biography

Born Eunice Quedens in Mill Valley, California, on April 30, 1908, actress Eve Arden harbored an early interest in the stage. Still in her teens, Arden quit school to try her luck in theater and films. Initially, she was just another pretty actress on stage. Her earliest film roles were in musicals: Song of Love (1929) and MGM's Dancing Lady (1933; with Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, and Franchot Tone ). Neither film put Arden's career on the fast track, so she returned to the theater and landed a comedic role in the Ziegfeld Follies. By far the most success she had in her young career, Arden decided to stick with comedy and character parts. She returned to film with great success in the later 1930s, honing her sardonic wit in a series of comedies. Even when appearing in dramas, such as the 1945 Joan Crawford vehicle Mildred Pierce (for which Arden was rewarded with an Academy Award nomination), she often portrayed a wisecracking working girl.

Eve Arden

Glamorous 1940s photo of Eve Arden

Arden has the distinction of acting in films alongside Joan Crawford's first three husbands (Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Franchot Tone, and Phillip Terry) and being in three Crawford films herself. Strangely, Arden was often given male names in films, from Buzz to Stonewall, perhaps to play down her glamorous image. Her biggest role came not in film but in the radio comedy Our Miss Brooks, which made its debut in the summer of 1948. In 1952, the series moved to television. Her portrayal of schoolteacher Connie Brooks is the role Arden is best remembered for. That same year, she married second husband, producer Brooks West.

the films of eve arden

Sing for Your Supper (1941)

Benny Baker, Jinx Falkenburg, Eve Arden, and Charles Buddy Rogers

From the Columbia musical comedy Sing for Your Supper with Benny Baker, Jinx Falkenburg, and Charles 'Buddy' Rogers

San Antonio Rose (1941)

Eve Arden

From the Universal musical San Antonio Rose

The Doughgirls (1944)

Eve Arden, Jane Wyman, Alexis Smith, and Ann Sheridan

Arden as Russian sergeant Natalia Moskeroff in the wartime comedy The Doughgirls. Also pictured are Jane Wyman, Alexis Smith, and Ann Sheridan

Mildred Pierce (1945)

Eve Arden, Ann Blyth, and Joan Crawford

With Ann Blyth and Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce. As Mildred's employee and friend Ida Corwin, Arden excelled at this type of role

The Kid From Brooklyn (1946)

Eve Arden and Danny Kaye

With Danny Kaye in a photo taken around the time of the release of The Kid From Brooklyn

The Unfaithful (1947)

Zachary Scott and Eve Arden

From the Warner Bros. film noir thriller The Unfaithful with Zachary Scott

The Voice of the Turtle (1947)

Wayne Morris and Eve Arden

With Wayne Morris in the Ronald Reagan comedy The Voice of the Turtle

One Touch of Venus (1948)

Tom Conway and Eve ArdenTom Conway, Ava Gardner, and Eve Arden

From One Touch of Venus. LEFT: With Tom Conway. RIGHT: With Tom Conway and Ava Gardner

Whiplash (1948)

Dane Clark and Eve Arden

With Dane Clark in the Warner Bros. noir Whiplash

Curtain Call at Cactus Creek (1950)

Eve Arden, Chick Chandler, and Gale StormVincent Price and Eve Arden

From the Universal-International comedy Curtain Call at Cactus Creek. LEFT: With Chick Chandler and Gale Storm. RIGHT: With Vincent Price

Tea for Two (1950)

Doris Day, Billy De Wolfe, and Eve Arden

With Doris Day and Billy De Wolfe in the musical comedy Tea for Two

Three Husbands (1951)

Howard Da Silva and Eve Arden

With screen husband Howard Da Silva in the comedy Three Husbands

Our Miss Brooks (1952-1956 CBS TV Series)

Gale Gordon and Eve ArdenEve Arden

Rare color stills from Arden's 1952-1956 series Our Miss Brooks. Also pictured is Gale Gordon

The Lady Wants Mink (1953)

Eve Arden and William Demarest

From the Republic comedy The Lady Wants Mink with William Demarest

Our Miss Brooks (1956)

Eve Arden and Don PorterNick Adams, Robert Rockwell, and Eve ArdenDon Porter, Nick Adams, and Eve Arden

From the Warner Bros. comedy Our Miss Brooks, a theatrically released film that included most of the cast members from the TV series. LEFT: With Don Porter. CENTER: With Nick Adams and Robert Rockwell. RIGHT: With Don Porter and Nick Adams

