Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Let's celebrate: Eve Arden !

Eve Arden (1908-1990) was a tall, cool, supporting player from the golden age, who spent a lifetime as the archetypal wisecracking best friend of the heroine: the girlfriend's girlfriend. Her stock in trade was as a chic career girl whose elegant bitchery and caustic comments disguised a big soft heart. The phrase "..... steals the picture" could have been coined for her.

We know her best of course from MILDRED PIERCE which is probably the ultimate Arden role as the cool, sharp, sassy career woman, who helps Joan's Mildred rise from poverty to have-it-all riches and provides a shoulder pad for comfort as Mildred's life falls apart at the hands of her no-good daughter Veda and a cad of a husband. Eve comments: "Alligators have the right idea, they eat their young" and at being treated as one of the boys: "I'm getting awfully tired of men talking to me man-to-man".  Other Arden delights include COVER GIRL, THE DOUGHGIRLS, ONE TOUCH OF VENUS, and TEA FOR TWO where Doris Day tells her to come to bed and Eve snaps "Why is it always the gal who says that to me?"

She had two good later roles, as the annoying sister in THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS in 1960, and as the faithful secretary to James Stewart in Preminger's 1959 classic ANATOMY OF A MURDER, which we like a lot here .... Eve went successfully into television with that series of hers THE EVE ARDEN SHOW, plus OUR MISS BROOKS and THE MOTHERS IN LAW with Kaye Ballard, among others. She was also the school headteacher in GREASE in 1978 and kept working until 1987. 

Soon: Themla Ritter, Agnes Moorehead, Joan Sims.   

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