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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jessie Ralph
Jessie Ralph Chambers

(1864-11-05)November 5, 1864
DiedMay 30, 1944(1944-05-30) (aged 79)
Gloucester, Massachusetts, U.S.
Years active1880–1941
Spouse(s)William Patton (?–?; his death)

Jessie Ralph Patton (née Chambers; November 5, 1864[citation needed] – May 30, 1944), known as Jessie Ralph, was an American stage and screen actress, best known for her matronly roles in many classic films.

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Early life

Jessie Ralph Chambers was the 13th child born to sailing captain James Chambers and his wife.[1] Born in Gloucester, Massachusetts in 1864, she made her acting debut in stock theater in 1880, at age 16.[2]


Her Broadway debut came in The Kreutzer Sonata (1906), and her final appearance on Broadway came in The Good Earth (1932).[3]

Ralph debuted in two-reel films in New York in 1915 and went to Hollywood in 1933.[2] in a movie career that spanned 25 years, she became a permanent Hollywood actress in 1933. She was nearly 70 then, so her parts were limited to matronly roles, but her expertise at stealing scenes captured the imagination of cinema-goers of the time.[citation needed]

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 Aunt Katherine (in a state of permanent high dudgeon) in After the Thin Man, and as Peggotty in David Copperfield. She starred in 55 movies, 52 from 1933 to 1941.

Personal life

She was married to actor William Patton until his death.[4] They had no children.[1]


Ralph retired from Hollywood in 1941 after her leg was amputated.[2] She died in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on May 30, 1944, aged 79.[1] Her gravesite is there, in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.[citation needed]


Year Film Role Director Notes
1915 A Ringer for Max short
1915 The Galloper Sybil
1915 Mary's Lamb Mary Lamb
1916 New York Mrs. Macey George Fitzmaurice
1919 The Madonna of the Slums short
1921 Such a Little Queen Mary George Fawcett
1933 Child of Manhattan Aunt Minnie Edward Buzzell
1933 Elmer, the Great Sarah Crosby Mervyn LeRoy uncredited
1933 Cocktail Hour Princess de Longville Victor Schertzinger
1933 Ann Carver's Profession Terry (Graham's Maid) Edward Buzzell
1934 Nana Zoe George Fitzmaurice
1934 Coming Out Party Nora John G. Blystone
1934 Murder at the Vanities Mrs. Helene Smith Mitchell Leisen
1934 The Affairs of Cellini Beatrice Gregory La Cava
1934 One Night of Love Angelina Victor Schertzinger
1934 We Live Again Matrona Pavlovna Rouben Mamoulian
1934 Evelyn Prentice Mrs. Blake William K. Howard
1935 David Copperfield Nurse Peggotty George Cukor
1935 Enchanted April Mrs. Phoebe Fisher Harry Beaumont
1935 Vanessa: Her Love Story Lady Mullion William K. Howard
1935 Les Misérables Madame Magloire Richard Boleslawski
1935 Mark of the Vampire Midwife Tod Browning
1935 Paris in Spring Countess de Charelle Lewis Milestone
1935 Jalna Gran Whiteoak John Cromwell
1935 I Live My Life Mrs. O.H.B. Gage, Kay's grandmother W.S. Van Dyke
1935 Metropolitan Charwoman Richard Boleslawski
1935 I Found Stella Parish Nana Mervyn LeRoy
1935 Captain Blood Mrs. Barlow Michael Curtiz
1936 The Garden Murder Case Mrs. Hammle Edwin L. Marin
1936 Yellow Dust Mrs. Bryan Wallace Fox
1936 Little Lord Fauntleroy The Applewoman John Cromwell
1936 The Unguarded Hour Lady Hathaway Sam Wood
1936 Bunker Bean Grandmother Edward Killy
1936 San Francisco Mrs. Maisie Burley W.S. Van Dyke
1936 Walking on Air Evelyn Bennett Joseph Santley
1936 Camille Nanine George Cukor
1936 After the Thin Man Aunt Katherine Forrest W.S. Van Dyke
1937 The Good Earth Cuckoo Sidney Franklin
1937 The Last of Mrs. Cheyney Duchess Richard Boleslawski
1937 Double Wedding Mrs. Kensington-Bly Richard Thorpe
1938 Love Is a Headache Sheriff Janet Winfield Richard Thorpe
1938 Hold That Kiss Aunt Lucy Edwin L. Marin
1938 Port of Seven Seas Honorine James Whale
1939 Four Girls in White Miss Tobias S. Sylvan Simon
1939 St. Louis Blues Aunt Tibbie Raoul Walsh
1939 Cafe Society Mrs. De Witt Edward H. Griffith
1939 The Kid from Texas Aunt Minetta S. Sylvan Simon
1939 Mickey the Kid Veronica M. Hudson Arthur Lubin
1939 Drums Along the Mohawk Mrs. Weaver John Ford
1940 The Blue Bird Fairy Berylune Walter Lang
1940 Star Dust Aunt Martha Parker Walter Lang
1940 I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby Mama McGann Albert S. Rogell
1940 Girl from Avenue A Mrs. Van Dyne Otto Brower
1940 I Want a Divorce Grandma Brokaw Ralph Murphy
1940 The Bank Dick Mrs. Hermisillo Brunch Edward F. Cline
1941 The Lady from Cheyenne Mrs. McGuinness Frank Lloyd
1941 They Met in Bombay Duchess of Beltravers Clarence Brown


  1. ^ a b c "Jessie Ralph, 79, of Stage, Screen". The New York Times. May 31, 1944. p. 19. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Gordon, Dr Roger L. (2018). Supporting Actors in Motion Pictures. Dorrance Publishing. pp. 32–33. ISBN 9781480944992. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  3. ^ "Jessie Ralph". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on September 14, 2019. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  4. ^ "Jessie Ralph". Billboard. June 10, 1944. Retrieved September 14, 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 February 2023, at 08:55
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