There is very little information about Eve Amber, and I did not find many of the vital statistics I always have to find in order to write a post. Yet, Eve somehow wormed her way into my good graces and I decided to do a half baked bio with just bits and pieces of her life, so please bear with me here 🙂
Eve Amber (don’t know if it’s her real name) was born in about 1920 in London, England. She grew up in the city, and became an actress after finishing high school. She did some work on the London stage before WW2.
Eve was discovered by Gabriel Pascal, the famous producer who staged many of George Bernard Shaw’s works. Pascal had good eye for talent, and obviously something drove him to Eve. Via Pascal, she ended up in the US, but did not break into movies right away. She started working as a model. By 1943, Eve was one of the foremost models in the Harry Conover Modeling Agency, a well known agency of the decade. This catapulted her into Hollywood.
For a completely unknown actress, Eve Amber had a pretty decent career (if you look at the quality, not the quantity!). Eve’s first movie was The Suspect, a very, very god film noir with more substance than it first meets the eye. Plot in short (taken from IMDB): In 1902 London, unhappily married Philip Marshall meets young Mary Gray, who is unemployed and depressed. Their deepening friendship, though physically innocent, is discovered by Philip’s wife who threatens him with exposure and scandal, driving him to kill her. While it does end as a typical police procedure and will-they-figure-it-out, it’s also a beautifully made elegy on loneliness, redemption and the need . Charles Laughton is, as in most of his roles, superb. His mannerism is perfect, and you can more than believe he’s a basically decent and good man pushed into murdering rage by a “nagging wife” (played with gusto by the pioneer of such roles, Rosalind Ivan, who was nicknamed “Ivan the Terrible” by her acting admirers, as she was soo good at it). Ella Raines is decent enough as the enchanting love interest. Special kudos go to Molly Lamont and Henry Daniell, who play Laughton’s next door neighbors also stuck in a dysfunctional marriage.
Eve continued to fly high in The Woman in Green, one of the Sherlock Holmes movie series with Basil Rathbone in the lead. No, it’s ot anything new or groundbreaking, but can onn expect from a Sherlock Holmes movie? The same old elements are there: Holmes, sharp as a knife, the goofy, bubbling but endearing Watson, the cool and villainous Moriarty, a seemingly unsolvable murder, the seductive femme fatale… The performances are, like in most of the movies from the series, first class. Rathbone is perhaps the greatest Sherlock in movies. He and Nigel Bruce, who plays Watson, have superb buddy chemistry. Hillary Brooke, an actress I really like (that face!!) is a very good femme fatale. The plot is, of course, intriguing and suspenseful, and the wonderful, almost noirish black and white filmography evoked the London of the late 19th century like a charm – from the mansions to the seedy slums, we have it all. Eve plays the daughter of a man who is killed early in movie, and she is the one who comes to Holmes to ask for help. Highly recommended!
For reasons I can’t quite fathom (she actually made two good movies! Why did it have to end?), Eve ended her movie career with Men in Her Diary, the weakest of her trio of films. While not bad, it’s a typical rom-com of the 1940s. It’s got more soul and sass than most of the romcoms made in the recent years, but it’s still not a very good film. Yet, if you want some charming, simple fun, it’s more than okay. Brief synopsis: Singer/Dancer Peggy Ryan neither sings nor dances in this comedy in which she plays a secretary, whose life has no romance because she devotes all of her time to her attractive older sister. But she does keep a diary that contains some fact and many fictional entries. One such is read by the wife (Louise Allbritton) of her boss (Jon Hall) who promptly sues for a divorce. Virginia Grey stars in a musical produced by Hall and sings (possibly dubbed) “Makin’ a Million” and “Keep Your Chin Up.” No spoiler to add that Ryan gets a boyfriend and Hall and Allbritton are reunited before this one runs it course. Surprised? Heck no! Just as everything should be… In a rom com. Eve plays an uncredited role way down on the list.
Eve was a passionate collector of historical trinkets, preferably ones connected to famous women o the past. It was noted she had, in her possession, a gold thimble that belonged to queen Victoria and a watch seal owned by Sarah Bernhardt, with her name engraved.
In 1944, the US War Department issued an edict tot he editors of the US Army newspaper, saying there should be no cheesecake. Eve was quick to try and reverse the rule, telling the papers how pretty girl can only help the morale of the soldiers. She herself posed for endless cheesecake pictures during the war.
First, her clothes are simply styled and starchily crisp. A summer cotton is never work the second day if it had gone limp or looks mussed. Through her hairdo looks like a careless bob, it isn’t. It+’s disciplined by pinups at night: is carefully dressed by day and shampooed twice a week to restore clean color and fresh bounce. Makeup, however, is applied sparingly, because, as she says, even in photographs obvious artifices don’t go with casual clothes. Eve’s legs are usually bare, but are made to look Romaay tan with a makeup stain that shines like nylons. The rest of her outdoor charm comes from being a girl who is a friend of the sun, who can put English on a ten is ball or hop on a bicycle and race you for miles.
In late 1944, Eve was wined and dined by Ben Bogeaus, famed producer who liked to date pretty women (his ex wife was the stunning but troubled Mimi Forsyte, and his future wife the busty Dolores Moran). But yep, Ben choose Dolores over Eve at any rate and the relationship did not last.
By 1945, she was popular enough to have her own autographs seekers – she signed herself as Eve (no relation to Forever) Amber, referencing the famous Otto Preminger movie with Linda Darnell in the lead. In May 1945, she was seen with New York advertising executive Nat Pearlstein (who also dated Arline Judge and Lorraine Beecher on the side).
In June 1945, Eve had a new swain, Carl Laemmle Jr., son of Carl Laemmle Sr., the founder of Universal Studio. Born in 1908, he was more than 10 years Eve’s senior. She ditched Laemmle for what turned out to be her most serious romance in Hollywood – George Raft.
George sure dated some pretty women in his time, and Eve is no exception. The dated from mid 1945 until early 1946. With her Hollywood career dried up and no new chances forthcoming, Eve became the assistant to Edmund Lowe, the once famous silent movie actor, husband of the late Lillyan Tashman (now there is an interesting woman!). They appeared in the Loew’s State Theater on Broadway in February 1946. Eve caught a chill and Edmund was on his own for the last three performances.
And Eve falls of the newspaper radar at the ripe old age of about 26. I have no idea what happened to her afterwards, but, as always, I hope she had a good life 🙂