Eva Marie Saint
|Born||July 4, 1924|
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||Bowling Green State University|
(m. 1951; died 2016)
Eva Marie Saint (born July 4, 1924) is an American retired actress of film, theatre, radio and television. In a career spanning over 70 years, she has won an Academy Award and a Primetime Emmy Award, alongside nominations for a Golden Globe Award and two British Academy Film Awards. Saint is both the oldest living and earliest surviving Academy Award-winner, and one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.
Born in New Jersey and raised in New York, Saint attended Bowling Green State University and began her career as a television and radio actress in the late 1940s. Among her notable early credits, she originated the role of Thelma in Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful (1953), originally an NBC telecast before being adapted into the Tony Award-winning play of the same name. For her performance in the stage version, she won an Outer Critics Circle Award. She made her film debut in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront (1954), opposite Marlon Brando. The film, which received eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer. Establishing her as an immediate star, it is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential films ever made.
From then on, Saint appeared in a variety of roles, including That Certain Feeling (1956), opposite Bob Hope; Raintree County (1957), opposite Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor; and Fred Zinnemann's A Hatful of Rain (1957), opposite Don Murray and Anthony Franciosa, for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama. One of her most notable roles came playing Eve Kendall opposite Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959).
Throughout the 1960s, Saint sustained a film presence with appearances in Exodus (1960), alongside Paul Newman; The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1965), alongside Carl Reiner and Alan Arkin; The Sandpiper (1965), which reunited her with Elizabeth Taylor and featured Richard Burton; and John Frankenheimer's Grand Prix (1966).
Saint gained consecutive nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Single Performance for her appearances in the anthology series The Philco Television Playhouse (1954) and Producers' Showcase (1955). Beginning in the 1970s, her film career began to decline, though she garnered praise for her role opposite George Segal in Loving (1970). She gained additional consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations for How the West Was Won (1977) and Taxi!!! (1978), and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special for the miniseries People Like Us (1990). Saint returned to film with Nothing in Common (1986), opposite Tom Hanks, and continued to act occasionally, notably in Superman Returns (2006), voicing Katara in The Legend of Korra (2012–2014) and Winter's Tale (2014) with Colin Farrell.
Saint was born on July 4, 1924, in Newark, New Jersey, to Quaker parents. Her father was John Merle Saint and her mother was Eva Marie (nee Rice) Saint. 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. During this time she played the lead role in a production of Personal Appearance. A theater on Bowling Green's campus is named after her. She was an active member in the theater honorary fraternity, Theta Alpha Phi, and served as record keeper of the student council in 1944.
Saint's introduction to television began as an NBC page. She appeared in the 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 Bonnie Maid's Versa-Tile Varieties on NBC in 1949 as one of the original singing "Bonnie Maids" used in the live commercials.
Saint 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, 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 "one slightly hyperbolic primordial TV critic dubbed her 'the Helen Hayes of television.'"
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 in the role of 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 review for The New York Times, 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." The film was a major success and launched Saint's film career. She received $7,500 for the role.
In a 2000 interview in Premiere magazine, Saint recalled making the film, which has been highly influential, saying, "[Elia] Kazan put me in a room with Marlon Brando. He said 'Brando is the boyfriend of your sister. You're 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." She repeated the anecdote in a 2010 interview.
Saint appeared alongside Bob Hope in That Certain Feeling (1956) for which she received $50,000. She was then offered $100,000 to star in the lavish Civil War epic Raintree County (1957) with Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. After that, she starred with Don Murray in A Hatful of Rain, the pioneering drug-addiction drama, which although made later than Raintree Country was released earlier in 1957. She received a nomination for the "Best Foreign Actress" award from the British Academy of Film and Television for her performance.
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.
Hitchcock 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 review of August 7, 1959, The New York Times critic Abe H. Weiler 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.' In a 2010 interview she stated: "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 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 Sandpiper for Vincente Minnelli, and with James Garner in the World War II thriller 36 Hours (1965), 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 (1966) directed by Frankenheimer and presented in Cinerama.