The Mothers-In-Law (1967–1969 NBC TV Series)

Kaye Ballard, Deborah Walley, Jerry Fogel, and Eve Arden

From the NBC TV series The Mothers-In-Law, which was produced by Desi Arnaz. Pictured are series stars Kaye Ballard, Deborah Walley, Jerry Fogel, and Eve Arden

Grease (1978)

Eve Arden and Sid Caesar

As Principal McGee in Paramount's fun musical Grease. Also pictured is Sid Caesar

Under the Rainbow (1981)

Eve Arden and Sid Caesar

From the Orion Pictures comedy Under the Rainbow

Grease 2 (1982)

Tab Hunter, Connie Stevens, Dody Goodman, Sid Caesar, and Eve Arden

From the big-budget Paramount musical Grease 2 with Tab Hunter, Connie Stevens, Dody Goodman, and Sid Caesar

later years

After Our Miss Brooks left the air in 1956, Eve Arden returned to CBS in the fall of 1957 in another situation comedy, titled The Eve Arden Show, which was not a success and was canceled in the spring of 1958. Afterward, Arden cooled her acting career, accepting fewer roles. After a nearly ten-year hiatus from television, Arden returned in the series The Mothers-in-Law (1967-1969), which also starred Deborah Walley and Arden's frequent co-star Kaye Ballard. In the early 1970s, Arden appeared in several made-for-television films, and in the late 1970s she returned to the big screen in a hilarious performance as Principal McGee in Grease. A few more films followed, whereupon she retired from films in the early 1980s. Arden's husband Brooks West passed away in 1984 at the age of 67. Plagued with heart trouble and cancer in her final days, Eve Arden passed away on November 12, 1990, at the age of 82. She was survived by two sons and two daughters.

