Eve Arden was an American actress whose career encompassed radio, television, film, and the stage. She is popularly known for portraying the titular character of Our Miss Brooks, which won her very first Primetime Emmy Award for her performance. Her trademark wit and charm made her a favourite amongst directors and audiences, as she could be counted on to bring her very best to any role she was given to play. She starred in several hit movies and television series, as well as in notable Broadway productions. Some of her most successful works include her roles in Stage Door, Mildred Pierce, Having Wonderful Time, Very Warm for May, Anatomy of a Murder, and The Eve Arden Show.
The award-winning actress is considered one of the best performers of her time and her immense talent ensured that she had a long and prolific acting career on stage and beyond it. She had over 100 acting credits on her professional resume. Throughout her sixty-year-long career, Eve Arden remained a sought after actress and she had little to no trouble finding work in front of the cameras.
Who is Eve Arden and How Old is She?
Eve was born Eugene Mary Quedens on April 30, 1908, in California. She is the daughter of Lucille Quedens and Charles Peter Quedens but her parents divorced while she was young due to her father’s gambling addiction. She attended a convent school, followed by Tamalpais High School. Eve left school at 16 and decided to pursue a career as an actress.
She began her acting journey on the stage, going on to feature in the musical Song of Love. Eve. She moved to New York to explore more acting opportunities and landed her first role on Broadway in the 1934 play Ziegfeld Follies. Shortly before she appeared in it, she was advised to change her name as it was rather dull, so, she coined Eve Arden inspired by some of the items on her cosmetics table: Evening in Paris and Elizabeth Arden. Following her debut feature, she starred in other Broadway productions such as Two For The Show, Parade, and Very Warm for May.
Eve made her film debut in 1937 with Oh Doctor, then Stage Door. The success of these films won her a lot of attention and opened the door for more opportunities. She went on to score starring and supporting roles in movies like Having Wonderful Time, At The Circus, The Forgotten Woman, Comrade X, Whistling in the Dark, and Mildred Pierce for which she earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the Academy Awards.
Her capacity for humour allowed Eve to enjoy a successful career on radio. Her most memorable role was in Our Miss Brooks, which she played on radio and in the television adaptation. The role made her an even bigger star than before and she received a number of honours for the character she played. The commercial and critical success of the series sealed her status as a brilliant comedienne. Her other television features include The Eve Arden Show, Bewitched, Falcon Crest, The Mothers-in-Law, and Maude.
Moving to the stage, Eve Arden managed to garner considerable success, taking on leading roles in Auntie Mame, Hello, Dolly!, Goodbye Charlie, Let’s Face It, Butterflies Are Free, and Little Me. Her illustrious career earned her two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and an induction into the acclaimed National Radio Hall of Fame.
Her Family – Husband and Children
Eve Arden’s family and personal life had a few twists and surprises. She made two trips to the altar in her lifetime. The first was to marry Ned Bergen, a literary agent in 1939, but the union only lasted until 1947 before it was dissolved.
She found love again in the person of actor Brooks West, whom she married in 1952. They remained together until he passed away in 1984 from a heart-related illness. He was only 64 at the time. Eve never remarried after that, nor did she have any other relationship.
The legendary actress was a mother of four children. During the 1940s, she adopted two children, both girls. She adopted another child, a boy while she was married to Brooks West, however, they had a son together in 1953, whom they named Douglas Brooks West. Her other children are named Liza, Connie, and Duncan Paris West.
Eve Arden’s Height
Eve Arden was a woman of average height and build. She was 5 feet 8 inches tall but her personality both on and off-screen made her seem like she was much taller. She filled every room she entered with her presence and seemed to tower above everyone else, but not in a condescending way.
Cause Of Death
The acclaimed comedienne and performer passed away on November 12, 1990, when she was 82. The cause of her death was a cardiac arrest resulting from arteriosclerotic heart disease. Eve died in her home and she was buried in Westwood, Los Angeles, at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.