Eve was born just north of San Francisco in Mill Valley and was interested in show business from an early age. At 16, she made her stage debut after quitting school to joined a stock company. After appearing in minor roles in two films under her real name, Eunice Quedens, she found that the stage offered her the same minor roles. By the mid 30s, one of these minor roles would attract notice as a comedy sketch in the stage play Ziegfeld Folies. By that time, she had changed her name to Eve Arden. In 1937, she attracted some attention with a small role in Oh, Doctor (1937) which led to her being cast in a minor role in the film Stage Door (1937). By the time the film was finished, her part had expanded into the wise-cracking, fast-talking friend to the lead. She would play virtually the character for most of her career. While her sophisticated wise-cracking would never make her the lead, she would be a busy actress in dozens of movies over the next dozen years. In At the Circus (1939), she was the acrobatic Peerless Pauline opposite Groucho Marx and the Russian sharp shooter in the comedy The Doughgirls (1944). For her role as Ida in Mildred Pierce (1945), she received an Academy Award nomination. Famous for her quick ripostes, this led to work in Radio during the 40s.