Fast Facts

  • Was a tour guide at NBC's New York studios after college.
  • Made her TV debut as a cheerleader on Campus Hoopla, a 1946-47 NBC sports-variety show.
  • Studied at New York's Actors Studio with Rod Steiger, Karl Malden, Julie Harris and Ben Gazzara.
  • Achieved success on Broadway in 1953's The Trip to Bountiful, winning a Drama Critics Award. 
  • Gained a solid reputation for her TV appearances in the 1950s and was called by critics "the Helen Hayes of television."
  • Shot to fame and won an Oscar for her first film role, 1954's On the Waterfront, opposite Marlon Brando.
  • Was cast by Alfred Hitchcock to play a sexy double agent in North by Northwest, which became her most famous screen role.
  •  In the 1970s, '80s and '90s she concentrated on TV work and made memorable appearances in miniseries (A Year in the Life), TV movies (People like Us) and series (Moonlighting).
  • Has two stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame (one for movies, the other for TV).
  • Had a theater at her alma mater, Bowling Green State University, named for her.


  • 1956, Emmy — Best Actress-Single Performance: Nominee
  • 1958, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actress: Nominee
  • 1955, BAFTA Film Awards — Most Promising Newcomer to Film: Nominee
  • 1958, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1978, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama or Comedy Special: Nominee
  • 1990, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special: Winner
  • 1955, Emmy — Best Actress in a Single Performance: Nominee
  • 1977, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series: Nominee
  • 1954, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Winner


  • Jeffrey Hayden — Husband
  • Eva Marie Rice Saint — Mother
  • Laurette Hayden — Daughter
  • Darrell Hayden — Son
  • John Merle Saint — Father


  • Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio (BA in Theater Arts, 1946)

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  • Birth Place: Newark, NJ
  • Profession: Actor

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