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Enid Bennett

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Full Name  Enid Bennett
Role  Film actress
Name  Enid Bennett
Years active  1916-1941
Occupation  Actress

Enid Bennett FileEnid Bennett 1920jpg Wikimedia Commons

Born  15 July 1893 (1893-07-15) York, Western Australia
Died  May 14, 1969, Malibu, California, United States
Spouse  Sidney Franklin (m. 1963–1969), Fred Niblo (m. 1918–1948)
Children  Louise Niblo, Peter Niblo, Judith Niblo
Siblings  Marjorie Bennett, Catherine Bennett, Alexander Bennett
Movies  Robin Hood, The Red Lily, The Sea Hawk, Intermezzo, Skippy
Similar People  Fred Niblo, Sidney Franklin, Marjorie Bennett, Mitchell Leisen, Norman Taurog

Movie Legends - Enid Bennett

Enid Eulalie Bennett (15 July 1893 – 14 May 1969) was an Australian silent film actress, mostly active in American film.


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Robin Hood (1922)

Early life

Enid Bennett httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Enid Eulalie Bennett was born on 15 July 1893 in York, the daughter of Nellie Mary Louise (née Walker) and Frank Bennett. She had an older brother, Francis Reginald "Reg" Bennett (born 1891), and a younger sister, actress Marjorie Bennett (born 1896). After an unsuccessful attempt to start his own school, Frank took up the role of headmaster at the newly established Guildford Grammar School in 1896. He died in 1898, when he drowned in a river while suffering from depression. Nellie later married the new headmaster, Alexander Gillespie, in 1899. With him, she had a daughter named Catherine (born 1901) and a son named Alexander (born 1903). Following Gillespie's death in 1903, Nellie supported her five children by working as a school matron.

Enid Bennett Enid Bennett Silent Movie Star goldensilentscom

Bennett attended Lionel Logue's acting and elocution classes in Perth, and after receiving encouragement from a visiting actress in 1910, she joined a touring company. By 1912, Bennett had joined the Fred Niblo-Josephine Cohan touring company, performing comedies around Australia and understudying for Cohan herself, for which she received consistently positive reviews. Her family had moved to Sydney by this time.


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In the early part of 1915, theatre agents J. C. Williamson's decided to make short films of some of their popular plays, to forestall the release of imported American filmed versions. They used Niblo as director, and members of his troupe appeared in Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford and Officer 666. Enid Bennett appeared in both. Three reels of Officer 666 survive today in the National Film and Sound Archive. Film historians Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper describe it as "a crude production doggedly faithful to the stage." Both films were released in Australia after Bennett left for the United States in June 1915, travelling with Niblo and Cohan.

Enid Bennett Enid Bennett Silent Movie Star goldensilentscom

Her first appearance in the U.S. was in Henry Arthur Jones' play Cock o' the Walk at George M. Cohan's Theatre on Broadway in late 1915. Roles of increasing importance in films followed soon after. One of her most important early films was The Little Brother in 1917, where she appeared opposite William Garwood. This brought her to the attention of studios, in particular Thomas H. Ince, who signed her up with the Triangle Film Corporation. From 1918 to 1921, she starred in 23 films, becoming well established as an actress and attracting great publicity and consistently positive reviews. In 1922, she starred in three films, one of which became her most famous role, the female lead of Maid Marian in Robin Hood with Douglas Fairbanks. Interviewed in the 1960s by Kevin Brownlow, Bennett said, "I had a wonderful time playing Maid Marian. Of course, the part was not too demanding, I just walked through it in a queenly manner. [Fairbanks] was wonderful, inspiring."

Enid Bennett Picture of Enid Bennett

Following Josephine Cohan's death, Bennett married Fred Niblo in 1918. In 1924, she appeared opposite Ramon Novarro in Niblo's film Red Lily. Between 1923 and 1928 her career had slowed and she appeared in leading roles in fewer films. She made a transition to sound, appearing in two 1931 Jackie Cooper-Robert Coogan films: Skippy (which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture) and its sequel Sooky. Later at the end of the decade she appeared in a few minor roles, the last being the Marx Brothers 1941 film The Big Store. Niblo had retired in 1933, and it appears Bennett did also.

In later life, sister Marjorie Bennett explained that, somewhat against her will, she had been encouraged by the family to join Bennett to keep her company in the U.S. By the mid-1920s, her mother Nellie, both her sisters, and her surviving brother were living in the U.S. In 1934, her brother Alexander married actress Frances Lee. The wedding was attended by some of Hollywood's biggest names, including Gloria Swanson and Greta Garbo.

Personal life

In 1918, Bennett married Fred Niblo. In 1922, she and Niblo had their first child, a daughter named Loris. A son, Peter, was born later that year, and another daughter, Judith, was born in 1928. Niblo died in 1948. In 1963, she married American film director Sidney Franklin. In later life, she resided in Malibu, California.


On 14 May 1969, Bennett died at her home in Malibu, California, aged 75.

Partial filmography

  • The Aryan (1916)
  • Princess in the Dark (1917)
  • Happiness (1917)
  • Keys of the Righteous (1918)
  • When Do We Eat? (1918)
  • Fuss and Feathers (1918)
  • Partners Three (1919)
  • The Haunted Bedroom (1919)
  • The Virtuous Thief (1919)
  • What Every Woman Learns (1919)
  • Her Husband's Friend (1920)
  • The Woman in the Suitcase (1920)
  • Hairpins (1920)
  • The False Road (1920)
  • Silk Hosiery (1920)
  • Robin Hood (1922)
  • Strangers of the Night (1923)
  • The Bad Man (1923)
  • The Courtship of Miles Standish (1923)
  • The Sea Hawk (1924)
  • The Red Lily (1924)
  • Skippy (1931)
  • Sooky (1931)
  • Waterloo Bridge (1931)
  • Intermezzo (1939)
  • References

    Enid Bennett Wikipedia