Monday, April 27, 2009
Eve Arden received an honorary membership in the National Education Association in 1952. “Our Miss Brooks” wasn’t real, just a radio sitcom, but Miss Arden’s portrayal of English teacher Connie Brooks was real enough to have actually gotten her teaching offers.
A veteran actress of film over several decades, and an Academy Award nominee in 1945 for “Mildred Pierce”, Eve Arden played the sane and sassy comic foil or dramatic character actress with exquisite precision, with such a strong screen presence that it didn’t matter if she wasn’t the lead. On radio, however, she was the lead and took the ball, and ran with it. It was the perfect medium for her. Nobody could speak like she could, expressing shades of meaning, usually very witty, with only her voice. Her voice made Connie Brooks seem so human, and so real.
Have a listen here for a dramatic turn in the series “Suspense”, scroll down to an episode from January 18, 1951 called “The Well-Dressed Corpse.”
For a turn as Connie Brooks, have a listen here to some of the “Our Miss Brooks” episodes from 1950 on the Internet Archive.
And have a look here at Kate’s recent tribute to Eve Arden on Silents an Talkies.