped ?You?re the One that I Want,? with its requisite ?oooh, oooh, ooohs,? imagining we could lure Danny into the sky with us. Grease had a staying power... Read full article

Gracie Allen, and others – Mother’s Day on OTR

By Aurora on May 7, 2014 From How Sweet It Was

On everyone’s agenda as part of the?festivities honoring Mother’s Day should be?listening to good, old-fashioned entertainment – on the radio. ?In case you have none of that handy, included here is a nice collection to get you started so?have fun and share with the entire family?-?... Read full article

Birthday of the Week: (1)

By Beth Daniels on Apr 29, 2014 From Mildred's Fatburgers

Born Eunice M. Quedens, Mill Valley, CA, April 30, 1908 Autobiography A fun read; no tell-all Three Phases of EveBy ,St. Martin's Press, 1985 Beautiful Smart Aleck (born Eunice Quedens) was the only child of a gambling-addicted father and former-actress moth... Read full article

See all articles

Eve Arden Quotes:

Maida Rutledge: If this refrigerator gets any more fish in it, it will swim upstream and spawn all by itself.

John Coudair: What would you do if your youth should walk in that door?
Cornelia 'Stonewall' Jackson: I'd put braces on its teeth.

Paul Biegler: You're fired.
Maida Rutledge: You can't fire me until you pay me.

read more quotes from Eve Arden...

Share this page:
Visit the Classic Movie Hub Blog CMH
Also a Taurus

See All Tauruses >>
Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1945

See more Best Supporting Actress awards>>
Eve Arden on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame

See All Walk of Fame Stars >>
Eve Arden Facts
Interred at Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California, USA, Section D, #81.

Profiled in book "Funny Ladies" by Stephen Silverman. [1999]

Often disguised her true age, but her tombstone was engraved by her family with the years "1908-1990", so she was 82 at her death.

See All Related Facts >>
Radio Hall of Fame

Also in the Radio Hall of Fame

See All Radio Hall of Fame Inductees >>