Eva Marie Saint (born July 4, 1924) is an American actress who has starred in films, on Broadway, and on television in a career spanning seven decades. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the drama film On the Waterfront (1954), and later starred in the thriller film North by Northwest (1959), directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Saint received Golden Globe and BAFTA award nominations for the drama film A Hatful of Rain (1957) and won an Emmy Award for the television miniseries People Like Us (1990). Her film career also includes roles in Raintree County (1957), Because of Winn-Dixie (2005), and Superman Returns (2006).
Saint was born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Eva Marie (née Rice) and John Merle Saint. She attended Bethlehem Central High School in Delmar, New York, graduating in 1942. Eva Marie was inducted into the high school's hall of fame in 2006. She studied acting at Bowling Green State University, while a member of Delta Gamma Sorority. There is a theater on Bowling Green's campus named for her. She was an active member in the theater honorary fraternity, Theta Alpha Phi and served as Secretary of the Bowling Green Student Government in 1944.
Her introduction to television began as an NBC page. She appeared in the very early live NBC TV show "Campus Hoopla" in 1946 - 47, and her performances on this program are recorded on rare kinescope and also audio recordings of these tele-casts as preserved in the Library of Congress. She also appeared in the 1949 Bonnie Maid Versa-Tile Varieties NBC program as one of the singing Bonnie Maids used in the live commercials. She appears in 1947 Life Magazine special on Television and also in a feature Life 1949 article on her as struggling actress earning minimum amounts from early TV while trying to make ends meet in NYC. In the late 1940s, she continued doing extensive work in radio and television before winning the Drama Critics Award for her Broadway stage role in the Horton Foote play The Trip to Bountiful (1953), in which she co-starred with such formidable actors as Lillian Gish and Jo Van Fleet. In 1955, she was nominated for her first Emmy for "Best Actress In A Single Performance" on The Philco Television Playhouse for playing the young mistress of middle-aged E. G. Marshall in Middle of the Night by Paddy Chayefsky. She won another Emmy nomination for the 1955 television musical version of the Thornton Wilder classic play Our Town with co-stars Paul Newman (in his only musical) and Frank Sinatra. Her success and acclaim were of such a high level that the young Saint earned the nickname "the Helen Hayes of television."