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filmography

FILM
Alice in Wonderland (1983) with Richard Burton, Kaye Ballard, Nathan Lane, Donald O'Connor, James Coco, and Colleen Dewhurst
Pandemonium (1982) with Debralee Scott, Tom Smothers, Kaye Ballard, and Tab Hunter
Grease 2 (1982) with Michelle Pfeiffer, Maxwell Caulfield, Tab Hunter, Connie Stevens, Sid Caesar, and Lorna Luft
Under the Rainbow (1981) with Chevy Chase and Carrie Fisher
The Dream Merchants (1980) with Morgan Fairchild, Mark Harmon, Kaye Ballard, Robert Goulet, and Howard Duff, Carolyn Jones
A Guide for the Married Woman (1978) with Elaine Joyce, Peter Marshall, and Bill Dana
Grease (1978) with John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Edd Byrnes, and Frankie Avalon
The Strongest Man in the World (1975) with Kurt Russell, Cesar Romero, and Phil Silvers
All My Darling Daughters (1972) with Robert Young, Raymond Massey, John Lupton, and Judy Strangis
A Very Missing Person (1972) with Julie Newmar and Ray Danton
In Name Only (1969) with Michael Callan, Ruth Buzzi, Elinor Donahue, and Bill Daily
Sergeant Deadhead (1965) with Frankie Avalon, Deborah Walley, John Ashley, Donna Loren, Cesar Romero, Gale Gordon, and Buster Keaton
The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1960) with Dorothy McGuire, Robert Preston, Shirley Knight, and Lee Kinsolving
Anatomy of a Murder (1959) with James Stewart and Lee Remick
Our Miss Brooks (1956) with Gale Gordon, Richard Crenna, Nick Adams, and Don Porter
The Lady Wants Mink (1953) with Dennis O'Keefe, Hillary Brooke, and Mara Corday
We're Not Married! (1952) with Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe, and Zsa Zsa Gabor
Goodbye, My Fancy (1951) with Joan Crawford and Robert Young
Three Husbands (1950) with Ruth Warrick and Billie Burke
Paid in Full (1950) with Lizabeth Scott, Robert Cummings, and John Bromfield
Tea for Two (1950) with Doris Day and Gordon MacRae
Curtain Call at Cactus Creek (1950) with Gale Storm, Donald O'Connor, and Vincent Price
The Lady Takes a Sailor (1949) with Jane Wyman and Dennis Morgan
My Dream Is Yours (1949) with Doris Day and Jack Carson
One Touch of Venus (1948) with Robert Walker, Ava Gardner, Tom Conway, and Dick Haymes
Whiplash (1948) with Alexis Smith, Dane Clark, and Zachary Scott
The Arnelo Affair (1947) with John Hodiak and Frances Gifford
The Voice of the Turtle (1947) with Ronald Reagan and Eleanor Parker
The Unfaithful (1947) with Ann Sheridan, Zachary Scott, and Lew Ayres
Song of Scheherazade (1947) with Yvonne De Carlo, Brian Donlevy, and Jean-Pierre Aumont
Night and Day (1946) with Cary Grant, Alexis Smith, and Dorothy Malone
The Kid from Brooklyn (1946) with Steve Cochran, Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, and Vera-Ellen
My Reputation (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck and George Brent
Pan-Americana (1945) with Phillip Terry and Lita Baron
Patrick the Great (1945) with Donald O'Connor and Frances Dee
Mildred Pierce (1945) with Joan Crawford, Bruce Bennett, Zachary Scott, and Ann Blyth
Earl Carroll Vanities (1945) with Dennis O'Keefe and Constance Moore
The Doughgirls (1944) with Ann Sheridan, Alexis Smith, Jane Wyman, Craig Stevens, and Jack Carson
Cover Girl (1944) with Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly, Jinx Falkenburg, and Phil Silvers
Let's Face It (1943) with Bob Hope, Zasu Pitts, and Betty Hutton
Hit Parade of 1943 (1943) with Susan Hayward and Gail Patrick
Obliging Young Lady (1942) with Edmond O'Brien and Ruth Warrick
Bedtime Story (1941) with Fredric March, Loretta Young, and Joyce Compton
She Knew All the Answers (1941) with Joan Bennett and Franchot Tone
Sing for Your Supper (1941) with Jinx Falkenburg, Buddy Rogers, and Lloyd Bridges
The Last of the Duanes (1941) with George Montgomery
Whistling in the Dark (1941) with Red Skelton, Virginia Grey, and Ann Rutherford
Manpower (1941) with Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, George Raft, and Joyce Compton
San Antonio Rose (1941) with Jane Frazee, Lon Chaney Jr., and Shemp Howard
Ziegfeld Girl (1941) with James Stewart, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, Hedy Lamarr, and Jackie Cooper
That Uncertain Feeling (1941) with Merle Oberon, Burgess Meredith, and Melvyn Douglas
No, No, Nanette (1940) with Richard Carlson, Victor Mature, Anna Neagle, and Zasu Pitts
She Couldn't Say No (1940) with Roger Pryor
Comrade X (1940) with Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr
Slightly Honorable (1940) with Broderick Crawford, Pat O'Brien, Evelyn Keyes, and Ruth Terry
A Child Is Born (1940) with Geraldine Fitzgerald, Gloria Holden, Spring Byington, and Nanette Fabray
The Forgotten Woman (1939) with William Lundigan
At the Circus (1939) with the Marx Brothers, Margaret Dumont, and Nat Pendleton
Eternally Yours (1939) with David Niven, Loretta Young, Zasu Pitts, and Broderick Crawford
Big Town Czar (1939) with Ed Sullivan
Women in the Wind (1939) with Kay Francis
Letter of Introduction (1938) with Edgar Bergen and Ann Sheridan
Having a Wonderful Time (1938) with Ginger Rogers, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Jack Carson, and Lucille Ball
Cocoanut Grove (1938) with Fred MacMurray and Harriet Nelson
Stage Door (1937) with Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball, and Gail Patrick
Oh Doctor (1937) with Edward Everett Horton and William Demarest
Dancing Lady (1933) with Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, and Clark Gable
Song of Love (1929)

TELEVISION SERIES
The Mothers-In-Law, 1967-1969 TV series. Arden portrayed Eve Hubbard. Also in the regular cast were Deborah Walley, Kaye Ballard, and Desi Arnaz. Produced by Desi Arnaz
The Eve Arden Show, 1957-1958 CBS TV series. Arden portrayed Liza Hammond
Our Miss Brooks, 1952-1956 CBS TV series. Arden portrayed Connie Brooks. Also in the regular cast were Gale Gordon, Gene Barry, Richard Crenna, and Mary Jane Croft. Produced by Desilu

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Watch a 1955 episode of Eve Arden's series Our Miss Brooks titled The Big Jump
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This page premiered January 5, 2003.
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