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Barbara Bedford (actress)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Barbara Bedford
Bedford, c. 1920
Violet May Rose

(1903-07-19)July 19, 1903
DiedOctober 25, 1981(1981-10-25) (aged 78)
Other namesViolet Spencer
Years active1920–1945
Irvin Willat
(m. 1921; div. 1922)
(m. 1922; div. 1928)

(m. 1930; died 1933)
Terry Spencer
(m. 1940; died 1954)

Barbara Bedford (born Violet May Rose; July 19, 1903 – October 25, 1981) was an American actress who appeared in dozens of silent movies. Her career declined after the introduction of sound, but she continued to appear in small roles until 1945.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • LAST OF THE MOHICANS (1920) -- Wallace Beery, Barbara Bedford; dir by M. Tourneur & Clarence Brown
  • The Last of the Mohicans (1920) Wallace Beery, Barbara Bedford
  • Brothers (1929) Silent Drama available from Grapevine Video
  • The Scene That Ended I Dream of Jeannie
  • The Pad (And How To Use It) (1966) Brian Bedford, Julie Sommars, James Farentino, Edy Williams


Early life

Barbara Bedford was born Violet May Rose on July 19, 1903, the first child to Robert William Rose, a Scottish-American interior decorator,[2] and Barbara Rose (née Fish), who was a first generation Czech-American.[3][4] She had a brother, William Rose.[5] The 1910 census lists the family as living in Denver, Colorado.[6]

She was educated in Chicago and attended Lake View High School.[7] According to Bedford, prior to becoming an actress, she taught swimming, dancing, and gymnastics and worked as an accountant.[8]



Barbara Bedford in Step on It! (1922)

Bedford dropped out of high school after completing 10th grade to pursue a career in film.[9] She, alongside her family, relocated to Los Angeles.[10] She had written many fan letters to actor William S. Hart, and he helped her get a small role in his 1920 movie The Cradle of Courage.[11] While working as an extra that same year on The White Circle, she was noticed by fellow cast member John Gilbert, who recommended her to director Maurice Tourneur.[12] Tourneur cast her alongside Gilbert in Deep Waters. Tourneur also cast her in The Last of the Mohicans, where she was the love interest for Alan Roscoe, whom she later married in real life.

In 1925, she appeared opposite Hart in his final film, Tumbleweeds,[13] a key western of the silent period. She starred in the 1926 silent film Old Loves and New and in Mockery with Lon Chaney the following year.


Bedford played Andre in Ayn Rand's Woman on Trial (better known as Night of January 16th) when it opened at the Hollywood Playhouse on October 22, 1934.[14]

Personal life

In 1921, she married Irvin Willat, who had directed her earlier that year in The Face of the World. They divorced in less than a year. In August 1922 she married fellow actor Alan Roscoe. They divorced in 1928, but remarried in 1930.[7] They had one daughter, Barbara Edith Roscoe. When her husband died in 1933, Bedford had a legal dispute with his friend Wallace Beery over life insurance money that Beery claimed was owed to him for debts, but which Bedford said was intended for her daughter's education.[15]

Bedford's third and longest marriage was to actor Terry Spencer. They were married from 1940 until his death in 1954.[7]

Later years and death

After Spencer died, Bedford lived in Jacksonville, Florida, using the name Violet Spencer as she worked in retail sales.[16] She and her daughter, Barbara, moved to Shreveport, Louisiana in the 1970s.[13]

Bedford died in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 25, 1981, aged 78.[citation needed]



Bedford and her future husband Alan Roscoe in The Last of the Mohicans
Bedford with Frank Mayo in Out of the Silent North
Portrait of Bedford on the cover the Brazilian movie magazine A Scena Muda in 1922