Saint received some of her best reviews for her performance in Loving (1970), co-starring as the wife of George Segal. The film was about a commercial artist's relationship with his wife and other women; it was critically acclaimed but did not have wide viewership.
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 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. She played the mother of Cybill Shepherd in the television series Moonlighting, a role that spanned episodes over three years.
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's 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, she 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, Saint 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.
She was presented one of the Golden Boot Awards in 2007 for her contributions to western cinema.
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, she was cast as the adult version of Willa in the film adaptation of the novel Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. The film was released on Valentine's Day 2014.
At the age of 93, Saint appeared at the 2018 Academy Award ceremony to present the award for Costume Design. She received a standing ovation upon entering the stage.
In 2021, Saint appeared alongside Marisa Tomei in the podcast play series "The Pack Podcast" as part of the segment "The Bus Ride".
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.
Saint married producer and director Jeffrey Hayden on October 28, 1951. They had two children together: son Darrell Hayden and daughter Laurette Hayden. Their first child, Darrell, was born two days after she won an Academy Award for On the Waterfront. Saint and Hayden also have four grandchildren and were married for 65 years, until Hayden's death on December 24, 2016, at the age of 90.
|1954||On the Waterfront||Edie Doyle||Marlon Brando|
|1956||That Certain Feeling||Dunreath Henry||Bob Hope|
|1957||A Hatful of Rain||Celia Pope||Don Murray, Anthony Franciosa|
|Raintree County||Nell Gaither||Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor|
|1959||North by Northwest||Eve Kendall||Cary Grant, James Mason|
|1960||Exodus||Kitty Fremont||Paul Newman|
|1962||All Fall Down||Echo O'Brien||Warren Beatty, Karl Malden|
|1965||36 Hours||Anna Hedler||James Garner|
|The Sandpiper||Claire Hewitt||Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton|
|1966||The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming||Elspeth Whittaker||Carl Reiner, Alan Arkin|
|Grand Prix||Louise Frederickson||James Garner, Yves Montand|
|1968||The Stalking Moon||Sarah Carver||Gregory Peck|
|1970||Loving||Selma Wilson||George Segal|
|1972||Cancel My Reservation||Sheila Bartlett||Bob Hope|
|1986||Nothing in Common||Lorraine Basner||Tom Hanks, Jackie Gleason|
|1996||Mariette in Ecstasy||Mother Saint-Raphael||Geraldine O'Rawe||First shown 2019|
|2000||I Dreamed of Africa||Franca||Vincent Perez, Kim Basinger|
|2005||Don't Come Knocking||Howard's mother||Sam Shepard|
|Because of Winn-Dixie||Miss Franny||Jeff Daniels|
|2006||Superman Returns||Martha Kent||Brandon Routh|
|2014||Winter's Tale||Adult Willa||Colin Farrell|
|1946||Campus Hoopla||Commercial spokeswoman||TV series|
|1947||A Christmas Carol||N/A||Television 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||Edith Cortwright, Mabel||2 episodes|
|1953||The Trip to Bountiful||Thelma||Television film|
|1953||Plymouth Playhouse||Cousin Lizz||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||Pond's Theater||Tina||Episode: "The Old Maid"|
|1954||The Philco Television Playhouse||Dorie Wilson, Betty||2 episodes|
|1954||GE True Theater||Maudle Applegate||Episode: "The Rider on the Pale Horse"|
|1955||Producers' Showcase||Miss Blake, Emily Webb||2 episodes|
|1964||Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre||Diane Wescott||Episode: "Her School for Bachelors"|
|1964||A Carol for Another Christmas||WAVE Lt. Gibson||Television film|
