Oscar Actors: Arden, Eve–Supporting Actress Nominee (Mildred Pierce)

Eve Arden, born Eunice Quedens on April 20, 1912 in Mill Valley, California; she died in 1990

A caustic comedienne of the American stage, radio, TV, and films, Eve Arden made her stage debut in stock at the age of 16 and her first New York appearance in “The Ziegfeld Follies” of 1934.

Before starting a prolific screen career in 1937, she appeared in two isolated films as Eunice Quedens. In films, Arden often played the warmhearted but acerbic friend of the heroine and enlivened many a production with her snappy barbs.

At the height of her screen career in the 1940s she averaged three films a year.

She was known among critics and colleagues as “the queen of the caustic crack,” specializing in delivering droll and acidic one-liners that often lifted otherwise dull dialogue.

Like Rosalind Russell, she had the penchant for staunch fast-talking, which was often addressed to rigid and pretentious male (and female) figures.

Arden made a great impression in the 1937 female ensemble driven, Stage Door, In which she wore a cat for a fur.

She is probably best know as the titular heroine, an English teacher, of the situation comedy series “Our Miss Brooks” on radio (1948-56) and “The Mothers-in-Law” (1967-69).

Arden was nominated for an Oscar for the best supporting actress for her performance in “Mildred Pierce” (1945).

In 1975, she returned to film work after a decadelong absence.

Divorced from literary agent Edward Bergen, Arden married actor Brooks West (1916-1984) in 1951.

Arden wrote her autobiography, “Three Phases of Eve” (1985).

Oscar Alert

In 1945, Eve Arden competed for the Supporting Actress Oscar with Ann Blyth in “Mildred Pierce,” Angela Lansbury in “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” Joan Lorring in “The Corn Is Green,” and Anne Revere (who won) in “National Velvet.”