Vera Ralston Profile

Vera Ralston
Vera Ralston
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(Vera Helena Hruba)
12 July 20 / 23 is born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, to a catholic family. Later she will jubilantly shave three years off her age by giving her birthday as July 12th, 1923. Her father, Rudolf Hruba, is a jeweler and president of the Jewels Association.
grows up on the Berounka River, on the outskirts of Prague
enrolls in ballet classes
Summer 32 goes to a German convent in Doksi, Czechoslovakia. She begins smoking.
Winter 32 learns to ice skate; brother Rudy provides her with basic instructions
Summer 34 spends her summer vacation in London, indoor skating
35 wins the British gold medal
36 is her country's entry to the Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Nazi Germany. She comes place 17.
37 tours the States in ice revues. RKO offers a screen test, but she refuses because she's getting married. Her engagement to a half-Jewish boy dissolves when his parents don't consent to his wedding a Catholic.
15 March 39 she and her mother embark on the last plane before Nazi troops take over Prague. Via Paris, they go to New York by ship.
tours the States with the Ice Vanities
January 41 gets 2,400 proposals when a Chicago newspaper runs the story that she may have to return to occupied Czechoslovakia after expiration of her visitor's permit
Summer 41 Herbert J. Yates, president of Republic Pictures, casts her and the Ice Capades for his upcoming movie, Ice-Capades. He advises her to slim down and improve her English.
43 Yates offers her a long-term movie contract. She chooses Ralston, from the breakfast cereal, as her screen name.
45 to star with her in his upcoming Dakota, Yates promises actor John Wayne a percentage of the profits from his next movie starring Wayne. The success of Wake of the Red Witch will make Wayne a millionaire.
Early 46 with her father flown in from Czechoslovakia, she reunites her family and makes her home in Sherman Oaks, California
4 June 46 becomes an American citizen
47 becomes lifelong friends with co-stars John Carroll and Blanche Yurka while filming The Flame
Late 47 Yates leaves his wife and four adult children to be with her. He's 67; she's 27. Her father doesn't approve of the relationship and returns to Prague.
can't get rid of her Czech accent, no matter how hard she tries
Christmas 48 visits Prague with Yates and her mother, never to return to her homeland again
15 March 52 marries Yates at the Little Brown Church in the Valley in North Hollywood. They honeymoon in Europe for three months.
54 on their annual European trip with her mother, they obtain a special audience with Pope Pius XII in Vatican City
lives with Yates on a small estate in Santa Barbara, California, overlooking the sea
55 Sterling Hayden is paid a special "bonus" inducement to appear opposite her in Timberjack
October 56 two Republic stockholders file suit against Yates for having used company assets to promote his wife as a star and having given her brother producer status at salary far beyond industry worth
Summer 58 she and her husband are off to Abano, Italy, for hot springs treatment for Yates
58 Yates relinquishes his $178,000-a-year Republic post
May 62 she and Yates separate
June 62 they reunite after a domestic estrangement suit at the Santa Monica Superior Court and are off on a second honeymoon
63 her father dies in Prague
65 Yates suffers the first of nine heart attacks aboard the S.S. Columbo bound for Italy
2 February 66 Yates dies at their Sherman Oaks home, age 85. He leaves her half of his estate, valued at more than $10 million. Soon after, she suffers a nervous breakdown.
goes to Hawaii to recuperate from Yates's death
January 73 her mother dies in Los Angeles
16 June 73 marries Charles L. Alva, a Santa Barbara businessman, at San Raque Chapel. He's 41; she's 52.
? lives in Santa Barbara, California
9 February 03 as Vera Ralston Alva, she dies at her Santa Barbara, California, home of cancer
The Glamour Girls by James Robert Parish and Don E. Stanke, Movie Stars of the '40s by David Ragan,
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