Eva Marie Saint

Eva Marie Saint (born July 4, 1924) is an Academy Award-winning American actress. She has starred on Broadway, in films and on television beginning in the 1950s.


Early life

Saint was born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Eva Marie (née Rice) and John Merle Saint. She attended Bethlehem Central High School in Delmar, New York, graduating in 1942. Eva Marie was inducted into the high school's hall of fame in 2006. She studied acting at Bowling Green State University, while a member of Delta Gamma Sorority. There is a theater on Bowling Green's campus named for her. She was an active member in the theater honorary fraternity, Theta Alpha Phi.

Early television career

In the late '40s, Saint began doing extensive work in radio and television before winning 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, she 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 Chayevsky. She won another Emmy nomination for the 1955 television musical version of the Thornton Wilder classic play Our Town with co-stars Paul Newman (in his only musical role) and Frank Sinatra. Her success and acclaim were of such a high level that the young Saint earned the nickname "the Helen Hayes of television."

Film debut

Saint's first feature motion picture role was in On the Waterfront (1954), directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando — a smart, sympathetic, and emotionally-charged role for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Her performance as Edie Doyle (whose brother Joey's death sets the film's drama in motion), which she won over such leading contenders as Grace Kelly, Janice Rule, and Elizabeth Montgomery, also earned her a British Academy of Film and Television Award for "Most Promising Newcomer." In his New York Times review, film critic Bosley Crowther 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.

In a 2000 interview in Premiere magazine, Saint recalled making the hugely influential film:

[Elia] Kazan put me in a room with Marlon Brando. He said, 'Brando is the boyfriend of your sister. You're a Catholic girl and not used to being with a young man. Don't let him in the door under any circumstances.' I don't know what he told Marlon; you'll have to ask him — good luck! [Brando] came in and started teasing me. He put me off-balance. And I remained off-balance for the whole shoot.

Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront

The watershed success of the film launched Saint into many of the best known films of her early screen career. They include starring with Don Murray in the powerful and pioneering drug-addiction drama, A Hatful of Rain (1957), for which she won the "Best Foreign Actress" from the British Academy of Film and Television, and the lavish Civil War epic Raintree County, opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift.

Hitchcock blonde

Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock surprised many by choosing the stately and serious 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 '30s, '40s, and '50s, including The 39 Steps, Young and Innocent, and Foreign Correspondent. 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 garnered 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 even 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." 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, she elected to limit film work in order to spend time with her husband since 1951, director Jeffrey Hayden, and their two children. Nevertheless, in the 1960s, Saint continued to distinguish herself in both high-profile and offbeat pictures. She co-starred again with Paul Newman in the historical drama about the founding of the state of Israel Exodus (1960), directed by Otto Preminger. She also co-starred with Warren Beatty, Karl Malden, and Angela Lansbury as a tragic beauty in the 1962 drama All Fall Down. Based upon a novel by James Leo Herlihy and a screenplay by William Inge, the film was directed by John Frankenheimer.

She was seen with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the melodrama The Sandpiper for Vincente Minnelli, and with James Garner in the World War II thriller 36 Hours, directed by George Seaton. Saint joined an all-star cast in the comedic satire The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, directed by Norman Jewison and the international racing drama Grand Prix presented in Cinerama and directed by Frankenheimer. Although she was announced as the leading lady opposite Steve McQueen in Jewison's ultra-stylish romantic caper film The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), the meteoric rise of newcomer Faye Dunaway, who was cast instead, cost Saint a glamorous and sexy role.

In 1970, she received some of her best reviews for Loving, co-starring as the wife of George Segal in a critically-acclaimed but underseen drama about a commercial artist's relationship with his wife and other women. Because of the mostly second-rate film roles that came her way in the 1970s, Saint returned to television and the stage in the 1980s. She appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies, played the mother of Cybill Shepherd on the hit television series Moonlighting, won an Emmy nomination for the 1977 miniseries How The West Was Won, and a 1978 Emmy Award nomination for Taxi and an Emmy in 1990 for the mini-series People Like Us.

Later career

Saint was cast as the mother of Frasier Crane's radio producer, Roz Doyle, in a 1999 episode of the TV comedy series Frasier.

In 2000, she co-starred with Kim Basinger in the motion picture I Dreamed of Africa, with Jessica Lange for director Wim Wenders in Don't Come Knocking (2005) written by Sam Shepard, and in the family film Because of Winn-Dixie. In 2006, Saint appeared as Martha Kent, the adoptive mother of Superman, in Superman Returns, alongside a computer-generated performance from her late On The Waterfront co-star Marlon Brando.

