Eunice Quedens, first performance was at age seven, when she won a WCTU medal for her recital of the poem "No Kicka My Dog." After graduating from high school, she became a actress on the California stock company circuit.
She played a seductress in the Columbia talkie, Song of Love (1929), where she plays the vamp who attempts to steal leading man Ralph Graves from Baker. This is not the typical Arden role.
Dancing Lady(1933). A story about the love triangle involving Clark Gable, Franchot Tone for Joan Crawford's hand. It is the first film where Fred Astaire, plays himself, singing and dancing. Eve Arden, plays a would-be actress faking a southern accent in a very short scene. It is also the first film where the three stooges were actually billed as "stooges." After her performance in Dancing Lady(1933), she wanted to change her name for professional reasons. Supposedly, she came up with the idea for her new name from a container of Elizabeth Arden cold cream.
Several performances in Ziegfeld Follies followed, and in 1937 Arden returned to films as a character actress. Stage Door(1937), The entire cast is excellent: Katharine Hepburn is the new girl who quickly meets the `regulars': Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, Ann Miller, Gail Patrick and Andrea Leeds. From Stage Door(1937), Eve Arden, was typecast as the sarcastic "best friend" who seldom got the man but always had the best lines.
A couple of her best known film roles:
Cover Girl (1944). Is one of my favorite Rita Hayworth musicals. The story is about a dancer who wants to be a cover girl and makes it big in show business. She does it without the help of her talented dancer/director boyfriend (Gene Kelly). Kelly is given the chance to choreograph the spectacular musical numbers.
The Doughgirls (1944). Eve Arden, who made a career of playing second banana, is wonderful as a Russian soldier. Jame Wyman, though not a blonde, delivers one "dumb blonde" line after another. Jack Carson is his usual funny self. Charley Ruggles is a lecherous old man. Alan Mowbray is a broadcaster. "The Doughgirls" is really a female Marx Brothers circus.
She earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in Mildred Pierce (1945). Eve Arden, was wonderful as Mildred's best friend.
In July of 1948, she performed the popular radio comedy Our Miss Brooks. Our Miss Brooks was transferred to television in 1952, running five seasons.
Next was the less successful 1957 The Eve Arden Show. This failure was long forgotten by her stage performances as Auntie Mame and Hello, Dolly! and her well liked film performances:
Anatomy of a Murder(1959). A great story and a great cast, Otto Preminger as director, knew exactly how to put together a film..
Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1960). A look at the inner strength of these characters, as they struggle with money troubles and their love lives.
In 1967, she returned to TV to co-star with Kaye Ballard on The Mothers-in-Law which lasted two years.
And in 1978, she became known to a new generation with her performance as Principal McGee in the film version of Broadway's Grease. One of the best Broadway musicals ever adapted for the big screen, set at Rydell High circa 1950's with Travolta, in a leather jacket, with a heart-of-gold Danny Zuko remembering his "Summer Nights" with Olivia Newton-John, as goody-goody Sandy who learns a few things from "The Pink Ladies".
In 1985, Eve Arden came out with her autobiography, The Three Phases of Eve.