Vera Hruba Ralston

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    There are 13 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by lasbugas.

    • Vera Hruba Ralston



      Date of birth
      12 June 1921
      Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) (some sources say 1919)

      Date of death
      9 February 2003
      Santa Barbara, California, USA. (cancer)

      Birth name
      Vera Helena Hruba

      5' 5" (1.65 m)

      Charles de Alva (16 June 1973 - 9 February 2003) (her death)
      Herbert J. Yates (March 1952 - 3 February 1966) (his death)

      Sometimes Credited As:
      Vera Hruba / Vera Hruba Ralston

      Vocals for Ms. Ralston's songs in films were dubbed by Robie Lester.

      The surname Ralston was taken from the name of a popular breakfast cereal.

      Interviewed by Johnny Carson on the old Tonight Show years ago, Maureen Stapleton was asked what she did to make herself feel better when she knew she'd given a bad performance. "I look through the TV Guide and try to find a Vera Hruba Ralston picture to watch," said Stapleton, "Because I know, no matter HOW bad a performance I may have given, I could NEVER as bad as she was!"

      Much like the Susan Foster Kane character in Citizen Kane, Ralson is generally conceded to owe her "stardom" to being the personal "protege" of Republic Pictures studio head Herbert J. Yates. They were married in 1952. Significantly, she "retired" from the screen in 1958, the year Yates was deposed as head of the studio. They remained married until Yates' death in 1966, at which point Ralston inherited half of his $10 million estate.

      Mini biography
      After achieving modest fame as an ice skater, Vera Hruba was brought to America by Republic Pictures head Herbert Yates
      who hoped to turn her into the next Sonja Henie. After featuring her in several Ice Capade movies,
      he added Ralston to her name and tried to pass her off as a leading lady. Hruba's English was so limited she was forced to learn her lines phonetically.
      Her English improved, and directors said she tried hard to learn her craft, but bad acting and a thick accent left her hard for audiences to accept.

      Ray Hamel

      Mini Biography-2
      from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
      Few Hollywood personalities have been the butt of as many cruel jokes as this skating star, who was the latter-day "queen" of Republic Pictures
      (and, according to some, one of the reasons for its demise in the 1950s). An Olympic athlete who competed with Sonja Henie in the 1936 games, she came to America to escape World War 2 and was hired by Republic to appear in Ice Capades (1941) and Ice Capades Revue (1942).
      Republic president Herbert J. Yates, infatuated with the Slavic skater, signed her to a longterm contract and groomed her for stardom. With the addition of the surname "Ralston," she assumed leading-lady responsibilities in The Lady and the Monster (1944), followed by the wartime drama Storm Over Lisbon and the iceskating musical Lake Placid Serenade (both 1944). Ralston's thick accent and lack of training made her a target of critics from the first.

      A defiant Yates insisted on pushing ahead, teaming her with the studio's top star, John Wayne, in Dakota (1945), then thrusting her into countless Westerns, thrillers, and costume dramas, on which he lavished huge (for Republic, at least) amounts of money. Ralston eventually became a passable actress, but she lacked warmth (or, perhaps, the ability to project it) and never won public acceptance. Yates virtually forced exhibitors to play her pictures by threatening to withhold other, more popular Republic products; his obstinacy, it is said, helped break the studio (in actuality, Republic's demise was more complex than that).

      Ralston, who never appeared on-screen after Republic folded, married Yates in 1952 and stayed with him until he died.
      Copyright © 1994 Leonard Maltin, used by arrangement with Signet, a division of Penguin Putnam, Inc.

