Vivian Martin

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Vivian Martin
Vivian Martin Stars of the Photoplay.jpg
Vivian Martin, circa 1916
Born (1893-07-22)July 22, 1893[1]
Sparta, Michigan
Died March 16, 1987(1987-03-16) (aged 93)
New York City, New York
Occupation Actress
Years active 1914–1935

Vivian Martin (July 22, 1893 – March 16, 1987) was an American stage and silent film actress.[2][3][4][5][6]


Martin was born in Sparta, Michigan and began her career as a child actress on the stage with comedian Lew Fields. Her early theatrical appearances included Stop Thief, Officer 666, The Only Son and with Richard Mansfield in Cyrano de Bergerac.

A winsome and pretty blonde, Martin entered the motion pictures industry in 1914. With her then long hair she played the type of role similar to Lillian Gish. Her first role was in The Wishing Ring: An Idyll of Old England (1914) for the World Film Company, in which she played Sally, a parson's daughter. Martin subsequently became a contract player for the Famous Players Film Company, where she achieved popularity as a "rival" to Mary Pickford. Among her other credits are The Third Kiss (1919), Her Official Fiancee (1919), The Innocent Adventuress (1919), and Louisiana (1919). She made forty-four movies in all, including some for the Fox Film Corporation.

In the early 1920s Martin started her own production company and released her films through the Goldwyn Corporation. Her career entered into a downward spiral soon afterwards as a result of a lawsuit for payment of studio rentals. Although eventually settled out of court, the case did irreparable damage to her popularity.

In April 1921 Martin left movies and returned to the stage. Her theatrical revival began with a three-act comedy entitled First Night Out by Adelaide Matthews and Ann Nichols.

Vivian Martin died in New York, New York in 1987, aged 93. Her obituary in the New York Times noted her philanthropy and association with the Professional Children's School in New York. She contributed to the lives of young performers as both a friend and benefactress.

At one time Martin was married to actor William Jefferson. Several of Martin's early and rare films survive at the Library of Congress.


Lobby card for The Stronger Love (1916)
An Innocent Adventuress (1919)
Advertisement for The Home Town Girl (1919)


  1. ^ Birth record, 1900 US Census, 1910 US Census
  2. ^ Fort Wayne, Indiana Journal Gazette, Vivian Martin In Merely Mary Ann Scores At Orpheum, Friday Morning, February 11, 1916, Page 20.
  3. ^ Lincoln, Nebraska Sunday Star, Answers to Movie Fans, Sunday, June 17, 1917, Page 6.
  4. ^ The New York Times, Vivian Martin, March 23, 1987, Page B7.
  5. ^ Oakland, California Tribune, Vivian Martin Latest to Retire From Screen to Play on Stage, Sunday, April 24, 1921, Amusement Section.
  6. ^ Olean, New York Evening Herald, Vivian Martin in Louisiana At The Gem Tonight, May 25, 1920, Page 14.

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