Florence Vidor

Florence Vidor (née. Cobb, later Arto, July 23, 1895 – November 3, 1977) was an American silent film actress.

Florence Vidor
Portrait of Vidor by Carl van Vechten, 1933
Florence Cobb

(1895-07-23)July 23, 1895
DiedNovember 3, 1977(1977-11-03) (aged 82)
Years active1916-1929
King Vidor
(m. 1915; div. 1924)

Jascha Heifetz
(m. 1926; div. 1945)

Early life

Florence was born in Texas on July 23, 1895, the child of John and Ida Cobb. Her parents had married in Houston on March 3, 1894 but divorced only three years later.[1] Ida remained in Houston and soon married John P. Arto, a real estate man who later served as deputy chief of the city's fire department.


Florence Vidor started working in silent movies through the influence of her husband, film director King Vidor, whom she had married in 1915. She signed her first contract with Vitagraph Studios in 1916. Her early fame was due to her role in the 1921 film Hail the Woman. Throughout the 1920s, she was a major box office attraction for Paramount Pictures. Her career ended with the advent of sound films. In 1929 she became so frustrated by the difficulties of making the partial sound film Chinatown Nights that she retired from acting before the production was completed. Director William A. Wellman had to use a voice double to complete some of her scenes.[2]

Personal life and death

Florence and King Vidor divorced in 1925 following the birth of their daughter Suzanne. Despite the end of their marriage, Florence continued to use Vidor as her surname. In 1926, she married classical violinist Jascha Heifetz. They had two children before divorcing in 1945.

Florence Vidor, at age 82, died in California in 1977.



  1. Houston Post, 15 June 1897, p. 6
  2. Eyman, Scott. The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution 1926-1930. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997.
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