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Left: Eva Marie Saint aged 90, Right: Eva Marie Saint in 1950s

Inside Eva Marie Saint's birthday celebrations as Hollywood icon turns 100

The Oscar winner has acted across from Marlon Brando, Cary Grant and Elizabeth Taylor

Bryony Gooch
US Writer
July 4, 2024
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Eva Marie Saint is turning 100 years old - on none other than the Fourth of July! It feels typical that the Hollywood icon will celebrate the major milestone on a national holiday, but the actress hopes to keep it a family affair.

The Oscar winner will celebrate her 100th birthday with four generations of her family, gathering from across the country for the occasion.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 07: Eva Marie Saint attends the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Screenwriting Awards at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on November 07, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rachel Luna/Getty Images)© Rachel Luna
Eva Marie Saint aged 95

"I'm looking forward to spending my 100th birthday in Los Angeles with my dear, dear family. Four generations of family members will be gathering together from Los Angeles, Chicago, Santa Barbara and San Francisco," she told People

1954: Actor Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint on the set of the movie 'On the Waterfront' which came out in 1954. (Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images)  © Donaldson Collection
Eva and Marlon won Oscars for On the Waterfront

Eva may be 100, but she insists that she certainly doesn't feel it. She explained that in her day-to-day life, she continues to "take walks out in the fresh air, like watching baseball — especially the Los Angeles Dodgers, and enjoy time with my family and friends. A good life."

American television director Jeffrey Hayden (1926-2016), wearing a tuxedo and bow tie. and his wife, American actress Eva Marie Saint, wearing a fur evening wrap over her dress, with white evening gloves, attend the premiere of 'The Big Country, ' venue, Los Angeles, California, 1st October 1958. (Photo by Darlene Hammond/Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images)© Darlene Hammond
Eva with her husband Jeffrey Hayden

Eva got her claim to fame by acting across Marlon Brando in the iconic film On the Waterfront, which won her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her film debut. Brando also won Best Actor, the film won Best Picture, and Elia Kazan was awarded Best Director. With eight wins out of 12 Oscar nominations, and a critical and commercial success, it's now considered one of the greatest films ever made.

Cary Grant as Roger Thornhill and Eva Marie Saint as Eve Kendall in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 thriller North by Northwest. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)© John Springer Collection
Eva starred across Cary Grant in North by Northwest

But it wasn't the end of acting for the centenarian, who starred opposite Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest. Known for her scintillating chemistry with Cary Grant, she said of their big kiss scene: "I was hoping I wouldn’t step on his feet."

From the 1957 film Raintree County.© Bettmann
Eva also starred alongside Elizabeth Taylor in Raintree County

Having also acted across from Paul Newman in Exodus, and featured in films alongside Elizabeth Taylor, Eva remains one of the final bastions of a Golden Age of Hollywood cinema. 

After a brief stint on television, she returned to film in 1986, starring opposite Tom Hanks in Nothing in Common. She would formally stop acting aged 90 after appearing in Winter's Tale with Colin Farrell in 2014.

Eva Marie Saint with "Oscar" for her role in On the Waterfront.© Bettmann
Eva Marie Saint with "Oscar" for her role in On the Waterfront.

Eva married the late director, writer and producer Jeffrey Hayden in 1951, and they stayed together until Hayden's death aged 90 in 2016. The director played a role in making Knight Rider and Magnum P.I. Together, they shared two children, Darrell and Laurette, as well as three grandchildren. 

She said that her husband was key in the moment that she won her Oscar, because at the time she was heavily pregnant - two days away from giving birth to their son. Jeffrey helped her get up to accept the award, and she famously said: "I'm so excited I might have the baby right here."

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