Rudolph Valentino
Silent film actor
Rudolph Valentino
Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor, known simply as "Valentino" and also an early pop icon. A sex symbol of the 1920s, Valentino was known as the "Latin Lover". He starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and Son of the Sheik. He had applied for American citizenship shortly before his death.
Biography
Rudolph Valentino's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Rudolph Valentino
News
News abour Rudolph Valentino from around the web
BMW 1M: Miniature, Mighty and Miles of Fun - Wall Street Journal
Google News - over 5 years
You'd think Rudolph Valentino had just died or something. Why does the M3 have to be so heavy? What part of Ultimate Driving Machine does BMW itself not understand? But everyone's favorite M3 of yore didn't have to have a monster stereo, navi,
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The Sheik shakes it up - Easy Reader News
Google News - over 5 years
Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo features a Rudolph Valentino Film Festival featuring silent shorts and a feature film Aug. 26, 27 and 28. Show times are 8:15 pm tonight, 2:30 and 8:15 on Saturday and 2:30 pm on Sunday. $8 cash or check only
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Five Things You Need to Know Today, August 23 - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
In 1926, silent film star Rudolph Valentino died of a ruptured ulcer. Mass mourning began, including dozens of suicide attempts. More than 100000 would stand in the streets near his funeral in New York City. In 1927, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
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Years Ago - Youngstown Vindicator
Google News - over 5 years
1914: Japan declares war against Germany in World War I. 1926: Silent film star Rudolph Valentino dies in New York at age 31. 1939: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agree to a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in Moscow
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Great Escape: Movie Screenings in a Cemetery and a Rudolph Valentino Memorial ... - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
Films are digitally projected against the west wall of the cemetery's Cathedral Mausoleum, where Rudolph Valentino rests in peace. This Saturday, Aug. 20, see the The Jerk, directed by Carl Reiner, starring Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters
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Get Out: Mid-Summer Night Dreams - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
Try “Twilight Thursdays” at Valentino's, the former home of silent-screen legend Rudolph Valentino. What could be more romantic? Or, find your true love by going speed dating. Bring a friend too! Then snuggle close during a free outdoor movie night in
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Sample of a single-owner Royal Doulton collection, 700+ pieces - Maine Antique Digest
Google News - over 5 years
Fantastic Photo of Rudolph Valentino Signed and Inscribed to Gertrude Lawrence, Rock 'N' Roll and Entertainment including a large collection of Original Master Recording Tapes featuring Chuck Berry, Vanilla Fudge, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddly,
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GMCLA To Perform At Hollywood Forever Cemetery - LA Canyon News
Google News - over 5 years
Visitors come from all over the world to pay their respects to Johnny Ramone, Cecil B. DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks and hundreds more of Hollywood's greatest stars
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Lindbergh's Pomona flyover thrilled crowds - Contra Costa Times
Google News - over 5 years
Movie heartthrob Rudolph Valentino rode Jadaan in the silent classic "Son of the Sheik." Kellogg's field was only in operation for a short time, especially since Pomona's Burnley Airport on South Garey Avenue also opened in 1928 and offered more
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TMC explores Arab images on film - Tbo.com
Google News - over 5 years
The two appear between screenings of films such as the 1921 Rudolph Valentino romantic silent classic "The Sheik" and the 1962 Oscar-winning epic "Lawrence of Arabia." Both of those aired last week along with a more recent film, "Jewel of the Nile,"
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America's Best Outdoor Movie Theaters - Huffington Post
Google News - over 5 years
The cemetery movie series is an unexpected-yet-perfect way to pay tribute to legends like Rudolph Valentino and John Huston. "You're literally a few feet from someone who has worked on these movies," says Cinespia series cofounder John Wyatt
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Morning Call Sheet: Apes, Riddick, Superman, 'South Park,' and Walter Mitty - Big Hollywood
Google News - over 5 years
Dir: George Fitzmaurice Cast: Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Banky, George Fawcett. BW-69 mins, TV-G. Everyone should see at least one Rudolph Valentino film, if only to attempt a grasp at understanding an actor who was probably the most popular and
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Rudolph Valentino still attracts - San Francisco Chronicle (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Rudolph Valentino was one of the biggest celebrities of the Jazz Age. His films, like The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse and The Sheik, were not only blockbusters - they helped change the culture. Valentino was an immensely popular actor,
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Arabs in Hollywood Movies on TCM: THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, THE SHEIK - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Starring Rudolph Valentino, who set as many hearts aflutter as Justin Bieber, Robert Pattinson, Johnny Depp, Colin Firth, and Robert Redford (I believe I've covered the whole heart-afluttering range here), The Sheik has Valentino as a 1920s version of
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Rudolph Valentino
    THIRTIES
  • 1926
    Age 30
    On August 15, 1926, Valentino collapsed at the Hotel Ambassador, Park Avenue, New York City.
