THREE PHASES OF EVE: An Autobiography by Eve Arden

THREE PHASES OF EVE: An Autobiography

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A likable, warm-hearted, smo-o-oth one by the wisecracking screen comedienne perhaps best known today for her TV series about the tart-tongued Our Miss Brooks. When Eve (born Eunice Quedens in 1912) was two, her mother--a milliner--divorced Eve's gambling-addict father and went into business. Mother soon proved herself a business addict, with little time for Eve, who wound up in a Dominican convent. Happy by day, Eve cried at night--but in some ways she would repeat her mother's pattern: overbusy as a screen comedienne and entering a 35-year marriage to a periodic alcoholic. Nonetheless, she loved and attentively raised four well-balanced children (three adoptive). If the mature actress projected worldly wisdom, she came by it agonizingly, when she watched a swamp being dragged for a boy friend who had drowned and when she witnessed a classmate being dragged to her death after her hair caught in a train wheel. Arden is a genuinely funny woman, especially about her early days as an ingenue in San Francisco, with Fanny Brite in the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway, and about her screen buddies, Edward Everett Horton, Clark Gable and Robert Benchley. She won an Oscar nomination as Mildred Pierce's caustic buddy, and an Emmy for Our Miss Brooks. Her second marriage, to actor Brooks West, began at the crest of her success, but it was not too much later that he began nipping secretly. When her TV show folds after eight seasons, she goes back on stage (Auntie Mame), to films (Anatomy of a Murder), invades Las Vegas with a knockout stage show, and later goes on the road with Brooks in various Broadway hits. When Brooks slips, Eve joins Alanon though he resists AA until the last six months of his life. Most readers will find his death extremely moving. Classily written and striking all chords from anguish to triumph.

Pub Date: June 28th, 1985
Publisher: St. Martin's