Enid Bennett


Born in York, Western Australia
York, Western Australia
York is the oldest inland town in Western Australia, situated 97 km east of Perth in the Avon Valley near Northam, and is the seat of the Shire of York...

, Bennett started her film acting career in 1916, first starring in Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford, with two other films that same year. She married American director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 Sidney Franklin
Sidney Franklin (director)
Sidney Franklin was an American film director and producer. His brother Chester Franklin also became a director during the silent film era best known for helming the early Technicolor film Toll of the Sea....

 early in her career, but they were divorced shortly thereafter.

In 1917 she starred in five films, the most important of which was The Little Brother
The Little Brother
The Little Brother is a 1917 American silent drama directed by Charles Miller and starring William Garwood and Australian actress Enid Bennett...

 opposite William Garwood
William Garwood
William Garwood was an American stage and film actor and director of the early silent era in the 1910s....

. That film brought her to the attention of studios and led to an increasing number of acting roles. From 1918 to 1921 she starred in twenty-three films, becoming well known and recognizable as an actress. In 1918 she married director Fred Niblo
Fred Niblo
Fred Niblo was an American pioneer film actor, director and producer.-Biography:He was born Frederick Liedtke in York, Nebraska, to a French mother and a father who had served as a captain in the American Civil War and was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg...

, who later directed the second film version of Ben Hur. In 1922 she starred in only three films, but one of those became her most famous role, the female lead of "Maid Marian
Maid Marian
Maid Marian is the wife of the legendary English outlaw Robin Hood. Stemming from another, older tradition, she became associated with Robin Hood only in the 16th century.-History:The earliest medieval Robin Hood stories gave him no female companion...

" in Robin Hood
Robin Hood (1922 film)
Robin Hood is the first motion picture ever to have a Hollywood premiere, held at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre on October 18, 1922. The movie's full title, under which it was copyrighted, is Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood, as shown in the illustration at right...

 with Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. was an American actor, screenwriter, director and producer. He was best known for his swashbuckling roles in silent films such as The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood, and The Mark of Zorro....


From 1923 to 1928 she starred in only ten films, as her career had slowed to a crawl. She was a mother by that time, as she and Niblo eventually had three children together.

In 1929 her brother Alexander Bennett married actress Frances Lee
Frances Lee
Frances Lee was an American film actress during Hollywoods silent film era, and well into the sound film era of the 1930s.-Dancing career:Frances Lee was born as Merna Tibbetts in Eagle Grove, Iowa...

. The wedding was attended by some of Hollywood's biggest names, including Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson was an American actress, singer and producer. She was one of the most prominent stars during the silent film era as both an actress and a fashion icon, especially under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille, made dozens of silents and was nominated for the first Academy Award in the...

 and Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo , born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress. Garbo was an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. Many of Garbo's films were sensational hits, and all but three were profitable...

. That year Bennett starred in only one film, Good Medicine, opposite Edward Everett Horton
Edward Everett Horton
Edward Everett Horton was an American character actor. He had a long career in film, theater, radio, television and voice work for animated cartoons. He is especially known for his work in the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.-Early life:Horton was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Isabella...


Later years and death

She made a semi-successful transition to sound films, but saw fewer roles come her way. From 1931 to 1941 she had roles in only seven films, the last of which was uncredited.

She retired after 1941, eventually residing with her family in Malibu, California, where she died in 1969 from a heart attack, aged 75.

Selected Filmography

  • The Aryan
    The Aryan
    The Aryan is an American silent era western motion picture starring William S. Hart, Gertrude Claire, Charles K. French, Louise Glaum, and Bessie Love....

  • Princess in the Dark (1917)
  • Happiness (1917)
  • The Haunted Bedroom (1919)
  • Robin Hood
    Robin Hood (1922 film)
    Robin Hood is the first motion picture ever to have a Hollywood premiere, held at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre on October 18, 1922. The movie's full title, under which it was copyrighted, is Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood, as shown in the illustration at right...

  • The Bad Man (1923)
  • The Courtship of Miles Standish
    The Courtship of Miles Standish (1923 film)
    The Courtship of Miles Standish was an ambitious and costly historical silent film produced by and starring Charles Ray.The film was based on the famous Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem The Courtship of Miles Standish. This movie famously bankrupted Ray costing him his life savings garnered from...

  • The Sea Hawk
    The Sea Hawk (1924 film)
    The Sea Hawk is a 1924 silent movie about an English noble sold into slavery who escapes and turns himself into a pirate king. Directed by Frank Lloyd, the screen adaptation was written by J. G...

  • The Red Lily
    The Red Lily
    The Red Lily is a 1924 silent drama film directed by Fred Niblo, starring Ramon Novarro, Enid Bennett and Wallace Beery.-Plot:Jean Leonnec and Marise La Noue are pennyless lovers who eloped to Paris, she to become a prostitute known as 'the red lily', he to learn the ways of the underworld from...


External links

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