Elana Eden

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Elana Eden
Elana Eden publicity photo.jpg
Publicity photo, 1960
Born Elana Lani Cooper
(Hebrew: לייני אילנה קופר‎‎)

(1940-05-01) 1 May 1940 (age 76)
Bat Yam, Tel Aviv, Israel
Occupation Actress
Years active 1957–1966
Notable work The Story of Ruth (1960)
Spouse(s) Nissim Aloni
(married 1962–1965)
Fredric Myrow
(married 1969–1999)
Children 3

Elana Eden (Hebrew: אילנה עדן‎‎; born 1 May 1940) is an Israeli actress of film, television, and theatre,[1] best known for her film debut as the title role in 20th Century Fox's biblical epic The Story of Ruth (1960).

Early life[edit]

Eden was born Elana Lani Cooper in Bat Yam, Tel Aviv District, Israel. Her father, Zvi Cooper, was born in Russia and her mother was born in Poland.[2] She has a sister, Tamar, and a brother, Moti.[3] Since her youth, Eden was associated with the stage and therefore became a member of the Habima Theatre Drama School.[4] She made her theatrical debut in the play Lysistrata for which she performed over fifty times in various locations of Israel.[4]


After having served as a machine gunner and volunteer with the Israeli Army, Eden auditioned for the film The Diary of Anne Frank in London in 1957 and became one of the five finalists for the part until Millie Perkins was cast.[4]

With Thayer David in the theatrical trailer for The Story of Ruth (1960)

When searching for an actress to play the title role in 20th Century Fox's CinemaScope biblical epic The Story of Ruth (1960), producer Samuel G. Engel remembered her previous screen test for The Diary of Anne Frank and Eden arrived in Hollywood on 18 August 1959 to do more screen tests for the part of Ruth.[4] Out of the twenty-nine actresses who were tested, Eden was finally chosen and cast as Ruth.[4] The film crew changed her stage name from "Elana Cooper" to "Elana Eden," because "Cooper did not sound Jewish."[4] For the film she lost ten pounds in three weeks, giving up "bread and butter, sour cream, rich sauces and cakes" for "steak, cottage cheese and fresh fruit."[5] Of her portrayal, Variety wrote: "She gives a performance of dignity, projecting an inner strength through a delicate veneer."[6] Daniel A. Poling, editor of the Christian Herald, thought that Eden's portrayal of Ruth was "worthy of an Oscar."[7] Her performance was also complimented by columnist Hedda Hopper.[4]

After her appearance in The Story of Ruth, Eden appeared in several television series in both the United States and Israel.[4] In February 1961, she played Shasme Hasmar in the Adventures in Paradise episode "Who Is Sylvia?".[8] She played another role, a young Czech woman named Anna, in The Barbara Stanwyck Show episode "The Hitch-Hiker" (1961). She also appeared in Trunk to Cairo (1966), co-starring Audie Murphy, George Sanders, and Marianne Koch.

Personal life[edit]

Eden married Israeli author and playwright Nissim Aloni in 1962 and later divorced him in 1965.[4] She later married American composer Fredric "Fred" Myrow on 6 June 1969.[9] They had three daughters: Rachael, Shira, and Neora.[10]

Eden was a speaker at the "kickoff" dinner for the 1967 United Jewish Appeal campaign and the Modesto Jewish Welfare in Modesto, California.[4]


Year Title Role Notes
1960 This Is Your Life Herself Episode: Mervin LeRoy
The Story of Ruth Ruth Film debut
1961 Adventures in Paradise Shasme Hasmar Episode: Who Is Sylvia?
The Barbara Stanwyck Show Anna Episode: The Hitch-Hiker
1966 Trunk to Cairo Hadassa Israeli-West German film


  1. ^ Kahn Atkins, Irene. Henry Koster. Scarecrow Press, 1987. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Parsons, Louella O. (27 March 1960). "Elana Eden: Hollywood's Newest Cinderella Story". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Story of Elana, Like That of Ruth, Begins in Israel Amid Troubled Times". The Milwaukee Journal. 24 May 1960. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Elana Eden - The Private Life and Times". glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com. Retrieved 26 February 2011
  5. ^ Lane, Lydia (7 May 1960). "Hollywood Beauty: Elana Eden Has Cinderella Story". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Review: 'The Story of Ruth'". Variety. 31 December 1960. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Poling, Daniel A. (2 February 1961). ""The Story of Ruth"". The Kiowa News. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "'Sylvia?' - Its Eden". Variety. 10 February 1961. 
  9. ^ "Ilana Cooper, "California, Marriage Index, 1960-1985"". FamilySearch. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Fredric Myrow". Variety. 18 January 1999. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 

External links[edit]