Ruth Roland was an American stage and film actress and film producer.
Born in San Francisco, California, her father managed a theatre and she became a child actress who went on to work in vaudeville. She was hired by director Sidney Olcott who had seen her on stage in New York City, she appeared in her first film for Kalem Studios in 1909 and along with Gene Gauntier was soon billed as a “Kalem Girl.” Roland was eventually sent to Kalem’s West Coast studio where she was the lead actress and overseer of “Kalem House” where all the actors lived. At 12 years old, Roland was the youngest student at Hollywood High School.
Roland left Kalem and went on to even more fame at Balboa Films, where she was under contract from 1914-1917. In 1915 she appeared in a 14-episode adventure film serial titled The Red Circle. A shrewd businessperson, she established her own production company and signed a distribution deal with Pathé to make six new multi-episode serials that proved very successful.
Between 1909 and 1927, Roland appeared in more than 200 films. She appeared in an early color film Cupid Angling made in the Naturalcolor process invented by Leon F. Douglass, and filmed in the Lake Lagunitas area of Marin County, California. She left the film business until 1930 when she made her first talkie. Although her voice worked well enough on screen, now entering her forties she returned to performing in live theatre, making only one more film appearance in 1935.