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Also Known As: Eunice Quedens Died: November 12, 1990
Born: April 30, 1908 Cause of Death: heart disease
Birth Place: Mill Valley, California, USA Profession: actor, comedian

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

From an early age Eve Arden evinced brilliant comic timing and an almost masculine delivery that set her apart from the rank and file of pretty young Hollywood hopefuls. A seasoned stock player out of high school, she made her film debut in an early talkie, but it was on Broadway and radio that she cultivated her brand as a tart-tonged comedienne. Given a small role in RKO's "Stage Door" (1937), Arden so impressed director Gregory La Cava that he ordered her part expanded to give her equal time alongside stars Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers and Lucille Ball. Better roles followed, supporting the Marx Brothers in "At the Circus" (1939) and playing the first of many independent professional women in "Comrade X" (1940) opposite Clark Gable. Her height and age typing her out of leading lady assignments, Arden flourished as a second female lead and was nominated for an Academy Award for playing the best friend of Joan Crawford's anguished "Mildred Pierce" (1945). In 1948, she created the role of spinster schoolteacher "Our Miss Brooks" for CBS radio and brought the character to television four years later. Moving effortlessly between the stage and screens big and small, Arden remained a viable character...

From an early age Eve Arden evinced brilliant comic timing and an almost masculine delivery that set her apart from the rank and file of pretty young Hollywood hopefuls. A seasoned stock player out of high school, she made her film debut in an early talkie, but it was on Broadway and radio that she cultivated her brand as a tart-tonged comedienne. Given a small role in RKO's "Stage Door" (1937), Arden so impressed director Gregory La Cava that he ordered her part expanded to give her equal time alongside stars Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers and Lucille Ball. Better roles followed, supporting the Marx Brothers in "At the Circus" (1939) and playing the first of many independent professional women in "Comrade X" (1940) opposite Clark Gable. Her height and age typing her out of leading lady assignments, Arden flourished as a second female lead and was nominated for an Academy Award for playing the best friend of Joan Crawford's anguished "Mildred Pierce" (1945). In 1948, she created the role of spinster schoolteacher "Our Miss Brooks" for CBS radio and brought the character to television four years later. Moving effortlessly between the stage and screens big and small, Arden remained a viable character player well past retirement age, upstaging film newcomers John Travolta and Olivia Newton John in "Grease" (1978). Ill health forced Arden's retirement in 1987 while her death from cancer in 1990 dropped the curtain on the brilliant career of a unique and irreplaceable comic talent.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Wisecracks (1991) Herself (Archival Footage)
2.
 Pandemonium (1982)
3.
 Grease 2 (1982) Ms Mcgee
4.
 Under The Rainbow (1981) Duchess
5.
 Grease (1978) Principal Mcgee
6.
 Guide For the Married Woman, A (1978) Employment Lady
7.
8.
 Very Missing Person, A (1972) Hildegarde Withers
9.
 All My Darling Daughters (1972) Miss Freeling
10.
 In Name Only (1969) Aunt Theda
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1928:
Joined Henry Duffy stock company performing in San Francisco and Los Angeles; made stage debut in company's "Alias The Deacon"
:
Joined Bandbox Repertory Theater, touring "citrus circuit" in Southern California
1929:
Film acting debut (as Eunice Quedens) in "The Song of Love"
1934:
Broadway debut in "Ziegfeld Follies"
1934:
First credited as Eve Arden
1935:
First Broadway accolade as Eve Arden in "Parade" opposite Jimmy Savo
1936:
Understudied and went on for Fanny Brice in "Ziegfeld Follies"
1937:
Breakthrough film role in "Stage Door"
1939:
Returned to Broadway in Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical, "Very Warm For May"
1945:
Received Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress for one of her best-remembered role, Ida in "Mildred Pierce"
1948:
Starred on CBS radio as "Our Miss Brooks"
:
"Our Miss Brooks" transferred to TV series while continuing on radio
1982:
Last film, "Grease 2"
1991:
Appeared in archival footage used in the documentary on female comediennes, "Wisecracks"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Tamalpais High School: Mill Valley , California -

Notes

Arden claimed that when she was told by producer Lee Shubert to shed her real name Eunice Quedens to play a showgirl in his "Ziegfeld Follies" of 1934, she studied labels of cosmetic jars on her dressing table and "stole my first name from Evening in Paris and the second from Elizabeth Arden."

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Edward G Bergan. Literary agent. Married 1939, divorced 1947; adopted two children.
husband:
Brooks West. Actor, artist. Married 1951 until his death in 1984; adopted two children.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Charles Peter Quedens.
mother:
Lucille Quedens.
daughter:
Liza West. Adopted by Arden and Edward Bergan.
daughter:
Constance West. Adopted by Arden and Edward Bergan.
son:
Douglas West. Adopted by Arden and Brooks West.
son:
Duncan West. Adopted by Arden and Brooks West.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Three Phases of Eve" St. Martin's Press

Contributions

Catie West ( 2006-01-19 )

Source: Eve Arden's Autobiography The Three Phases of Eve

Eve Arden's son Douglas was not adopted.

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