Oscar-winning actress Eva Marie Saint opens up about Cary Grant, chance meetings and more in these five facts you might not know about her.
‘North by Northwest’ Is My Favorite Film
She won an Oscar for On the Waterfront but making Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 thriller “was a whole different experience. I felt excited by it,” Eva Marie, 99, tells Closer. “My favorite memory is when Cary Grant walked on set and said, ‘Eva Marie, this is going to be fun. No tears!’ What he meant was that in previous movies, I had to cry a lot. I just said, ‘Fine, sounds good to me!’”
I Almost Turned the Role Down
Eva Marie had just given birth to her second child when she received the North by Northwest script and found it underwhelming. That’s when her husband, Jeffrey Hayden, stepped in. “I vividly remember him saying, ‘Honey … I’ll take care of the children, and I want you to really think about this and reread this script,’” she recalls. “He was so right.”
I Met My Husband on the NYC Subway
“I was carrying a modeling book with my name in little gold letters at the bottom. And the name intrigued him,” says Eva Marie of meeting Jeffrey, a TV director, in 1949. “That was the moment.” They were happily married for 65 years, until Jeffrey’s passing in 2016.
I Almost Gave Birth on Stage
The actress was nine months pregnant when she accepted her Oscar for On the Waterfront. “I said, ‘Thank you, I’m so excited. I may have the baby right here.’ I had him two days later.”
I Never Wanted Fame
“I know I couldn’t have coped with [major] fame. And I’ve never had it — thank the Lord! People recognize me, but I wanted a normal life.”