Happy birthday, Jobyna Ralston (November 21, 1899 - January 22, 1967)
It isn’t just because her mother was a portrait photographer that Jobyna Ralston left behind so many gorgeous photographs of herself. Besides her incredible beauty, she was also able to imbue her roles with an innate dignity, goodness, and sweetness that still comes across in both moving and still pictures. But she wasn’t all mildness and delicacy - her characters had a spark of fire in them, knew what they wanted, and always had the intelligence and the inner resources to go after it.
Perhaps most famous today for her role as the romantic interest in many Harold Lloyd features, Jobyna was a perfect complement to the comedian. Feminine and spunky, loyal and kind, goodhearted and honest, and always, always determined, she provided the drive when the hero temporarily faltered.
Though Jobyna retired from films altogether after making only two talking pictures, she left behind a wonderful body of silent work for us to enjoy today, including her role in the first Oscar winner for Best Picture, Wings (1927). (Wings is conveniently coming out on both DVD and Blu-Ray in January, if you are so inclined.) So, a big happy birthday to Jobyna Ralston, one of my favorite silent screen heroines and a very beautiful, talented woman.