Jobyna Howland

Jobyna Howland (March 31, 1880 – June 7, 1936) was an American stage and screen actress. Born to a Civil War veteran named Joby Howland (who at age 11 was one of the youngest enlistees in the conflict) and his wife Mary C. Bunting, she was given the feminine version of her father's name. Tall, regal and beautiful, red-haired Howland was one of several models for Charles Dana Gibson's famous sketches of Gibson Girls.[1] Howland made her first appearance on the New York Stage in 1899 managed by Daniel Frohman. During her long theatrical career, she apprenticed everything from drawing room farces to musical comedies always seeming to play the other woman, a best friend's pal or a distant cousin. She didn't achieve the kind of stardom of other beautiful actresses such as Elsie Ferguson, but was content to play the amiable and much needed support so vital in numerous Broadway productions.[2]

Jobyna Howland
Jobyna Howland

(1880-03-31)March 31, 1880
DiedJune 7, 1936(1936-06-07) (aged 56)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
Years active19181935
Arthur Stringer
(m. 1900; div. 1914)
RelativesOlin Howland (brother)

She decided to try her luck in film and moved to a Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr.) bungalow in Beverly Hills which was maintained by Hernando, a Navajo servant who liked to sample Howland's makeup. [3] She appeared in a few silent pictures, but this medium did not seem to suit her booming, direct and distinct voice. In sound films, she typically played the kind of roles she had mastered on the stage, the domineering but dependable support. Her appearances in the comedies of Bert Wheeler & Robert Woolsey are some of her best known.

Howland was married once to Arthur Stringer (married 1903) but the marriage didn't last and was dissolved (1914). She bore no children. She was found dead on the kitchen floor of her home in 1936. Police said death apparently was caused by heart disease.

Her brother was character actor Olin Howland.



  1. Who Was Who in the Theatre: 1912–1976 originally compiled from numerous annual editions by John Parker; 1976 edition by Gale Research Company
  2. Jobyna Howland; Internet Broadway Database,
  3. Anita Loos, The Talmadge Girls page 99

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