Barbara Bedford (actress)

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Barbara Bedford
Barbara Bedford in Theatre Magazine February 1921.jpg
Bedford in Theatre Magazine, February 1921
Born Violet May Rose
(1903-07-19)July 19, 1903
Eastman, Wisconsin, United States
Died October 25, 1981(1981-10-25) (aged 78)
Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Occupation Actress
Years active 1920–1945
  • Irvin Willat (1921–19??)
  • Alan Roscoe (1922–1928, 1930-1933)
  • Terry Spencer (1940–1954)

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.


After high school she set out for Hollywood. 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.[1] 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.[2] 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, 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.

When her career declined after the switch to sound, she signed with MGM in 1936 to play bit and extra parts. Her last known film appearance was in 1945.

Personal life[edit]

Bedford was born Violet May Rose in Eastman, Wisconsin,[3] and was educated in Chicago, where she graduated from Lake View High School.

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.[3] 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.[4]

Bedford's third and longest marriage was to actor Terry Spencer. They were married from 1940 until his death in 1954.[3]

Bedford died in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 25, 1981.





  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ 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 – via Questia. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "Wallace Beery Tangled in Suit". Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania). Associated Press. May 5, 1933. p. 14 – via open access publication - free to read

External links[edit]