by Steve Rhodes
Fred Niblo: Making His Mark In The Film Industry
Fred Niblo (1874-1948), whose real life name was Frederick Liedtke, was an American actor and film director who developed remarkable silent films including the epic story ‘Ben-Hur.’
Fred Niblo was born on January 6, 1874 in York, Nebraska. His mother was French and his father served as a captain during the the American Civil War and was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Fred’s film career started with a passion for film editing that steered him to Broadway where he met and married Josephine Cohan in 1901. Josephine was a talented Broadway actress and is the older sister of legendary American entertainer George M. Cohan who is regarded as the father of American musical comedy.
Josephine died in 1916 and that same year, Fred began his acting career using the stage name Fred Niblo. Their son, Fred Niblo Jr. (1903-1972), would later