Saturday, April 30, 2016
She was Our Miss Brooks; she played a pickpocket in The Marx Brothers flick At The Circus; and for an encore, turned in memorable performances as the wacky high school principal in Grease and its sequel. Eve Arden, born on this day in 1908, was multi-talented and loved by millions for her roles in radio, TV, and film.
The lovely strawberry blonde began her show biz career on the stage, as a teenager. But before long she was on the silver screen, finding a niche as the sidekick, witty and wise-cracking. Her prolific late-30's film output inlcuded Oh, Doctor, Stage Door, Cocoanut Grove, and Having Wonderful Time.
In 1948, after nearly two decades fighting in the show business trenches as a comic character actress, Arden landed a starring role, that of high school teacher Connie Brooks in Our Miss Brooks.
The literature teacher was likeable--in fact, praised by organizations of actual teachers--a strong female character who stood up to the shenanigans of the sketchy Principal Conklin (Gale Gordon). She was sarcastic rather than ditzy or bubbly, and rather than being hit on by her male colleagues, she was the one doing the hitting, repeatedly trying to snag the attention of the bio teacher, Mr. Boynton (Jeff Chandler).
The show succeeded on the radio and succeeded in its television guise, which ran from 1952-57.
Eve Arden's given name was Eunice Queens, and legend has it that the Arden came from a fortuitously-placed jar of Elizabeth Arden hand cream.
She died in 1990, and was posthumously inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
On Our Miss Brooks, Mrs. Brooks interacted with the bio teacher, Mr. Boynton (Jeff Chandler), Principal Conklin (Gale Gordon), and Walter Denton, one of her wacky students, played by Richard Crenna.
For her efforts, Eve Arden won a Radio Mirror magazine readers' poll for best comedienne of 1948-49.
Though her own series was her claim to fame, Arden also guested on The Danny Kaye Show, and The Lux Radio Theater.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Jeff Chandler, born Ira Grossel, in 1918 could play any range of character’s and was most remembered for his portrayal of Apache Indian Chieftain Cochise in Broken Arrow (1950).
His swarthy good looks made him an early sensation in Hollywood and a popular contract player for any studio that could get him onboard. Born into a Jewish family, Chandler gained a love for acting early on in his youth. Before becoming big on the stage and cinema, Chandler had for a time spent working in radio. In fact, in Rogue’s Gallery, Chandler performed with the notable Dick Powell on the air. his movie history included playing the parts of a gangster, Israeli soldier and an Arab chieftain, before his Academy Award nomination for his casting as the Apache leader. This had been the first time an actor had received such high accolades for portraying an Indian. During the late 50’s and before his death in 1961, Chandler’s hair began to turn gray prematurely, which simply added to his leading man charm with the ladies. Jeff tried a brief stint in Las Vegas as a crooner and even had a record contract. However, it was his acting that would be his mainstay and what held true in the minds of millions of fans. Due to medical incompetence, Jeff Chandler’s life ended too soon after a botched medical procedure. Who knows where his life might have gone if not ended so soon.