Like many stars in Hollywood, Eva Marie Saint got her big break after scoring a professional triumph on Broadway.
She starred opposite the legendary Lillian Gish in The Trip to Bountiful, which earned her a Drama Critics Award in 1953.
Saint solidified her reputation among critics, which caught the attention of director Elia Kazan. She cast her as Edie Doyle, the young sister of a murdered dockworker, in the 1954 film On the Waterfront.
Her performance catapulted her to fame and earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1954. And for the next five years, she starred in several back-to-back hit films.
Eventually, she received her first Emmy Nomination in The Middle of the Night and her second for her portrayal of Emily in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town.
In 1958, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance as Cecilia Pope, the pregnant wife of Don Murray’s Johnny Pope, who wreaks havoc in his family with his morphine addiction in A Hatful of Rain.
Is Eva Marie Saint Still Alive?
By the 60s, Saint moved away from Hollywood to focus on spending more time with her husband, director Jeffrey Hayden, and their two children.
As a result, the movies she put out every year declined in number as the decade wore on. By the early 2000s, Saint went unseen, leading fans to wonder: is Eva Marie still alive?
Thankfully for fans, the actress is very much alive. In 2018, she made a rare public appearance — at 93 — at the Academy Award ceremony, 63 years after she had won her first Oscar.
She received a standing ovation as she entered the stage to present the Costume Design award.
Eva Marie Saint Left Hollywood For Family
In August 2020, The Canberra Times reported that Saint, then 96 years old, was among the veterans still alive. The reports confirmed the actress was alive, but it still begged the question — why did Saint leave Hollywood?
The actress spoke about it during an interview at the Turner Classic Movies Festival.
“[Acting] could be a lonely life. I met older actresses who never married, never had children. That’s not for me. Much as I love this business, I don’t want to grow old alone,” said the actress.
Saint prioritized her marriage and family over her career.
After dating for two years, the actress and her husband tied the knot on October 28, 1951. Hayden had fallen in love with her at first sight after seeing Saint on the subway in 1949.
The two defied all odds against the Hollywood breakup jinx and were married for 65 long years before Hayden passed away on 2016’s Christmas eve at the age of 90.
Eva Marie Saint with Alfred Hitchcock on the set of North by Northwest. (Source: Twitter)
During an interview with Los Angeles Times, the actress noted she overcame the grief with the help of their two children and four grandchildren.
But there were days when nothing filled the void in her heart. She shared that the hardest thing was eating alone at the table where she and her husband shared their meals.
The actress had lost 11 pounds and was trying to put some back. Saint also wanted to work again.