EVA MARIE SAINT (Adult Willa) is that rare phenomenon, an
actress whose career in films, television and stage has spanned more than 60
years. She began her distinguished film career opposite Marlon Brando in "On the
Waterfront," for which she was honored with an Academy Award. She went on to
star in several other memorable movies, including "North by Northwest," "A
Hatful of Rain," "That Certain Feeling," "Raintree County," "Exodus," "All Fall
Down," "The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!," "Grand Prix," "The
Stalking Moon," "Loving," "Nothing In Common" and "I Dreamed Of Africa." Her
most recent films include "Because of Winn-Dixie," "Don't Come Knocking" and
The names of her leading men read like a galaxy: Marlon Brando, Montgomery
Clift, Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Richard Burton,
Warren Beatty, James Garner, Jason Robards, George C. Scott, Burt Lancaster, and
Tom Hanks, with whom she co-starred in "Nothing in Common."
The actress grew up in Delmar, New York and attended Bowling Green State
University in Ohio, planning to become a school teacher. Trying out for a school
play on a dare, she won the leading role and changed the direction of her life.
The university has honored her with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree and
renamed its main campus theatre The Eva Marie Saint Theatre.
Upon graduation from Bowling Green, she went to New York City and studied at
The American Theatre Wing and with Lee Strasberg at The Actors Studio. She went
to Broadway in "The Trip to Bountiful," receiving the Drama Critics Award and
Outer-Circle Critics Award for her performance. Director Elia Kazan saw her in
the play and cast her in "On the Waterfront."
Launching her career during the golden age of live television, Saint was
Emmy-nominated for several memorable TV presentations. Her first Emmy Award
nomination was for an episode of the Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse. She
sang the role of Emily in the live TV musical adaptation of Thorton Wilder's Our
Town, with Frank Sinatra and Paul Newman, winning another Emmy nomination. Her
third Emmy nod came for the miniseries "How the West Was Won," and a fourth for
the Hallmark Hall Of Fame presentation of "Taxi." In 1990, on her fifth Emmy
nomination, she won the coveted award for the miniseries "People Like Us."
Her many other TV appearances include playing Cybill Shepherd's mother on the
"Moonlighting" series; the "Titanic" TV movie; "Time to Say Goodbye"; "Fatal
Vision"; "When Hell Was in Session"; "The Last Days of Patton"; "The
Achille-Lauro Affair"; "A Year in the Life"; "The Best Little Girl in the
World"; "After Jimmy"; "My Antonia"; and "Open House." She also starred in four
memorable holiday specials: "A Christmas to Remember"; "I'll Be Home for
Christmas"; "Breaking Home Ties"; and "Papa's Angels." She also has been a
recurring character in the animated series "The Legend of Korra." The iconic
actress was a presenter at the 81st Annual Academy Awards in 2009.
In addition to "The Trip to Bountiful," she starred on the New York stage in
"The Lincoln Mask" and "Duet for One," and on major stages across America. She
also co-starred with Henry Fonda in "First Monday In October" in Chicago and Los
Angeles, and starred in "Summer and Smoke" and "Desire Under the Elms" at the
Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Other plays she starred in include "The
Rainmaker"; "Candida"; "Winesburg, Ohio"; "The Fatal Weakness"; and "The Country
Girl," for which she received the L.A. Dramalogue Award. She also co-starred in
a production of "Death of a Salesman," with Judd Hirsch.
Saint and her husband, director Jeffrey Hayden, produced a critically
acclaimed production of August Wilson's "Fences," directed by Hayden, at the
Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles in Summer 2006. The couple regularly performs
A.R. Gurney's "Love Letters," as well as an evening of Willa Cather's "On the
Divide," in theatres around the country. Saint and Hayden also produced the PBS
television documentaries "Primary Colors: The Story of Corita," which she
narrated, and "Children in America's Schools," with Bill Moyers, for which they
won an Emmy.
Among her many charitable works, Saint has been a longtime supporter of the
Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Epilepsy Foundation of Los Angeles.
She was an early proponent of making cars cell-phone-free and created and
distributed her own bumper sticker: Get Off The Phone Or Get Off The Road. In
addition, she serves on the Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship Committee of the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Saint has been married to Jeffrey Hayden for 62 years, and they have two
children, Darrell and Laurette. This, in turn, has brought them three
grandchildren, Tyler Dean, Molly Jo, and Eli, their best work so far.
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