  • Three on a Limb (1936) as Addie
  • The Public Pays (1936) as Markovitz's Secretary (uncredited)
  • The Grand Bounce (1937) as Doctor's Secretary (uncredited)
  • Song of Revolt (1937) as Peasant Woman (uncredited)
  • It May Happen to You (1937) as Nurse (uncredited)
  • Miracle Money (1938) as Miss Grant (uncredited)
  • That Mothers Might Live (1938) as Nun Reading Book (uncredited)
  • Come Across (1938) as Bank Employee (uncredited)
  • How to Read (1938) as Dental Patient (uncredited)
  • Nostradamus (1938) as Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Men in Fright (1938) as Sonny's Mother (uncredited)
  • Football Romeo (1938) as Alfalfa's Mother
  • Alfalfa's Aunt (1939) as Martha Switzer (uncredited)
  • Tiny Troubles (1939) as Alfalfa's mother
  • Radio Hams (1939) as Mrs. Crane (uncredited)
  • Angel of Mercy (1939) as Nurse (uncredited)
  • One Against the World (1939) as Townswoman (uncredited)
  • Think First (1939) as Saleslady (uncredited)
  • Miracle at Lourdes (1939) as Nurse (uncredited)
  • That Inferior Feeling (1940) as Bride (uncredited)
  • Alfalfa's Double (1940) as Alfalfa's mother
  • Pound Foolish (1940) as Mayor's Secretary (uncredited)
  • The Domineering Male (1940) as Party Hostess (uncredited)
  • All About Hash (1940) as Martha, Alfalfa's mother
  • Bubbling Troubles (1940) as Alfalfa's Mom
  • Women in Hiding (1940) as Miss Townsend, Head Nurse (uncredited)
  • A Way in the Wilderness (1940) as Sick Farmer's Wife (uncredited)
  • Soak the Old (1940) as Bogus Pension Office Employee (uncredited)
  • Good Bad Boys (1940) as Alfalfa's Mother (uncredited)
  • You, the People (1940) as Rooming House Diner (uncredited)
  • American Spoken Here (1940) as Corset Buyer (uncredited)
  • Respect the Law (1941) as Johnson's Maid (uncredited)
  • 1-2-3 Go (1941) as Ann, nurse
  • Coffins on Wheels (1941) as First Nurse at Desk (uncredited)
  • Sucker List (1941) as Secretary (uncredited)
  • Come Back, Miss Pipps (1941) as Angry Parent (uncredited)
  • Wedding Worries (1941) as Miss Douglas (uncredited)
  • Main Street on the March! (1941) as Nurse (uncredited)
  • Don't Talk (1942) as Beauty Shop Customer (uncredited)
  • The Lady or the Tiger? (1942) as Lady Behind Door in Arena (uncredited)
  • Mr. Blabbermouth! (1942) as Woman (uncredited)
  • Rover's Big Chance (1942) as Studio clerk
  • Inflation (1942) as Woman in Close-Out Sale Montage (uncredited)
  • Brief Interval (1943) as Nurse (uncredited)
  • Benjamin Franklin, Jr. (1943) as Janet's mother
  • Family Troubles (1943) as Mary Burston, Janet's mother
  • Who's Superstitious? (1943) as Wife (uncredited)
  • Seeing Hands (1943) as Ben's Mother (uncredited)


  1. ^ Fame achieved by people with Crawford County connections | Courier Press Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  2. ^ Accessed November 19, 2022.
  3. ^ Accessed November 19, 2022.
  4. ^ Accessed November 19, 2022.
  5. ^ Accessed November 19, 2022.
  6. ^ 1910 U.S. Census record, Accessed November 19, 2022.
  7. ^ a b c Vazzana, Eugene Michael (2001). Silent Film Necrology (2nd ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 37. ISBN 0-7864-1059-0. OCLC 225942678.
  8. ^ "Just Fell into Pictures". The Wichita Beacon. Kansas, Wichita. January 16, 1921. p. 19. Retrieved January 22, 2017 – via Open access icon
  9. ^ [user-generated source]
  10. ^ [user-generated source]
  11. ^ Soister, John T. & Nicolella, Henry (2012). American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913–1929. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-7864-8790-5. OCLC 797916368.
  12. ^ Golden, Eve (2013). John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-8131-4162-6. OCLC 818735082.
  13. ^ a b Katchmer, George A. (2002). A Biographical Dictionary of Silent Film Western Actors and Actresses. McFarland. p. 20. ISBN 9781476609058. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  14. ^ "Staging The Verdict at Playhouse". Daily Variety. Vol. 5, no. 31. October 11, 1934. p. 3.
  15. ^ "Wallace Beery Tangled in Suit". Reading Times. Reading, Pennsylvania. Associated Press. May 5, 1933. p. 14 – via access icon
  16. ^ Klepper, Robert K. (2005). Silent Films, 1877–1996: A Critical Guide to 646 Movies. McFarland. p. 182. ISBN 9780786421640. Retrieved January 23, 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 11 May 2024, at 21:44
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