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

In popular culture

She is mentioned in the Lloyd Cole and the Commotions track 'Rattlesnakes' (from the album of the same name): "She looks like Eva Marie Saint/In On The Waterfront".

Notable films she rejected


Year Title Role Other notes
1947 A Christmas Carol Television movie
1949 Lights Out TV, 1 episode
Suspense Francie TV, 1 episode
1949-1950 Actor's Studio TV, 3 episodes
1949-1953 Studio One TV, 3 episodes
1950 The Prudential Family Playhouse TV, 1 episode
1950-1952 One Man's Family Claudia Barbour Roberts #2 TV
1950-1951 Versatile Varieties TV, unknown episodes
1953 The Trip to Bountiful Thelma Television movie
ABC Album Cousin Liz TV, 1 episode
The Web TV, 2 episodes
Eye Witness TV, 1 episode
The Revlon Mirror Theater TV, 1 episode
1953-1954 Goodyear Television Playhouse Frances Barclay TV, 2 episodes
The Philco Television Playhouse TV, 4 episodes, Nominated for Best Actress Emmy
1954 On the Waterfront Edie Doyle Won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Nominated for BAFTA award
General Electric Theater Maudle Applegate TV, 1 episode
1955 Producers' Showcase TV, 2 episodes, Nominated for Best Actress Emmy
1956 That Certain Feeling Dunreath Henry
1957 A Hatful of Rain Celia Pope Nominated for Best Foreign Actress BAFTA, Nominated for Golden Globe, Nominated for Laurel Award
Raintree County Nell Gaither
1959 North by Northwest Eve Kendall
1960 Exodus Kitty Fremont
1962 All Fall Down Echo O'Brien
1964 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Diane Wescott TV, 1 episode
Carol for Another Christmas The Wave Television movie
1965 36 Hours Anna Hedler
The Sandpiper Claire Hewitt
1966 The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming Elspeth Whittaker
Grand Prix Louise Frederickson
1968 The Stalking Moon Sarah Carver
1970 Loving Selma Wilson
1972 Cancel My Reservation Sheila Bartlett
1974 The First Woman President Oklahoma Red Television movie
1976 The Macahans Kate Macahan Television movie
The Fatal Weakness Television movie
1977 How the West Was Won Katherine "Kate" Macahan Miniseries, Nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy
1978 Taxi Passenger Television movie, Nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy
A Christmas to Remember Emma Larson Television movie
1979 When Hell Was in Session Jane Denton Television movie
1980 The Curse of King Tut's Tomb Sarah Morrissey Television movie
1981 The Best Little Girl in the World Joanne Powell Television movie
Splendor in the Grass Mrs. Loomis Television movie
1983 Malibu Mary Wharton Television movie
Jane Doe Dr. Addie Coleman Television movie
1983-1984 The Love Boat Priscilla TV, 4 episodes
1984 Love Leads the Way: A True Story Mrs. Eustes Television movie
Fatal Vision Mildred Kassab Television movie
1986 A Year in the Life Ruth Gardner Miniseries
Nothing in Common Lorraine Basner
The Last Days of Patton Mrs. Beatrice Ayer Patton Television movie
1986-1988 Moonlighting Virginia Hayes TV, 6 episodes
1987 Breaking Home Ties Emma Television movie
1988 I'll Be Home for Christmas Television movie
1990 Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair Marilyn Klinghoffer Television movie
People Like Us Lil Van Degan Altemus Television movie, Won Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy
1991 Palomino Caroline Lord Television movie
1993 Kiss of a Killer Mrs. Wilson Television movie
1995 My Antonia Emmaline Burden Television movie
1996 Mariette in Ecstasy Mother Saint-Raphael
After Jimmy Liz Television movie
Titanic Hazel Foley Miniseries
1997 Time to Say Goodbye? Ruth Klooster
1999 Frasier Joanna Doyle TV, 1 episode
2000 I Dreamed of Africa Franca
Papa's Angels Dori "Grammy" Jenkins Television movie
2003 Open House Veronica Reynolds Television movie
2005 Because of Winn-Dixie Miss Franny
Don't Come Knocking Howard's Mother
2006 Superman Returns Martha Kent

Awards and nominations

Year Group Award Film or series Result
1955 Academy Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role On the Waterfront 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
1955 BAFTA Award Most Promising Newcomer to Film On the Waterfront Nominated
1958 BAFTA Award Best Foreign Actress Hatful of Rain 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
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
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


External links

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