For 65 years, Oscar-winning actress Eva Marie Saint was blissfully married to her husband, Jeffrey Hayden. The couple’s love story began with a chance encounter in New York City and led to a lifetime of incredible moments together.

How Did Eva Marie Saint Meet Jeffrey Hayden?

During her early years in the entertainment industry, Eva met Jeffrey on the NYC subway.

“[I was] carrying a modeling book with my name, Eva Marie Saint, in gold in little letters at the bottom. And the name intrigued him,” she recalled in a May 2014 interview with NPR. “He didn’t see me from the front. It was the back. Oh, and the way I walked. And that was the moment.”

The couple got married in 1951 while Eva was starring in One Man’s Family. Jeffrey was always supportive of his wife’s projects and watched her career blossom with 1954’s On the Waterfront.

“A lot of being married a long time is luck,” Eva told The Washington Post in October 1981. “I mean, getting a good one.”

Who Was Jeffrey Hayden?

Like his wife, Jeffrey also established a name for himself in Hollywood. He began his career as a TV and film director in the late ‘40s, eventually earning credits from his work on Dennis the Menace, The Andy Griffith Show, Lassie and more.

On December 24, 2016, Jeffrey died at age 90 after losing his yearlong battle with cancer.

“It comes in waves,” Eva said of processing her grief in a March 2018 interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Eva Marie Saint holds husband Jeffrey Hayden's hand
Barry King/FilmMagic

Did Eva Marie Saint and Jeffrey Hayden Have Children?

During their decades-long marriage, Eva and Jeffrey welcomed two children together, son Darrell Hayden and daughter Laurette Hayden. Eva famously attended the 1955 Academy Awards while nine months pregnant with her first child. She won the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for On the Waterfront.

“Thank you, I’m so excited,” she told the audience. “I may have the baby right here.”

Darrell was born two days after the ceremony. He founded his own company called Speaking of Creative in 2010, training professionals in creative services. Laurette earned a few credits as a producer from 1996 to 2001 before becoming a licensed psychotherapist.

Eva is proud of everything her two children have accomplished with their own careers.

“I take pride in being patient with my husband, my children and grandchildren,” she told Los Angeles Magazine in August 2014. “I really did feel that if I worked hard, if I were out there every day making the rounds, something good would happen.”