Ladies and gentlemen, I present Jobyna Ralston. She’s my heart. If you didn’t know Jobyna was a loving mother and for a certain time: wife. Jobyna Ralston married twice. That’s not bad, considering people like Elizabeth Taylor, who married like 8 times. She didn’t know that she would a single mom. Jobyna married her childhood sweetheart John Campbell in 1917. Jobyna really loved being with him. It was a good marriage until a little thing called WWI came. John enlisted in the army and left Jobyna at home. That was when her mother said : “Jobyna you need to be in the pictures (movies) Do it for your mother.” Jobyna had to make a decision: to please her mother or to stay with her husband. How do you walk away from your first marriage? Your first successful marriage that you wanted and now because of your mother you had to leave it. How do you do something like that? How do you live with yourself? At least he wasn’t bitter about it. At least the two remain closed until his death in 1946. I’m sure when her mother came to tell her that she had to leave John that she fought for her marriage. I’m pretty sure it was the toughest thing she ever had to do. How she had the courage to do that, I will never know. I couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to do that! So it was good bye Tennessee and hello California. I’m sure she cried the whole way there and she felt so upset about it. Little did she know John Campbell would remarry but like I said the two would remain close until his death in 1946. Jobyna showed her first sign of courage. At least he wasn’t bitter about it, you know . He could have handled this in a completely different way. Jobyna had to grin and bear the lifestyle that she was not accustomed to. She was getting paid and having to do this thing called acting and having to be told what to do and who to be.
“Don’t be like this.. No act like this.” Jobyna couldn’t take it. She didn’t want to do it. “Honey in life we have to do things we didn’t want to do,” As many people say. Jobyna did so many things that she didn’t want to. She worked for it and to be blunt thank goodness she became an actress – because that’s how I found out about her. Now me being ignorant about things, I just assumed it was her dream to be an actress. Turns out it was her mother’s dream for being an actress. But you couldn’t have guessed that it wasn’t her dream- that’s how great of an actress she was. She also stuck with it because her mother was getting very ill. Like I’ve stated once, being in the Hollywood business can have a few perks : You’re famous, you have a job (for the most part) and of course : MONEY! Jobyna needed that cash for her mother – to pay the bills . Jobyna was becoming a big hit around the studio lot.
She was becoming so popular that a man named Harold Lloyd picked her to be his next leading lady (which we will get to shortly).
Fast forward to 18 years later, when she was deserted by her second husband, Richard Arlen SR. She was married to him for 18 years – almost 20 years and what happened , only Jobyna knew. According to the newspapers and to a South Pittsburg, TN historian , Arlen SR just got up and left without any explanation. He had secretly packed a bag full of his belongings and had put in one of the cars they owned. One day in 1938, he ate his bowl of cereal and left. Naturally she thought he was just going to work. Jobyna then noticed he didn’t come home. Ok, don’t panic, it’s an overnight shooting? A few days went by, still no man. Of course , she did what any wife would do: panic. She probably got in her car and drove all around the city , looking for him. He was nowhere to be found. Jobyna looked for him and didn’t know where he was. Little did she know that Arlen SR was with another woman. Ohh no… Well yep true enough.
When Richard Arlen Sr left Jobyna , she could have handled it in two ways:
She could have given up on her child (who is still alive and who I had the pleasure of getting to know this year) (and who at the time of all this was 12) – she could have done something horrible to herself – and never to be heard from again.
OR she could be the STRONG woman who would take up the reins and say “this is my child , I have to be responsible”. I think we all know what she choose. But Richard Sr wasn’t that smart when he left her- little did he know that his wife- soon to be ex -wife would definitely get back at him: oh yes $$$$ talks (money) . She got 500 from him (child support and 250,00o dollars in other damages and expenses paid for of course). He was a successful actor and knew that she could live on that money he sent. He complied. She wasn’t about to let this actor walk over her. She’s teaching me this lesson the hard way.
You can understand how strong she had to be, especially for her son. So why is she a role model and why is she strong? Just read what I just written.