Vera Ralston

Vera Ralston

A beautiful young actress came to Hollywood but was forced to change her name because, even though she was born Vera Ralston, she couldn't use her own name because this Vera Ralston had used it first. So she changed her name and became known as Vera Miles.

An accomplished figure skater.

Escaped her native Czechoslovakia on the last plane out before the Nazis closed the borders.

Interviewed by Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962), Maureen Stapleton was asked what she did to make herself feel better when she knew she'd given a bad performance. "I look through the TV Guide and try to find a Vera Hruba Ralston picture to watch," said Stapleton, "because I know, no matter how bad a performance I may have given, I could NEVER be as bad as she was!".

Much like the Susan Foster Kane character in Citizen Kane (1941), Ralston is generally conceded to owe what stardom she had to her position as "protege" of Republic Pictures studio head Herbert J. Yates. Most of her films lost money, because audiences just never took to her (John Wayne, after having made a few films with her, refused to make any more as he believed that being identified as appearing in any more of her flops would damage his career). She and Yates were married in 1952. Significantly, she "retired" from the screen in 1958, the year Yates was deposed as head of the studio--mainly because of his insistence in starring her in expensive films even though they invariably lost money but also because of his refusal to sell Republic's films for TV broadcasting. Yates and Ralston remained married until Yates' death in 1966, at which point Ralston inherited half of his $10-million estate.

Sister of Rudy Ralston.

The surname Ralston was taken from the name of a popular breakfast cereal.

Vocals for Ms. Ralston's songs in films were dubbed by Robie Lester.