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Eva Marie Saint

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Title: Eva Marie Saint  
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Subject: On the Waterfront, Producers' Showcase, 1957 in film, Our Town (Producer's Showcase), Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
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Eva Marie Saint

Eva Marie Saint
Eva Marie Saint in 1990.
Born (1924-07-04) July 4, 1924
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma mater Actors Studio
Bowling Green State University
Occupation Actor
Years active 1946-present
Spouse(s) Jeffrey Hayden (since 1951; 2 children)
Children Darrell (b. 1955)
Laurette (b. 1958)

Eva Marie Saint (born July 4, 1924) is an American actress and producer. She is known for starring in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront (1954), for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959). She received Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for A Hatful of Rain (1957) and won a Primetime Emmy Award for the television miniseries People Like Us (1990).

Her film career also includes roles in Raintree County (1957), Exodus (1960), Grand Prix (1966), Nothing in Common (1986), Because of Winn-Dixie (2005), Superman Returns (2006) and Winter's Tale (2014).

Early life and education

Saint was born in Newark, New Jersey, to Eva Marie (née Rice) and John Merle Saint.[1] She attended Bethlehem Central High School in Delmar, New York, near Albany, graduating in 1942. (She was inducted into the high school's hall of fame in 2006.)

She studied acting at Bowling Green State University and joined Delta Gamma Sorority. A theater on Bowling Green's campus is named for her. She was an active member in the theater honorary fraternity, Theta Alpha Phi, and served as Secretary of the Bowling Green Student Government in 1944.[2]


Early television career

Saint's introduction to television began as an NBC page.[3] She appeared in the very early live NBC TV show Campus Hoopla in 1946–47. Her performances on this program are recorded on rare kinescope, and audio recordings of these telecasts are preserved in the Library of Congress. She also appeared in the Bonnie Maid's Versa-Tile Varieties on NBC in 1949 as one of the original singing "Bonnie Maids" used in the live commercials.

She appeared in a 1947 Life Magazine special about television, and also in a 1949 feature Life article about her as a struggling actress earning minimum amounts from early TV while trying to make ends meet in New York City.

In the late 1940s, Saint continued to make her living by extensive work in radio and television. In 1953 she won the Drama Critics Award for her Broadway stage role in the Horton Foote play, The Trip to Bountiful (1953), in which she co-starred with such formidable actors as Lillian Gish and Jo Van Fleet.

In 1955, Saint was nominated for her first Emmy for "Best Actress In A Single Performance" on The Philco Television Playhouse, for playing the young mistress of middle-aged E. G. Marshall in Middle of the Night by Paddy Chayefsky. She won another Emmy nomination for the 1955 television musical version of Our Town, adapted from the Thornton Wilder play of the same name. Co-stars were Paul Newman and Frank Sinatra. Her success and acclaim in TV productions were of such a high level that the young Saint earned the nickname "the Helen Hayes of television."

On the Waterfront

Saint and Brando in On the Waterfront

Saint made her feature film debut in On the Waterfront (1954), starring Marlon Brando and directed by Elia Kazan - a performance for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her performance as Edie Doyle (whose brother's death sets the film's drama in motion), which she won over such leading contenders as Claire Trevor, Nina Foch, Katy Jurado, and Jan Sterling, also earned her a British Academy of Film and Television Award nomination for "Most Promising Newcomer." In his New York Times review, film critic A. H. Weiler wrote:

"In casting Eva Marie Saint - a newcomer to movies from TV and Broadway - Mr. Kazan has come up with a pretty and blond artisan who does not have to depend on these attributes. Her parochial school training is no bar to love with the proper stranger. Amid scenes of carnage, she gives tenderness and sensitivity to genuine romance."[4]
with Don Murray in A Hatful of Rain (1957)
In a 2000 interview in Premiere magazine, Saint recalled making the film, which has been highly influential:

The film was a major success and launched Saint's movie career. She starred with Don Murray in A Hatful of Rain (1957), the pioneering drug-addiction drama, for which she received a nomination for the "Best Foreign Actress" award from the British Academy of Film and Television. She also starred in the lavish Civil War epic Raintree County (also 1957) with Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift.