|1976||The Macahans||Kate Macahan||Television film|
|1977||How the West Was Won||Kate Macahan||4 episodes|
|1978||Taxi!!!||The Passenger||Television film|
|1978||A Christmas to Remember||Emma Larson||Television film|
|1979||When Hell Was in Session||Jane Denton||Television film|
|1980||The Curse of King Tut's Tomb||Sarah Morrissey||Television film|
|1981||The Best Little Girl in the World||Joanne Powell||Television film|
|1981||Splendor in the Grass||Mrs. Loomis||Television film|
|1983||Malibu||Mary Wharton||Television film|
|1983||Jane Doe||Dr. Addie Coleman||Television film|
|1983||The Love Boat||Aunt Helena Georgelos||2 episodes|
|1984||Fatal Vision||Mildred Kassab||Television miniseries|
|1984||Love Leads the Way: A True Story||Mrs. Eustes||Television film|
|1986||The Last Days of Patton||Beatrice Ayer Patton||Television film|
|1986||A Year in the Life||Ruth Gardner||Television miniseries|
|1987||Breaking Home Ties||Emma||Television film|
|1986–1988||Moonlighting||Virginia Hayes||6 episodes|
|1988||I'll Be Home for Christmas||Martha Bundy||Television film|
|1990||Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair||Marilyn Klinghoffer||Television film|
|1990||People Like Us||Lil Van Degan Altemus||Television film|
|1991||Danielle Steel's 'Palomino'||Caroline Lord||Television film|
|1993||Kiss of a Killer||Mrs. Wilson||Television film|
|1995||My Antonia||Emmaline Burden||Television film|
|1996||After Jimmy||Liz||Television film|
|1996||Titanic||Hazel Foley||Television miniseries|
|1997||Time to Say Goodbye?||Ruth Klooster||Television film|
|1999||Frasier||Joanna Doyle||Episode: "Our Parents, Ourselves"|
|2000||Papa's Angels||Dori "Grammy" Jenkins||Television film|
|2003||Open House||Veronica Reynolds||Television film|
|2012–2014||The Legend of Korra||Katara||Voice, 6 episodes|
|2013||Eva Marie Saint: Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival||Herself||Documentary film|
|2018||90th Academy Awards||Herself (presenter)||Presenter for Costume Design|
|1953||The Trip to Bountiful||Thelma||Outer Circle Critics Award, Theatre World Award|
|1955||The Rainmaker||Lizzie Curry|
|1971||Winesburg, Ohio||Mrs Willard|
|1972||The Lincoln Mask||Mary Todd|
|1973||Summer and Smoke||Alma Winemiller|
|1974||Desire Under the Elms||Abbie Putnam|
|1976-77||The Fatal Weakness||Mrs. Espenshade|
|1978-79||First Monday in October||Judge Ruth Loomis|
|1982-83||Duet for One||Stephanie Abrahams|
|1986||The Country Girl||Georgie Elgin|
|1994||Death of a Salesman||Linda Loman|
|2001||Love Letters||Melissa Gardner|
|2005||Touch The Names|
|Year||Group||Award||Film or series||Result|
|1955||Academy Award||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||On the Waterfront||Won|
|BAFTA Award||Most Promising Newcomer to Film||Nominated|
|Emmy Award||Best Actress in a Single Performance||The Philco Television Playhouse (Episode: "Middle of the Night")||Nominated|
|1956||Best Actress - Single Performance||Producers' Showcase (Episode: "Our Town")||Nominated|
|1958||BAFTA Award||Best Foreign Actress||A Hatful of Rain||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Motion Picture Actress - Drama||Nominated|
|Laurel Awards||Top Female Dramatic Performance||3rd Place|
|1977||Emmy Award||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series||How the West Was Won||Nominated|
|1978||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama or Comedy Special||Taxi!!!||Nominated|
|1990||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||
|2004||San Luis Obispo International Film Festival||King Vidor Memorial Award||
|2007||Golden Boot Awards||
|2012||2nd Annual Behind the Voice Actors Voice Acting Awards||Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Guest Role||The Legend of Korra (Episodes: "Welcome to Republic City"; "Endgame")||Won|
|2018||Bowling Green State University||Lifetime Achievement Award||