Filled Under: Esther Ralston

Esther Ralston


Esther Ralston (September 17, 1902 – January 14, 1994) was an American movie actress whose greatest popularity came during the silent era.


Esther Ralston


Ralston was born September 17, 1902 in Bar Harbor, Maine. She started as a child actress in a family vaudeville act which was billed as “The Ralston Family with Baby Esther, America’s Youngest Juliet.” In 1920, Ralston appeared in her first movie in “Huckleberry Finn”. She appeared in a few more small silent film roles before gaining attention as Mrs. Darling in the 1924 version of “Peter Pan”. During the mid to late 1920s she appeared in many films for Paramount such as; “A Kiss for Cinderella” (1926), “Old Ironsides” (1926) with Wallace Beery and Charles Farrell, “The American Venus” (1926), “Children of Divorce” (1927) with Clara Bow and Gary Cooper, “The Case of Lena Smith” (1929), and “Betrayal” (1929) with Gary Cooper. At one point Ralston was one of the highest paid stars of her time earning as much as $8000 a week, garnering much popularity, especially in Britain. Despite making a successful transition to sound, she was reduced to appearing in B-movies by the mid-1930s, leading to her retirement. Some of note are; “To the Last Man” (1933) opposite Randolph Scott, “Sadie McKee” (1934) with Joan Crawford, Gene Raymond, Franchot Tone and Edward Arnold, and “Ladies Crave Excitement” (1935). Her last movie role was in “San Francisco Docks” (1940). By the time she retired in 1941 , Ralston had made over 100 movies.


Esther Ralston

Ralston made four appearances on television series during the 1950’s and early 60’s; on “Kraft Theatre” in 1952, “Tales of Tomorrow” in 1952, “Broadway Television Theatre” in 1953, and nine years later on “Our Five Daughters” in 1962.


Esther Ralston and Clara Bow in “Children of Divorce” (1927)


Ralston was married and divorced three times. George Webb from 1925 to 1933, Will Morgan from 1934 to 1938, and Ted Lloyd from 1939 to 1954. She had two daughters and one son from her marriages.


Esther Ralston with Gary Cooper in “Betrayal” (1929)

Esther Ralston died in Ventura, California on January 14, 1994 of a heart attack.
She was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (6664 Hollywood Boulevard) for her popular work in motion pictures.

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