North by Northwest

Director Alfred Hitchcock surprised many by choosing Saint over dozens of other candidates for the femme fatale role in what was to become a suspense classic North by Northwest (1959) with Cary Grant and James Mason. Written by Ernest Lehman, the film updated and expanded upon the director's early "wrong man" spy adventures of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, including The 39 Steps, Young and Innocent, and Saboteur. North by Northwest became a box-office hit and an influence on spy films for decades. The film ranks number forty on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time.

At the time of the film's production, much publicity was gained by Hitchcock's decision to cut Saint's waist-length blonde hair for the first time in her career. Hitchcock explained at the time, "Short hair gives Eva a more exotic look, in keeping with her role of the glamorous woman of my story. I wanted her dressed like a kept woman - smart, simple, subtle and quiet. In other words, anything but the bangles and beads type." The director also worked with Saint to make her voice lower and huskier, and personally chose costumes for her during a shopping trip to Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.

The change in Saint's screen persona, coupled with her adroit performance as a seductive woman of mystery who keeps Cary Grant (and the audience) off balance, was widely heralded. In his New York Times review of August 7, 1959, critic Bosley Crowther wrote,

"In casting Eva Marie Saint as [Cary Grant's] romantic vis-a-vis, Mr. Hitchcock has plumbed some talents not shown by the actress heretofore. Although she is seemingly a hard, designing type, she also emerges both the sweet heroine and a glamorous charmer."[5]
In 2000, recalling her experience making the picture with Cary Grant and Hitchcock, Saint said,
"[Grant] would say, 'See, Eva Marie, you don't have to cry in a movie to have a good time. Just kick up your heels and have fun.' Hitchcock said, 'I don't want you to do a sink-to-sink movie again, ever. You've done these black-and-white movies like On the Waterfront. It's drab in that tenement house. Women go to the movies, and they've just left the sink at home. They don't want to see you at the sink.' I said, 'I can't promise you that, Hitch, because I love those dramas.'"


Although North by Northwest might have propelled her to the top ranks of stardom, Saint chose to limit her film work in order to spend time with her husband since 1951, director Jeffrey Hayden, and their two children. In the 1960s, Saint continued to distinguish herself in both high-profile and offbeat pictures. She co-starred again with Paul Newman in Exodus (1960), a historical drama about the founding of the state of Israel adapted from the novel of the same name by Leon Uris. It was directed by Otto Preminger. She also co-starred with Warren Beatty, Karl Malden and Angela Lansbury as a tragic beauty in the drama All Fall Down (1962). Based upon a novel by James Leo Herlihy and a screenplay by William Inge, the film was directed by John Frankenheimer.

She appeared with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the melodrama The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, directed by Norman Jewison, and the international racing drama, Grand Prix (1966) directed by Frankenheimer and presented in Cinerama.

Saint received some of her best reviews for her performance in television and the stage in the 1980s. She appeared in a number of made-for-television films; she played the mother of Cybill Shepherd on the television series, Moonlighting, which lasted three years. She received an Emmy nomination for the 1977 miniseries, How The West Was Won, and a 1978 Emmy nomination for Taxi!!!. She was reunited with On the Waterfront co-star Karl Malden in the television film Fatal Vision, this time as the wife of his character, as he investigated the murder of his daughter and granddaughters.

Later career

Saint returned to the big screen for the first time in over a decade in Nothing in Common (1986), in which she played the mother of Tom Hanks' character; it was directed by Garry Marshall. Critics applauded her return to features.

Saint was soon back on the small screen in numerous projects. After receiving five nominations, Saint won her first Emmy Award for the 1990 miniseries People Like Us. She appeared in a number of television productions in the 1990s and was cast as the mother of radio producer, Roz Doyle, in a 1999 episode of the comedy series Frasier.

