Cobina Wright

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Cobina Wright
Cobina Wright 1949.JPG
Wright's 1949 column photo
Born Esther Ellen Cobb
(1887-10-20)October 20, 1887
Lakeview, Oregon
Died April 9, 1970(1970-04-09) (aged 82)
Los Angeles, California
Other names Esther Johnson; Esther Cobina
Occupation Opera singer and actress
Known for Syndicated gossip column

Cobina Wright (20 September 1887 – 9 April 1970) was an American opera singer and actress who appeared in The Razor's Edge (1946). She gained later fame as a hostess and a syndicated gossip columnist. Wright was also known as Esther Cobb, Esther Johnson, and Esther Cobina.


She was born on September 20, 1887 in Lakeview, Oregon as Esther Ellen Cobb to Benjamin M. Cobb and Della Holmes (1861—1943).[1]

She married and divorced twice. Her first husband, whom she married in 1912, was American novelist Owen Johnson;[2] she was his second wife, and they divorced in 1917. Her second husband was William May Wright, a stockbroker, by whom she had one child, a daughter, Cobina Carolyn Wright (aka Cobina Wright Jr.), (1921—2011), briefly a movie actress.[3][4] the Wrights were divorced in 1935.[5]

In the early part of the 20th century, she was a coloratura soprano, using the stage name Esther Cobina.[6][7] She had studied singing in California, under voice teacher Nettie Snyder, and in Germany, where she initially pursued her career on stage.[8][9] During World War I, she performed for French and American troops in Europe.[10] She later made her American opera debut at Carnegie Hall in 1924.

She died in Los Angeles, California in 1970.[11]


Wright was the author of a memoir called I Never Grew Up (Prentice-Hall, 1952).[1]


  1. ^ U. S. Federal Census of 1910, accessed on on 3 November 2011
  2. ^ "Owen Johnson Married", The New York Times, 2 February 1912
  3. ^ Full name and also-known-as name cited in International Motion Picture Almanac (TK, 1948), page 416
  4. ^ "Life Magazine". Cover Browser. 1941-02-17. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  5. ^ "Women: Full Dress". Time. 1935-02-11. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  6. ^ "Owen Wilson Recovered", Berkeley Daily Gazette, 27 September 1912
  7. ^ "Owen Johnson Married", The New York Times, 2 February 1912
  8. ^ Rockwell Dennis Hunt and Nellie Van Der Grift Sanchez, California and Californians (The Lewis Publishing Company, 1930), page 180
  9. ^ "Owen Johnson Married", The New York Times, 2 February 1912
  10. ^ Lake County Examiner, 15 November 1917
  11. ^ "Cobina Wright, Society Hostess And Hollywood Columnist, Dies; Former Waldorf Aide Made Her U.S. Opera Debut at Carnegie Hall in 1924". New York Times. 11 April 1970. Retrieved 2008-07-14. Cobina Wright, former society hostess of prominence, who later turned to journalism and wrote of both the Hollywood scene and of cultural happenings, died yesterday after having suffered a stroke on Easter Sunday. Her age was never made public. 

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