Her real name was Eunice Quedens, but that soon changed to Eve Arden.Known for her caustic wit and deadpan delivery, even the biggest stars stand back when Eve delivers one of her zingers. She didn’t write them but,boy, could she deliver them like nobody else.The ‘Alligators’ quote from Mildred Pierce is probably her most famous.

Another quote I like from that film:

Eve (as Ida) to Zachary Scott (Monte):  “Don’t look now,junior,but you’re standing under a brick wall. Monte replies,”I don’t get it.” and Ida says,”You will – when it falls on you.”

Eve was usually the best friend or secretary.  She was only very rarely allowed to be serious (The Unfaiimagethful,My Reputation),but mainly she was cast in comedies or musicals.

with Zachary Scott,The Unfaithful

with Zachary Scott,The Unfaithful

I love some of her character names – Peerless Pauline – Patsy – Gabby – Buzz – Cornelia – Tex – Madame de Talavera and best of all, ‘Space’ O’Shea!

Tall and angular,leading lady status was never hers.More’s the pity. (Still, she did achieve it on TV in the long running Our Miss Brooks.)

Like so many of the memorable character actors,Eve always added so much to any film she was in. And,also, like many of the best, she was typecast. but what a wonderful character she created – self confident,in control,down to earth, intelligent. Sometimes her put-downs were so good, the recipient didn’t even get them!


Here she, centre of attention, alongside Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers  in Stage Door. She’s famous in this film for having a cat slung around her neck!

2 responses »

  1. I love ‘Stage Door’ – such a great backstage atmosphere, and all the actresses give brilliant performances. I wonder how the cat was persuaded to play along!

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