In 2000, she returned to feature films in I Dreamed of Africa, with Kim Basinger. In 2005 she co-starred with Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard in Don't Come Knocking. Also in 2005, she appeared in the family film, Because of Winn-Dixie, co-starring AnnaSophia Robb, Jeff Daniels and Cicely Tyson.

In 2006, Saint appeared in Superman Returns, as Martha Kent, the adoptive mother of Superman, alongside Brandon Routh and a computer-generated performance from her On the Waterfront co-star Marlon Brando.

Saint has appeared in a number of television specials and documentaries, particularly since 2000. These included The Making of North by Northwest, which she narrated and hosted. In 2009, she made a rare public appearance at the 81st Academy Awards ceremony as a Best Supporting Actress presenter. In 2011, Saint participated in two screenings of North by Northwest with Robert Osborne. The films were shown in Seattle and Cleveland. Saint and Osborne participated in meet-and-greet sessions as well as a pre-movie question and answer session. Saint has lent her voice to the 2012 Nickelodeon animated series The Legend of Korra, a sequel to the hit TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender, playing the now-elderly Katara, a main character from the original series.

In September 2012, Saint was cast as the adult version of Willa in the film adaptation of Mark Helprin's 1983 novel Winter's Tale.[6] The film was released on Valentine's Day 2014.

She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for motion pictures at 6624 Hollywood Boulevard, and one for television at 6730 Hollywood Boulevard.

Personal life

Saint has been married to producer/director Jeffrey Hayden since October 28, 1951. They have two children, Darrell (born April 1, 1955) and Laurette (born July 19, 1958).[7]



Year Title Role Notes
1954 On the Waterfront Edie Doyle
1956 That Certain Feeling Dunreath Henry
1957 Hatful of Rain, AA Hatful of Rain Celia Pope
1957 Raintree County Nell Gaither
1959 North by Northwest Eve Kendall
1960 Exodus Kitty Fremont
1962 All Fall Down Echo O'Brien
1965 36 Hours Anna Hedler
1965 Sandpiper, TheThe Sandpiper Claire Hewitt
1966 Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, TheThe Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming Elspeth Whittaker
1966 Grand Prix Louise Frederickson
1968 Stalking Moon, TheThe Stalking Moon Sarah Carver
1970 Loving Selma Wilson
1972 Cancel My Reservation Sheila Bartlett
1986 Nothing in Common Lorraine Basner
1997 Time to Say Goodbye? Ruth Klooster
2000 I Dreamed of Africa Franca
2005 Don't Come Knocking Howard's mother
2005 Because of Winn-Dixie Miss Franny
2006 Superman Returns Martha Kent
2014 Winter's Tale Adult Willa


