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Eva Marie Saint (born July 4, 1924) is an American actress who has starred in films, on Broadway and television in a career spanning seven decades. She won an Academy Award for her feature film debut in On the Waterfront (1954), and later appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller North by Northwest (1959). Saint received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for A Hatful of Rain (1957) and won an Emmy Award for the miniseries People Like Us (1990). Her film career also includes a lead role in Exodus (1960) and supporting roles in Because of Winn-Dixie (2005), and Superman Returns (2006).

Early life

Saint was born in Newark, New Jerseymarker, the daughter of Eva Marie (née Rice) and John Merle Saint. She attended Bethlehem Central High School in Delmar, New Yorkmarker, 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

Saint's introduction to television began as an NBC page. In the late 1940s, she 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) 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 performance for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her role 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 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:

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 pioneering drug-addiction drama, A Hatful of Rain (1957), for which she received a nomination for the "Best Foreign Actress" award from the British Academy of Film and Television, and the lavish Civil War epic Raintree County, opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift.

Hitchcock blonde era

Legendary 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 '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 Goodmanmarker 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.'"

Mid-career

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 and played the mother of Cybill Shepherd on the hit television series Moonlighting over a three-year period. She received an Emmy nomination for the 1977 miniseries How The West Was Won, and a 1978 Emmy nomination for Taxi!!!.

Later career

Saint in September 1990


Saint returned to the big screen for the first time in over a decade as Tom Hanks’ mother in the Garry Marshall-directed comedy Nothing in Common (1986). Critics applauded her return to features, but 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 film People Like Us. She appeared in a number of television productions in the 1990s and was cast as the mother of Frasier Crane's radio producer, Roz Doyle, in a 1999 episode of the hit comedy series Frasier.

In 2000, she returned to feature films once again 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 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, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, 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 in the past decade, including 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.

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

Personal life

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

Filmography

Year Film Role 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
1950-1951 Buck Rogers Wilma Deering TV, 41 episodes
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 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
-
Won
2000 Savannah Film and Video Festival Lifetime Achievement Award
-
Won
2004 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival King Vidor Memorial Award
-
Won
2007 Golden Boot Awards
-
-
Won
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


References

  1. Eva Marie Saint Biography (1924-)
  2. New York Times. July 30, 1954


External links




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