Jobyna Ralston

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Jobyna Ralston
Jobyna Ralston Stars of the Photoplay.jpg
Studio publicity photo taken in the 1920s
Born Jobyna Lancaster Raulston
(1899-11-21)November 21, 1899
South Pittsburg, Tennessee, U.S.
Died January 22, 1967(1967-01-22) (aged 67)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Resting place
San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Los Angeles, California
Years active 1919–1931
Spouse(s) John Campbell
Richard Arlen (1927–1945)

Jobyna Ralston (November 21, 1899[1] – January 22, 1967) was an American stage and film actress.

Early life and career[edit]

Born Jobyna Lancaster Raulston in South Pittsburg, Tennessee in 1899 to parents who named her after famed entertainer of the time, Jobyna Howland. 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. 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.[2]

Starring with Harold Lloyd[edit]

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.[2] She would start the trend for romantic comedies with Girl Shy (1924).

Silent film career[edit]

As a freelance actress, Ralston co-starred with Richard Arlen, in the first Oscar-winning film, Wings (1927). She had a feature role in a 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.[3] Her last talkie, Rough Waters (1930), found her acting with Rin Tin Tin.[4] Ralston never returned to sound films due to a noticeable lisp.

Personal life and death[edit]

Ralston was married twice, the first time to childhood beau John Campbell, the second in 1927 to actor Richard Arlen, whom she had met on the set of Wings. They had one child, actor Richard Arlen, Jr. Ralston and Arlen divorced in 1945.

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.[5]


  • A Sailor-Made Man (Uncredited, 1921)
  • The Bride-to-Be (1922)
  • Friday, the Thirteenth (1922)
  • The Call of Home (1922)
  • Take Next Car (1922)
  • The Truth Juggler (1922)
  • Touch All the Bases (1922)
  • The Three Must-Get-Theres (1922)
  • Wet Weather (1922)
  • The Landlubber (1922)
  • Soak the Shiek (1922)
  • Bone Dry (1922)
  • Face the Camera (1922)
  • The Uppercut (1922)
  • Shiver and Shake (1922)
  • The Golf Bug (1922)
  • Shine 'em Up (1922)
  • Washed Ashore (1922)
  • Harvest Hands (1922)
  • The Flivver (1922)
  • Blaze Away (1922)
  • I'll Take Vanilla (1922)
  • Fair Week (1922)
  • The White Blacksmith (1922)
  • Watch Your Wife (1923)
  • Mr. Hyppo (1923)
  • Don't Say Die (1923)
  • Jailed and Bailed (1923)
  • A Loose Tightwad (1923)
  • Tight Shoes (1923)
  • Do Your Stuff (1923)
  • Shoot Straight (1923)
  • For Safe Keeping (1923)
  • For Guests Only (1923)
  • For Art's Sake (1923)
  • Why Worry? (1923)
  • Winner Take All (1923)
  • Girl Shy (1924)
  • Hot Water (1924)
  • Whispering Lions (1925)
  • The Freshman (1925)
  • Are Parents Pickles? (1925)
  • Whistling Lions (1925)
  • Between Meals (1926)
  • Humor Risk (1926)
  • Don't Butt In (1926)
  • For Heaven's Sake (1926)
  • Sweet Daddies (1926)
  • Gigolo (1926)
  • The Kid Brother (1927)
  • Special Delivery (1927)
  • Lightning (1927)
  • Wings (1927)
  • A Racing Romeo (1927)
  • Pretty Clothes (1927)
  • Little Mickey Grogan (1927)
  • The Night Flyer (1928)
  • The Count of Ten (1928)
  • Black Butterflies (1928)
  • The Big Hop (1928)
  • The Toilers (1928)
  • The Power of the Press (1928)
  • Some Mother's Boy (1929)
  • The College Coquette (1929)
  • Rough Waters (1930)


  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. ^ a b ©Jobyna Ralston – Silent Movie Star –
  3. ^ When Motherhood and Stardom Go Hand in Hand; December 30, 1934 Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, page 53; Special section page 7.
  4. ^ Jobyna Ralston – Trailer – Showtimes – Cast – Movies – New York Times
  5. ^ New York Times, Jobyna Ralston, 67, Ex-Screen Actress, January 23, 1967, Page 43.

External links[edit]