Year Title Role Notes
1946 Campus Hoopla Commercial spokeswoman TV series
1947 A Christmas Carol N/A TV film
1949 Suspense Francie Episode: "The Comic Strip Murder"
1949 Studio One Edna Baker Episode: "June Moon"
1950-1952 One Man's Family Claudia Barbour Roberts TV series
1950 Prudential Family Playhouse, TheThe Prudential Family Playhouse Edith Cortwright Episodes: "Dodsworth", "Three Men on a Horse"
1953 Trip to Bountiful, TheThe Trip to Bountiful Thelma TV film
1953 Plymouth Playhouse, TheThe Plymouth Playhouse Cousin Liz Episode: "Jamie"
1953 Martin Kane, Private Eye Sheila Dixon Episode: "Trip to Bermuda"
1953 Goodyear Television Playhouse Frances Barclay Episode: "Wish on the Moon"
1954 Ponds Theater Tina Episode: "The Old Maid"
1954 Philco Television Playhouse, TheThe Philco Television Playhouse Dorie Wilson / Betty Episodes: "The Joker", "Middle of the Night"
1954 G.E. True Theater Maudle Applegate Episode: "The Rider on the Pale Horse"
1955 Producers' Showcase Miss Blake / Emily Webb Episodes: "Yellow Jack", "Our Town"
1964 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Diane Wescott Episode: "Her School for Bachelors"
1964 Carol for Another Christmas, AA Carol for Another Christmas WAVE Lt. Gibson TV film
1976 Macahans, TheThe Macahans Kate Macahan TV film
1977 How the West Was Won Katherine "Kate" Macahan TV miniseries
1978 Christmas to Remember, AA Christmas to Remember Emma Larson TV film
1979 When Hell Was in Session Jane Denton TV film
1980 Curse of King Tut's Tomb, TheThe Curse of King Tut's Tomb Sarah Morrissey TV film
1981 Best Little Girl in the World, TheThe Best Little Girl in the World Joanne Powell TV film
1981 Splendor in the Grass Mrs. Loomis TV film
1983 Malibu Mary Wharton TV film
1983 Jane Doe Dr. Addie Coleman TV film
1983 Love Boat, TheThe Love Boat Aunt Helena Georgelos 2 episodes
1984 Fatal Vision Mildred Kassab TV film
1986 Last Days of Patton, TheThe Last Days of Patton Beatrice Ayer Patton TV film
1986 Year in the Life, AA Year in the Life Ruth Gardner TV miniseries
1987 Breaking Home Ties Emma TV film
1986-1988 Moonlighting Virginia Hayes Recurring role (6 episodes)
1988 I'll Be Home for Christmas Martha Bundy TV film
1990 Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair Marilyn Klinghoffer TV film
1990 People Like Us Lil Van Degan Altemus TV film
1991 Palomino Caroline Lord TV film
1995 My Antonia Emmaline Burden TV film
1996 After Jimmy Liz TV film
1996 Titanic Hazel Foley TV film
1999 Frasier Joanna Doyle Episode: "Our Parents, Ourselves"
2000 Papa's Angels Dori "Grammy" Jenkins TV film
2003 Open House Veronica Reynolds TV film
2012-2014 Legend of Korra, TheThe Legend of Korra Katara (voice) Recurring role (6 episodes)

Awards and nominations

Year Group Award Film or series Result
1955 Academy Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role On the Waterfront Won
1955 BAFTA Award Most Promising Newcomer to Film On the Waterfront Nominated
1955 Emmy Award Best Actress in a Single Performance The Philco Television Playhouse (Episode: "Middle of the Night") Nominated
1956 Emmy Award Best Actress - Single Performance Producers' Showcase (Episode: "Our Town") Nominated
1958 BAFTA Award Best Foreign Actress Hatful of Rain Nominated
1958 Golden Globe Award Best Motion Picture Actress - Drama A Hatful of Rain Nominated
1958 Laurel Awards Top Female Dramatic Performance A Hatful of Rain 3rd Place
1977 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series How the West Was Won Nominated
1978 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama or Comedy Special Taxi!!! Nominated
1990 Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special People Like Us Won
1999 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award
2000 Savannah Film and Video Festival Lifetime Achievement Award
2004 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival King Vidor Memorial Award
2007 Golden Boot Awards
2012 2nd Annual BTVA Voice Acting Awards [8] Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Guest Role The Legend of Korra (Episodes: "Welcome to Republic City"; "Endgame") Won

See also


  1. ^ Eva Marie Saint Biography (1924-)
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Buckley, Cara (2008-10-14). "For NBC Pages, 'Please Follow Me' Is a Fervent Wish".  
  4. ^ On the WaterfrontA.H. Weiler, Review: , New York Times
  5. ^ Bosley Crowther, Review: North by Northwest, New York Times, 7 August 1959
  6. ^ Fleming, Mike (September 21, 2012). "Akiva Goldsman’s ‘Winter’s Tale’ Sets Matt Bomer, Lucy Griffiths, Eva Marie Saint". deadline. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "2nd Annual BTVA Voice Acting Awards 2012". BTVA. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 

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