    More Details Hide Details He was hospitalized at the New York Polyclinic Hospital and an examination diagnosed him as suffering from appendicitis and gastric ulcers, requiring an immediate operation. (His condition is now referred to as "Valentino's syndrome", perforated ulcers mimicking appendicitis.) Despite surgery, Valentino developed peritonitis. On August 18, his doctors gave an optimistic prognosis and told the media that unless his condition changed for the worse, no updates would be needed. However, on August 21, his condition did change for the worse, as he was stricken with a severe pleuritis relapse that developed rapidly in his left lung due to his weakened condition. The doctors realized that he was going to die, but as was common at the time with terminal patients, decided to withhold the prognosis from the actor, who believed that his condition would pass. During the early hours of Monday, August 23, Valentino was briefly conscious and chatted with his doctors about his future. He fell back into a coma and died a few hours later, at the age of 31.
    The film began shooting in February 1926, with Valentino given his choice of director, and pairing him again with Vilma Bánky.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TWENTIES
  • 1925
    Age 29
    Valentino and Rambova divorced in 1925.
    More Details Hide Details The end of the marriage was bitter, with Valentino bequeathing Rambova one dollar in his will. From the time he died until the 1960s, Valentino's sexuality was not generally questioned in print. At least four books, including the notoriously libelous Hollywood Babylon, suggested that he may have been gay despite his marriage to Rambova. For some, the marriages to Acker and Rambova, as well as the relationship with Pola Negri, add to the suspicion that Valentino was gay and that these were "lavender marriages." Such books gave rise to claims that Valentino had a relationship with Ramón Novarro, despite Novarro stating they barely knew each other. Hollywood Babylon recounts a story that Valentino had given Novarro an art deco dildo as a gift, which was found stuffed in his throat at the time of his murder. No such gift existed. These books also gave rise to claims that he may have had relationships with both roommates Paul Ivano and Douglas Gerrad, as well as Norman Kerry, openly gay French actor Jacques Herbertot, and André Daven. However, Ivano maintained that it was untrue and both he and Valentino were heterosexual. Biographers Emily Leider and Allan Ellenberger generally agree that he was most likely straight.
    Valentino was one of the first in Hollywood to offer an award for artistic accomplishments in films; the Academy Awards later followed suit. In 1925, he gave out his only medal to John Barrymore for his performance in Beau Brummel.
    More Details Hide Details The award, named the Rudolph Valentino Medal, required the agreement of Valentino, two judges, and the votes of 75 critics. Everyone other than Valentino himself was eligible.
  • 1923
    Age 27
    On May 14, 1923, while in New York City, Valentino made his only two vocal recordings for Brunswick Records; "Kashmiri Song" (The Sheik) and "El Relicario" (Blood and Sand).
    More Details Hide Details The recordings were not released until after Valentino's death by the Celebrity Recording Company; Brunswick did not release them because Valentino's English/Spanish pronunciation was subpar.
    Having to wait the year or face the possibility of being arrested again, Rambova and Valentino lived in separate apartments in New York City, each with their own roommates. On March 14, 1923, they legally remarried at the Lake County Court House in Crown Point, Indiana.
    More Details Hide Details Many of Valentino's friends disliked Rambova and found her controlling. During his relationship with her, he lost many friends and business associates, including June Mathis. Towards the end of their marriage, Rambova was banned from his sets by contract.
    With Liberty magazine, he wrote a series entitled, "How You Can Keep Fit" in 1923. "My Life Story" was serialized in Photoplay during his dance tour.
