Eve Arden, who delivered zingers in a crisp, sophisticated voice on stage, in the movies and as the star of television's "Our Miss Brooks" in the 1950s, has died of heart failure at age 82.
The comic actress, who had cancer and heart problems and died at home Monday, received an Oscar nomination for the classic film "Mildred Pierce" but was probably best known as the saucy English teacher on "Our Miss Brooks."Born Eunice Quedens, Miss Arden was the daughter of a stage actress and first acted on a grammar school stage at age 7. She changed her name about 1934 after seeing the names "Evening in Paris" and "Elizabeth Arden" on cosmetics labels.
She made a career out of a role she often said she didn't much like - the best friend who brightened the dramatics with deadpan humor.
"She had a great sense of humor," said Bob Hope, who got his break in films after he sang a love song to Miss Arden in the Ziegfeld Follies in 1936. "I just loved her. She had that kind of sarcastic delivery."
"She established a character I do not think will ever be duplicated," said Milton Berle, who also appeared with Miss Arden and Hope in the Follies.
"Our Miss Brooks" started first on CBS radio in 1947 and moved to television in 1952, running for four seasons. Connie Brooks was an extension of the wisecracking but de-lightful characters she had played in films for years.
"I've never cared for the character I generally played in films," she once said. "I certainly don't think it was me. I really think I'm kinder than that. My friends will tell you that I'm a very mild person."