Lillian (Roberts) Culver was born in Loveland, Colorado, the daughter of William Porter Roberts and Clara Ellen Lackey. Her ancestors included Brig. Gen. Isaac Roberts of the War of 1812 and Anne (Robertson)(Johnston) c*ckrill, heroine of the Revolutionary War and sister of James Robertson, "the father of Tennessee." She was an aspiring actress in silent movies when she met Harry H. Culver in 1915; they were married a short while later. She gave up her acting career until her husband's death 17 August 1946, whereupon she played small speaking roles in movies and guested on several television shows.