Fred Niblo: American film director (1874 - 1948) | Biography, Filmography, Bibliography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Fred Niblo
American film director

Fred Niblo

Fred Niblo
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American film director
A.K.A. Frederick Liedtke, Federico Nobile
Was Film director Film producer Actor Stage actor Film actor Screenwriter
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 6 January 1874, York, York County, Nebraska, USA
Death 11 November 1948, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA (aged 74 years)
Star sign Capricorn
Spouse: Enid Bennett (1918-1948)
The details (from wikipedia)


Fred Niblo (born Frederick Liedtke; January 6, 1874 – November 11, 1948) was an American pioneer film actor, director and producer.

Early life

Fred Niblo was born as Frederick Liedtke on January 6, 1874, 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.

He changed his last name to Niblo when he became an actor in vaudeville.


Using the stage name Fred Niblo, Liedtke began his show business career performing in vaudeville and in live theater. After more than 20 years doing live performing as a monologist, during which he traveled extensively around the globe, he worked in Australia from 1912 through 1915, where he turned to the burgeoning motion picture industry and made his first two films.

On June 2, 1901, Niblo married Broadway actress Josephine Cohan, the older sister of George M. Cohan. He managed the Four Cohans in their two big successes: The Governor's Son and Running for Office. From 1904 to 1905, Fred resumed his stage career, appearing as Walter Lee Leonard in The Rogers Brothers in Paris and then returned to vaudeville.

Josephine died in 1916, the year he began acting and directing motion pictures. While in Australia, he met actress Enid Bennett, whom he later married. As a Hollywood director, he is most remembered for several notable films, beginning with his 1920 work The Mark of Zorro which starred Douglas Fairbanks. The following year he teamed with Fairbanks in The Three Musketeers and then directed Rudolph Valentino in Blood and Sand.

In 1924, Niblo directed the film Thy Name Is Woman.

In 1925, Niblo was the principal director of the epic Ben-Hur, one of the more expensive films of the day but became the third highest-grossing silent film in cinema history. Niblo followed this success with two major 1926 works: The Temptress starring Greta Garbo in her second film in America and Norma Talmadge in Camille. Niblo directed some of the great stars of the era, including Joan Crawford, Lillian Gish, and Ronald Colman. In 1930, he directed his first sound film with two of the bigger names in show business: John Gilbert and Renée Adorée in a film titled Redemption.

Niblo and Bennett commissioned architect Wallace Neff to design their house on Angelo Drive, which they named Misty Mountain. It was completed in 1926 and sold by Niblo to Jules C. Stein in 1940 after a decline in his fortunes.

Actress Marion Shilling, who worked with Niblo on Young Donovan's Kid, said, "One of the reasons for his success as a director, certainly, was that he had been an actor himself. He could empathize, see and feel a scene from an actor's viewpoint. He never talked down to us. He was a lovely human being."

Fred Niblo retired in 1933 after more than 40 years in show business. The last 16 years were used to make more than 40 films, most of which were feature-length projects. He was an important personality in the early years of Hollywood and was one of the original founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In recognition of his role in the development of the film industry, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7014 Hollywood Boulevard on February 8, 1960. His Ben-Hur film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Fred Niblo died in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery near his wife Enid Bennett in Glendale, California. His son with Josephine Cohan, Fred Niblo, Jr. (1903–1973), was an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter.

Niblo had three children with Enid Bennett.


Film posters

Year Title Role 
1916 Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford J. Rufus Wallingford 
1916 Officer 666 Travers Gladwin 
1918 The Marriage Ring  
1918 When Do We Eat?  
1918 Fuss and Feathers  
1919 Happy Though Married  
1919 Partners Three  
1919 The Law of Men  
1919 The Haunted Bedroom  
1919 The Virtuous Thief  
1919 Stepping Out  
1919 What Every Woman Learns  
1919 Dangerous Hours  
1920 The Woman in the Suitcase  
1920 Sex  
1920 The False Road  
1920 Hairpins  
1920 Her Husband's Friend  
1920 The Mark of Zorro  
1920 Silk Hosiery  
1921 Mother o' Mine  
1921 Greater Than Love  
1921 The Three Musketeers  
1922 The Woman He Married  
1922 Rose o' the Sea  
1922 Blood and Sand  
1923 The Famous Mrs. Fair  
1923 Strangers of the Night  
1924 Thy Name Is Woman  
1924 The Red Lily  
1925 Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ  
1926 The Temptress  
1926 Camille  
1927 The Devil Dancer  
1927 The Enemy  
1928 Two Lovers  
1928 The Mysterious Lady  
1928 Dream of Love  
1930 Redemption  
1930 Way Out West  
1931 Young Donovan's Kid  
1931 The Big Gamble  
1932 Two White Arms aka Wives Beware  
1932 Diamond Cut Diamond aka Blame the Woman  
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 18 Oct 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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