Jobyna Ralston

Jobyna Ralston
Jobyna Ralston Stars of the Photoplay.jpg
Ralston in 1924 issue of Stars of the Photoplay
Jobyna Lancaster Raulston

(1899-11-21)November 21, 1899
Died January 22, 1967(1967-01-22) (aged 67)
Resting place San Fernando Mission Cemetery
Years active 1919–1931
Spouse(s) John Campbell (m.1917, divorced)
( m. 1927; div. 1946)

Jobyna Ralston (born Jobyna Lancaster Raulston, November 21, 1899[1] – January 22, 1967) was an American stage and film actress. She had a featured role in the first Oscar-winning film, Wings in 1927, but is perhaps best remembered today for her on-screen chemistry with Harold Lloyd, with whom she appeared in seven movies.

Early life and career

Ralston was born in South Pittsburg, Tennessee,[2] on November 21, 1899 to Joseph Lancaster Raulston and Sarah E. Kemp Raulston. She was named after famed entertainer of the time, Jobyna Howland. She had a younger brother, Edward Angus (born 1905).[3] Ralston's mother, a portrait photographer, carefully groomed her daughter for a show business career.

At the age of nine she gave her first stage performance as Cinderella during the grand opening of the Wilson theatre/Opera House in 1909. Around 1915, Ralston attended acting school in New York. She later danced chorus and sang in Broadway productions, her first being Two Little Girls in Blue.[4] This production marked her Broadway debut, when she was 21. Comedian Max Linder saw her on stage and persuaded her to go to Hollywood, where she appeared in a number of his films. She also co-starred in Humor Risk (1921), the fabled lost comedy short film that was to be the film debut of the Marx Brothers. Soon director Hal Roach began to star the actress in one-reel comedies. She abandoned the stage for the screen in 1922 when her mother's health began to decline, and she needed to make more money to help pay the medical bills.[5]

Starring with Harold Lloyd

Ralston in 1923

In 1923, she was named by the film industry as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars. This award was given every year to the top up and coming female stars. This same year she starred with silent comedian Harold Lloyd in Why Worry?, and for the next five years appeared in six of Lloyd's feature films as his leading lady. It is for these performances and her onscreen chemistry with Lloyd that she is best remembered today.[5] She would start the trend for romantic comedies with Girl Shy (1924).

Silent film career

As a freelance actress, Ralston co-starred with Richard Arlen, in the first Oscar-winning film, Wings (1927). She had a feature role in the film, which also featured Clara Bow, Gary Cooper, and Buddy Rogers. She would star in eleven more motion pictures, among them Special Delivery (1927) co-starring Eddie Cantor. Her film career ended after two early talkies when she became a mother.[6] Her last talkie, Rough Waters (1930), found her acting with Rin Tin Tin.[7]

Personal life and death

Ralston was married twice, the first time to childhood beau John Campbell, the second in 1927 to actor Richard Arlen,[8] whom she had met on the set of Wings. They had one child, actor Richard Arlen Jr. The family appears together in Hollywood on Parade # A-4. Ralston and Arlen divorced in late 1946.[9]

During the last five years of her life Ralston suffered from rheumatism and had a series of strokes. She died in 1967 from pneumonia at the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California. She was 67 years old.[10]

Selected filmography


  1. ^ 1900 U. S. Federal Census, Civil District 16, Marion, Tennessee, enumeration district no. 93, sheet no. 3. For unknown reasons, Ralston's birth month is listed as December 1899.
  2. ^ Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 199. ISBN 9780786409839. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Jobyna Ralston, Ex-Actress, Dies". The Bridgeport Post. Connecticut, Bridgeport. Associated Press. January 23, 1967. p. 44. Retrieved October 14, 2017 – via open access
  5. ^ a b ©Jobyna Ralston – Silent Movie Star –
  6. ^ When Motherhood and Stardom Go Hand in Hand; December 30, 1934 Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, page 53; Special section page 7.
  7. ^ Jobyna Ralston – Trailer – Showtimes – Cast – Movies – New York Times
  8. ^ "Mass for Jobyna Ralston To Be Celebrated Thursday". Valley News. California, Van Nuys. January 24, 1967. p. 36. Retrieved October 14, 2017 – via open access
  9. ^ The Evening News (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), 23 Mar 1946, page 1, column 5. Article entitled, "Arlen to Wed Again." Text of article: "HOLLYWOOD, March 23 – Actor Richard Arlen and New York Socialite Margaret Kinsella will be married when his divorce from Silent Screen Actress Jobyna Ralston becomes final September 4, he said today." Reproduction of source in the clipping retrieved and extracted 9 Nov 2016.
  10. ^ The New York Times, "Jobyna Ralston, 67, Ex-Screen Actress", January 23, 1967, Page 43.

External links