- Vera Ralston
Vera Ralston (born Věra Helena Hrubá, born
July 12, birth year unknown; died February 9, 2003) was a Czech figure skaterand actress. She later became a naturalized American citizen. She worked as an actressduring the 1940s and 1950s.
Ralston was born Věra Helena Hrubá to a wealthy jeweler in
Her age is uncertain; Ralston at various times gave 1919, 1920, and 1923 as her year of birth.
As a figure skater, she represented Czechoslovakia in competition under her birth name "Vera Hruba".
She competed at the 1936
European Figure Skating Championshipsand placed 15th. Later that season, she competed at the 1936 Winter Olympics, where she placed 17th. During the games, she personally met and insulted Adolf Hitler. [http://www.glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com/show/224/Vera+Ralston/index.html Biography of Vera Ralston] Retrieved June 5, 2006] Hitler asked her if she would like to "skate for the swastika." As she later recalled, "I looked him right in the eye, and said that I'd rather skate "on" the swastika. The Führer was livid." [" [http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:W0uRgGvmqMwJ:www.unison.ie/classifieds/personals/stories.php%3Fca%3D291%26si%3D927724+%22vera+ralston%22+hitler+1936&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1 Obituary - Vera Ralston] ". "Irish Independent Online". 2 Mar 2003. URL accessed 2006-06-05.]
Hruba competed at the 1937 European Championships and placed 7th.
Hruba emigrated to the United States in the early 1940s and became a naturalized citizen in 1946.
She moved to
Hollywoodwith her mother and signed a contract in 1943 with Republic Pictures. Ralston later married the head of the studio Herbert J. Yatesin 1952. Yates was nearly 40 years her senior, and had left his wife and children to be with Ralston. Yates used his position to obtain roles for Ralston, and at one point was sued by studio shareholders for using company assets to promote his wife.
Ralston normally played the immigrant girl in films because of her limited English skills. Among the 26 films Ralston started were "
Storm Over Lisbon" with Erich von Stroheim(1944), "Dakota" (1945) and " The Fighting Kentuckian" with John Wayne(1949), " A Perilous Journey" with David Brian(1953) and " Fair Wind To Java" with Fred MacMurray(1953). In this film, her character, Kim Kim, is whipped by boxer-turned-actor Buddy Baer. She retired from films in 1958.
Yates died in 1966, leaving to Ralston his $10 million estate. Ralston suffered a
nervous breakdownshortly thereafter, then remarried and lived quietly in southern California. She died on February 9, 2003, Santa Barbara, California, after a long battle with cancer. For her work in films, Ralston has a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The authors of the book "The Golden Turkey Awards" nominated her for the dubious honor of "The Worst Actress of All Time," along with Candice Bergenand Mamie Van Doren. They all lost to Raquel Welch. [cite web|url=http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/filmography.html?p_id=58590|title=Vera Ralston, Actor: July 12, 1923 - Prague, Czechoslovakia|publisher=" The New York Times" from the " Allmovie"|author=Hal Erikson|accessdate=2007-06-02]
*imdb name|id=0707843|name=Vera Ralston
* [http://www.glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com/show.php?id=224 Ralston timeline]
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