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Jobyna Ralston Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (9)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 21 November 1899South Pittsburg, Tennessee, USA
Date of Death 22 January 1967Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameJobyna Lancaster Raulston
Nickname Joby
Height 5' 1" (1.55 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Curly-locked, cherubic knockabout comedienne of the silent cinema. Her mother, portrait photographer Mrs. Kemp Raulston, named her after her favorite actress, Jobyna Howland. She harbored ambitions for her daughter to achieve similar fame and trained her to that end. After a failed teenage marriage to a local farmer, Jobyna left her Tennessee home and went to New York in 1919 to join the Ned Wayburn dancing academy, a popular springboard for aspiring actresses.

In 1920, she appeared first on screen in Reelcraft "Cuckoo" comedy shorts made in Jacksonville, FL. Around this time she also co-starred in Humor Risk (1921), which marked the film debut of The Marx Brothers, and is now considered a lost film. The following year she made her one Broadway appearance in "Two Little Girls in Blue" by George M. Cohan. Deciding that comedy was her forte, she went to Hollywood in 1922, starting as an extra with Hal Roach. She was cast in a rare dramatic role in The Call of Home (1922), then partnered with French comedian Max Linder and subsequently starred in Roach's James Parrott comedies. When Harold Lloyd became aware of her talent, he picked her as his leading lady, succeeding his wife-to-be Mildred Davis. By that time, Jobyna had already been in 60 one-reel comedy shorts for Hal Roach. She proceeded to star in six of Lloyd's features, of which Why Worry? (1923), The Freshman (1925) and The Kid Brother (1927) are standouts for her ability to combine considerable comedic talent with pathos. Of her performance in Girl Shy (1924), "Variety" commented (April 2) "Jobyna Ralston . . . proves herself considerable of an actress [sic] in addition to being decidedly pretty". In 1927 "Joby" was cast in a featured role in the Academy Award-winning drama Wings (1927), whose star, Richard Arlen, she married in January of that year (she eventually divorced Arlen in 1945 on the grounds of desertion, obtaining a $250,000 settlement). As a freelance comedienne she appeared in leading roles opposite stars like Eddie Cantor, Charles Ray and Buck Jones.

Jobyna also starred with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in an obscure Frank Capra melodrama, The Power of the Press (1928). She made just three talkies, The College Coquette (1929), Rough Waters (1930) (her co-star being Rin Tin Tin!) and Sheer Luck (1931). In regard to the first, the New York Times (August 26, 1929) declared that "Miss Ralston's utterances are frequently indistinct". Indeed, Jobyna was found to have a noticeable lisp which, combined with her impending pregnancy, effectively put an end to her career as a motion picture actress.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (2)

Richard Arlen (28 January 1927 - 4 September 1945) (divorced) (1 child)
John Campbell (? - ?) (divorced)

Trivia (9)

Mother of actor Richard Arlen Jr.
WAMPAS Baby Star of 1923.
Pretty, tender-looking silent screen lady known for her onscreen work in Harold Lloyd comedies. She replaced Mildred Davis, who retired to become Mrs. Harold Lloyd.
Retired at the advent of sound after only two talkies due to a noticeable lisp.
Prompted by a show business mom, she began as a chorus dancer for George M. Cohan.
Met Richard Arlen on the set of the Oscar-winning classic Wings (1927) and later married him.
During the summer of 1929, in an effort to bolster her career, Ralston appeared in a George Scarborough drama entitled "Bad Babies," which was, in part, about what happens when a socialite woman falls in love with a high school boy. The entire cast was arrested by Los Angeles authorities for "lewd and indecent exhibition," and each cast member had the choice of either paying a $300 fine or spending 30 days in jail. All paid the fine.
She pronounced her first name joe-BEAN-nuh.

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