Edward Coxen

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Edward Coxen
Ed Coxen.jpg
Born (1880-08-08)8 August 1880
Southwark, London, England
Died 21 November 1954(1954-11-21) (aged 74)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1911-1941
Spouse(s) Edith Borella (1914 - ?)

Albert Edward Coxen (8 August 1880 - 21 November 1954) was an English-born American actor. He appeared in over 200 films during his career.

Early life[edit]

Coxen was born at Southwark, London, England, the first child of Joseph Coxen of Wandsworth, London and Sarah Jane Coxen (née Parfitt). At the time of Coxen's birth, his parents ran the Carpenter Arms public house, at St. Marylebone, London. In 1880, Joseph Coxen's brother John and wife Ellen left England and settled in San Francisco. Joseph and Sarah Coxen with young Bertie, as Coxen was called, on the ship's manifest, followed them in 1882. The Coxen brothers soon established Coxen Bros., a Wood & Photo Engravers business, in the city and the families lived together at 1612 Jones Street. By 1890, Coxen, aged 10, and his parent were living in independent accommodation at 1925, Filbert Street in San Francisco.

However, despite the fact that they had settled well in the States, the Coxen family returned to London in 1896 so that Sarah could look after her dying sister Catherine Strawson. Coxen was intent on completing his education and returned to the United States third class on the America line vessel SS St. Louis from Southampton arriving in New York the day before his seventeenth birthday. Coxen had $125 to get him back to his uncle John's home in California. In 1900, aged 20, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Career[edit]

After returning to San Francisco, Coxen continued his education at the University of California, Berkeley campus and after graduating in the early 1900s he embarked upon a commercial career working for his father and uncle John at Coxen Bros. However, this did not appeal to him and set about attempting to make his fortune firstly by prospecting for gold and then by moving into work in civil engineering. Finally, he entered the profession he yearned for most, acting, and spoke his first lines as a professional actor on the stage of the Majestic Theatre, San Francisco at the age of 26 early in 1906. The San Francisco earthquake and fires of 18 April 1906 followed soon after his debut, so he moved to a theater across the bay in Oakland where he appeared in Ye Liberty, Balasco's Alcazar, and many other popular plays. The earthquake of 1906 and San Francisco's big fire had a serious and detrimental impact on the business of Coxen Bros. and they moved south permanently to Los Angeles.

When he started his acting career, Coxen dropped "Albert" as his first name and was often billed as Edward, Eddie or Ed Coxen. In 1909, he returned to New York, this time as an established 29-year-old actor performing at Wallack's Theatre, Broadway. On 27 December 1909, he appeared in A Little Brother of the Rich, a play that ran for 27 performances.

Hollywood was the centre of the new and rapidly growing motion picture industry; it was a magnet to aspiring young actors. The demand for one-reeler Westerns was insatiable and some studios released these on a one-a-week basis. Early in 1911, the Santa Monica Studio was formed by the Kalem Company to satisfy the increasing demand and young talent such as Ed Coxen, Ruth Roland, Marin Sais, and Marshall Neilan were recruited.

Coxen was soon to move north up the coast to Santa Barbara where in 1912 he joined the American Film Manufacturing Company's Studios and began his motion picture career as one of a group of actors known as the 'Flying A' stars. He remained a star of those studios until 1917. This was a period when he was very popular with the cinema public and in 1912 alone he made 34 films. Popular films included The Ghost of the Hacienda, Crooks and Credulous, In Three Hours, The Drummer's Honeymoon, and he took the lead part in The Trail of the Lost Chord. In several of his films, including Saints and Sinners, he often appeared with leading co-star Winifred Greenwood particularly in many melodramas filmed in Santa Barbara. On Saturday 7 August 1915 his popularity was such that his photograph was featured on the front page of Pictures and The Picturegoer. His agents were Central Casting Corporation of Hollywood Boulevard & Western Avenue.

By the time Coxen entered his 40s in the 1920s, he became largely a supporting actor usually portraying villains, but working with stars such as Buster Keaton. Although he worked on well into the 1940s, he landed only bit parts. In 1941, after appearing in two films uncredited, Coxen retired from acting.

Personal life[edit]

In 1914 at the age of 33, he married Edith Borella, a 24-year-old film actress born in California of Swiss parents. Borella had played minor parts alongside Coxen in films such as Restitution, where Winifred Greenwood played his love interest.

Death[edit]

On 21 November 1954, Coxen died in Los Angeles. He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Selected filmography[edit]

Repaid (1916)
  • Mesquite's Gratitude (1911)
  • He Who Laughs Last (1911)
  • A Hospital Hoax (1912)
  • The Pony Express Girl (1912)
  • A Rose of Old Mexico (1913)
  • The Shriner's Daughter (1913)
  • The Power of Light (1914)
  • A Soul Astray (1914)
  • The Lure of the Sawdust (1914)
  • The Butterfly (1914)
  • This Is th' Life (1914)
  • The Song of the Sea Shell (1914)
  • The Wrong Birds (1914)
  • The Redemption of a Pal (1914)
  • A Slice of Life (1914)
  • Spider Barlow Cuts In (1915)
  • The Water Carrier of San Juan (1915)
  • Spider Barlow Meets Competition (1916)
  • A Modern Sphinx (1916)
  • The Bearded Fisherman (1917)
  • The Curse of Eve (1917)
  • A Man's Man (1918)
  • The Bells (1918)
  • Quicksands (1918)
  • Desert Gold (1919)
  • More Deadly Than The Male (1919)
  • In Old Kentucky (1919)
  • Witch's Gold (1920)
  • Honor Bound (1920)
  • No Man's Woman (1921)
  • Desperate Trails (1921)
  • The Veiled Woman (1922)
  • The Stranger of the Hills (1922)
  • The Flying Dutchman (1923)
  • A Man's Man (1923)
  • One Glorious Night (1924)
  • Flashing Spurs (1924)
  • The Man Without a Country (1925)
  • Cold Nerve (1925)
  • Return of Grey Wolf (1926)
  • The Test of Donald Norton (1926)
  • The Man in the Shadow (1926)
  • Galloping Glory (1927)
  • Galloping Fury (1927)
  • The Spoilers (1930)
  • Young Blood (Uncredited, 1932)
  • The Fighting Champ (Uncredited, 1932)
  • The Trail Drive (Uncredited, 1933)
  • Gun Justice (Uncredited, 1933)
  • Wheels of Destiny (1934)
  • Smoking Guns (1934)
  • Five Bad Men (1935)
  • Westward Ho (Uncredited, 1935)
  • Code of the Range (1936)
  • The Sunday Round-Up (Uncredited, 1936)
  • Riders of the Dawn (Uncredited, 1937)
  • Thunder Trail (Uncredited, 1937)
  • West of Rainbow's End (1938)
  • South of Arizona (1938)
  • Texas Stampede (1939)
  • Down the Wyoming Trail (1939)
  • Pioneers of the Frontier (1940)
  • One Million B.C. (1940)
  • Across the Sierras (Uncredited, 1941)
  • King of Dodge City (Uncredited, 1941)

External links[edit]