      1. The Man Who Died Twice (1958) .... Lynn Brennon
      2. The Notorious Mr. Monks (1958) .... Angela Monks
      3. Gunfire at Indian Gap (1957) .... Cheel
      4. Spoilers of the Forest (1957) .... Joan Milna
      5. Accused of Murder (1956) .... Ilona Vance
      6. Timberjack (1955) .... Lynne Tilton
      7. Jubilee Trail (1954) .... Florinda Grove, aka Julie Latour
      8. Fair Wind to Java (1953) .... Kim Kim
      9. A Perilous Journey (1953) .... Francie Landreaux
      10. Hoodlum Empire (1952) .... Marte Dufour
      11. The Wild Blue Yonder (1951) .... Lt. Helen Landers
      ... aka Thunder Across the Pacific (UK)
      12. Belle Le Grand (1951) .... Daisy Henshaw aka Belle Le Grand
      13. Surrender (1950) .... Violet Barton

      14. The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) .... Fleurette De Marchand
      ... aka A Strange Caravan
      15. Angel on the Amazon (1948) (as Vera Hruba Ralston) .... Christine Ridgeway
      ... aka Drums Along the Amazon (UK)
      ... aka The Jungle Wilderness (USA: reissue title)
      16. I, Jane Doe (1948) .... Annette Dubois/Jane Doe
      ... aka Diary of a Bride (UK)
      17. The Flame (1947) .... Carlotta Novak
      18. Wyoming (1947) .... Karen Alderson
      19. Plainsman and the Lady (1946) .... Ann Arnesen
      ... aka Drumbeats Over Wyoming (USA: reissue title)
      20. Murder in the Music Hall (1946) (as Vera Hruba Ralston) .... Lila
      ... aka Midnight Melody (USA: reissue title)
      21. Dakota (1945) (as Vera Hruba Ralston) .... Sandy Poli (Devlin)
      22. Lake Placid Serenade (1944) (as Vera Hruba Ralston) .... Vera Haschek
      ... aka Winter Serenade (USA: reissue title)
      23. Storm Over Lisbon (1944) (as Vera Hruba Ralston) .... Maria Mazarek, aka Maritza
      ... aka Inside the Underworld (USA: reissue title)
      24. The Lady and the Monster (1944) (as Vera Hruba Ralston) .... Janice Farrell
      ... aka Monster & Tiger Man (USA: reissue title)
      ... aka The Lady and the Doctor (UK)
      ... aka Tiger Man (USA: reissue title)
      25. Ice-Capades Revue (1942) (as Vera Hruba) .... Ice-Capades Skater
      ... aka Ice-Capades
      ... aka Rhythm Hits the Ice (USA: reissue title)
      26. Ice-Capades (1941) (as Vera Hruba) .... Ice-Capades Skater
      ... aka Music in the Moonlight (USA: reissue title)
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 5 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Vera Hruba Ralston wasn't that good, read the Biogs, they say it all!!
      She was a fair Czech ice skater, become Herbert Yates lover, and bingo!!!
      Well she didn't make it as a film star, but she did inherit,
      his multi-millions, when he died, well they call her a failure, but who had the last laugh!!!

      She made just 2 films with Duke,

      The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) .... Fleurette De Marchand
      Dakota (1945) (as Vera Hruba Ralston) .... Sandy Poli (Devlin)

      In both films, the weakest casting was that of Vera,
      who's only claim to fame, is that she was the REPUBLIC bosses, moll!!!
      She had trouble speaking English, and couldn't act, to save the ice melting!!
      She made 12 films for REPUBLIC and the only ones that made a profit,
      were, the ones she made with, Duke.

      Duke said
      Yates made me use Vera Hruba,...I've always been mad at Yates about this,
      because we lost the chance to have one damn fine movie.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Hi Keith,
      I saw Vera Ralston only in Fighting Kentucian and as we have the finished product, wich I like very much, I can't say that Vera Ralston was that bad. We can guess what it will be with the other actress, but it is only a guess. So I can't blame her for appearing in one of my favorite movies. IMO
      Vera :rolleyes:
    • I'm with Vera on this one. I only remember Vera Ralston from The Fighting Kentuckian, and I thought she played the part of a sweet, vulnerable immigrant very well. I liked her.

      Here are some links that tell a little more -
      http://www.glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.c...ston/index.html (you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this - you can download it free at

      Mrs. C :angel1:
    • Sounds like a tough life. She was no actress in my opinion. I enjoy this Mrs. C. You and Keith make this a fun place to learn.

      Cheers B)

      "When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it"
      - John Wayne quote