Eve McVeagh, born Eva Elizabeth McVeagh, (July 15, 1919 - December 10, 1997) was an American actress of film, television, stage, and radio. Born in Ohio, McVeagh moved to Los Angeles in 1923, where she started acting in theater in her teens. Her career spanned 52 years from her first stage role through her last stage appearance. McVeagh's roles included leading and supporting parts as well as smaller character roles. She is best defined as a versatile workhorse actress of all acting mediums.
Eve McVeagh, headshot circa 1965
Following stage success in Hollywood, McVeagh moved to New York City in her 20s, performing on radio and on Broadway in several productions including the roles of Martha in Snafu (1944–1945) and Patsy Laverne in Too Hot for Maneuvers (1945). After the well received Broadway run of Snafu, McVeagh took over the female lead at The National Theater in Washington DC in 1945. After returning to Los Angeles to raise her family, McVeagh starred in West Coast premieres of Broadway shows at the Pasadena Playhouse, most notably the lead in Come Back Little Sheba. Her Hollywood theater work included one year as Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Her stage career continued in Las Vegas in 1981 in "The Ninety Day Mistress" playing the mother of June Wilkinson, British actress and model. She continued to act in small stage productions including several with the award winning Theatre Forty Company in Beverly Hills. In Hollywood, her final role was as a member of a lesbiancouple in 1989 concluding an over 50 year stage career.
McVeagh co-starred in her film debut as Mildred Fuller in "High Noon" in 1952.
McVeagh's first film appearance was a supporting role in the classic High Noon (1952) in which she played Mildred Fuller alongside Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. She co-starred in Tight Spot as Clara Moran playing the sister ofGinger Rogers: Of her performance, The New York Times raved "For our money, the best scene, whipped up by scenarist William Bowers, is the anything-but-tender reunion of Miss Rogers and her sister, Eve McVeagh ... an ugly, blistering pip." Ms. McVeagh was also featured opposite Richard Widmark and Lauren Bacall in The Cobweb as Shirley Irwin. She starred as Viv in The Glass Web, and was featured as Mrs. Clinton in Three in the Attic, Mrs. Masters in The Way West, Mrs. Griggs in Crime & Punishment, USA, a reporter in the Dino De Laurentiis production of King Kong, and The Graduate. Her final co-starring film role was in the independent film Money to Burn (1983) as Vivian. Her last onscreen appearance was a cameo role in Creator (1985) with Peter O'Toole. Ms. McVeagh's contributions to film were recognized by the bestowal of membership in the actor's branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her contributions in film spanned 33 years.
McVeagh, a Hitchcock favorite, as Georgia in "Incident at a Corner" (1960)
McVeagh had an even longer career in television beginning in 1946 as a regular cast member in the series Faraway Hill. Other notable television series on which she guest starred included Dragnet and I Love Lucy (as Lucy's hairdresser, Roberta, in the classic "Black Wig" episode). She was featured in three episodes of Perry Mason and two episodes of The Twilight Zone, and was a regular guest on The Johnny Carson Show. Alfred Hitchcock notably used actors he liked over and over. McVeagh was featured in four episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and two episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Additionally McVeagh co-starred on the Hitchcock-directed episode, "Incident at a Corner", of the television series Startime pictured above.Roles in the 1960s also included Frances Moseby, a series regular, on The Clear Horizon, a recurring character, Miss Hammond, on Petticoat Junction, as well as roles on Bonanza, Ironside and My Three Sons. Over the next two decades she appeared as a regular on The Red Skelton Show,Room 222 and McMillan & Wife. A favorite of Lucille Ball going back to I Love Lucy, she again appeared with her on Here's Lucy. She also guest starred in Love, American Style, and was featured in Little House on the Prairie, The Streets of San Francisco, The Bionic Woman, Charlie's Angels,The Jeffersons, Lou Grant, The Incredible Hulk, Knots Landing, Hill Street Blues, Hunter, and Airwolf. McVeagh co-starred in an episode of Michael Landon's Highway to Heaven and was featured in two episodes of Simon & Simon. One of McVeagh's last guest star roles was in a 1985 episode ofCagney and Lacey as Dorothy Gantney, the grief-stricken mother of a murder victim in the "The Psychic". McVeagh's last television credit was in 1987 as the guest star of the PBS show Square One TV episode 1.23 as Mrs. Swaggle. Her career in television spanned 41 years.
Press photograph of Eve McVeagh (1952), star of CBS Radio's "Broadway's My Beat" and "Stars over Hollywood". This photograph was taken for "Let's Play Tennis Week" a charity event with stars of that era.
During the "Golden Age of Radio", McVeagh had several leading and supporting series roles and episodic leads in the 1940s and 1950s. She played Mrs. Harriet Beatty on the "Clyde Beatty Show", and was a regular on "Broadway Is My Beat" and "Stars Over Hollywood". She starred in "Hollywood Hostages", an episode of "Suspense", as Grace. McVeagh was a principal performer on "Jeff Regan, Investigator", Jack Webb's radio noir series. "McVeagh's ditzy--and sultry--characterizations were regularly featured" in the series.
Acting and voice coach
McVeagh was an acting and voice coach at the Film Actors Workshop at Warner Brothers Studios. Additionally, she taught privately and guest lectured at the University of Southern California in the School of Theatre.
McVeagh was married to character actor and director Clarke Gordon (her fourth husband) at the time of her death and had four children and nine grandchildren. Grandson Paul Robert Appleby, Ph.D., who was raised effectively as her fifth child, is a Research Scientist and Assistant Professor (Research) at the University of Southern California (Keck School of Medicine & Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism). Although at one time carrying on the family tradition as a child actor (aka Rob Appleby), Dr. Appleby finds creative outlet inspired by his grandmother as a producer/writer of interactive media designed to positively effect social change.