Jessie Ralph

Jessie Ralph Patton (born Chambers, November 5, 1864 – May 30, 1944), known as Jessie Ralph, was an American stage and screen actress, best known for her matronly roles in many classic movies.

She was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1864 and made her acting debut in stock theater in 1880 at age 16. On Broadway, George M. Cohan cast her in many of his musicals, but she also appeared in dramatic roles. Her Broadway debut came in The Kreutzer Sonata (1906), and her final appearance on Broadway came in The Good Earth (1932).

Ralph debuted in two-reel films in New York in 1915 and went to Hollywood in 1933. in a motion picture career that eventually spanned 25 years, she became a permanent Hollywood actress in 1933. She was nearly 70 at this time, so her parts were limited to matronly roles, but her expertise at stealing scenes captured the imagination of cinema-goers of the time. Her best-known roles are as Greta Garbo's maid in Camille, as W.C. Fields' battle-axe of a mother-in-law in The Bank Dick, as Myrna Loy's supercilious Aunt Katherine in After the Thin Man, and as Nurse Peggotty in David Copperfield. She starred in 55 movies altogether, 52 between 1933 and 1941.

Personal life

She was married to actor William Ralph.


Ralph retired from Hollywood in 1941, after her leg was amputated. She was a diabetic. She died four years later in her home town of Gloucester at the age of 79 of a heart attack. Her gravesite is in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Gloucester, Massachusetts.


External links

Uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jessie Ralph", released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.