    More Details Hide Details The March issue was one of the best-selling ever for the magazine. He followed that with "My Private Diary", serialized in Movie Weekly magazine. Most of the serials were later published as books after his death. Valentino was fascinated with every part of movie-making. During production on a Mae Murray film, he spent time studying the director's plans. He craved authenticity and wished to shoot on location, finally forming his own production company, Rudolph Valentino Productions, in 1925. Valentino, George Ullman, and Beatrice Ullman were the incorporators.
    In 1923, Valentino published a book of poetry titled Day Dreams.
    More Details Hide Details He later serialized events in various magazines.
  • 1922
    Age 26
    One man, asked in a street interview in 1922 what he thought of Valentino, replied, "Many men desire to be another Douglas Fairbanks.
    More Details Hide Details But Valentino? I wonder " Women in the same interview found Valentino "triumphantly seductive. Puts the love-making of the average husband or sweetheart into discard as tame, flat, and unimpassioned." Men may have wanted to act like Fairbanks, but they copied Valentino's look. A man with perfectly greased-back hair was called a "Vaselino". Some journalists were still calling his masculinity into question, going on at length about his pomaded hair, his dandyish clothing, his treatment of women, his views on women, and whether he was effeminate or not. Valentino hated these stories and was known to carry the clippings of the newspaper articles around with him and criticize them. In July 1926, the Chicago Tribune reported that a vending machine dispensing pink talcum powder had appeared in an upscale hotel washroom. An editorial that followed used the story to protest the feminization of American men, and blamed the talcum powder on Valentino and his films. The piece infuriated Valentino and he challenged the writer to a boxing match since dueling was illegal. Neither challenge was answered. Shortly afterward, Valentino met with journalist H.L. Mencken for advice on how best to deal with the incident. Mencken advised Valentino to "let the dreadful farce roll along to exhaustion," but Valentino insisted the editorial was "infamous." Mencken found Valentino to be likable and gentlemanly and wrote sympathetically of him in an article published in the Baltimore Sun a week after Valentino's death:
    In late 1922, Valentino met George Ullman, who soon became Valentino's manager.
    More Details Hide Details Ullman previously had worked with Mineralava Beauty Clay Company, and convinced them that Valentino would be perfect as a spokesman with his legions of female fans. The tour was a tremendous success, with Valentino and Rambova performing in 88 cities in the United States and Canada. In addition to the tour, Valentino also sponsored Mineralava beauty products and judged Mineralava-sponsored beauty contests. One beauty contest was filmed by a young David O. Selznick, who titled it Rudolph Valentino and his 88 Beauties. When Valentino returned to the United States, it was to an offer from Ritz-Carlton Pictures (working through Famous Players), which included $7,500 a week, creative control, and filming in New York. Rambova negotiated a two-picture deal with Famous Players and four pictures for Ritz-Carlton. He accepted, turning down an offer to film an Italian production of Quo Vadis in Italy.
    In September of 1922, he refused to accept paychecks from Famous Players until the dispute was solved, although he owed them money he had spent to pay off Jean Acker.
    More Details Hide Details Angered, Famous Players, in turn, filed suit against him. Valentino did not back down, and Famous Players realized how much they stood to lose. In trouble after shelving Roscoe Arbuckle pictures, the studio tried to settle by upping his salary from $1,250 to $7,000 a week. Variety erroneously announced the salary increase as a "new contract" before news of the lawsuit was released, and Valentino angrily rejected the offer. Valentino went on to claim that artistic control was more of an issue than the money. He wrote an open letter to Photoplay magazine, titled "Open Letter to the American Public", where he argued his case, although the average American had trouble sympathizing, as most made $2,000 a year. Famous Players made their own public statements deeming him more trouble than he was worth (the divorce, bigamy trials, debts) and that he was temperamental, almost diva-like. They claimed to have done all they could and that they had made him a real star.
    They married on May 13, 1922, in Mexicali, Mexico, which resulted in Valentino's arrest for bigamy, since he had not been divorced for a full year, as required by California law at the time.
    More Details Hide Details Days passed and his studio at the time, Famous Players-Lasky, refused to post bail. Eventually, a few friends were able to post the cash bail. He was also investigated for a possible violation of the Mann Act.
    In 1922, Valentino began work on another Mathis-penned film, Blood and Sand.
    More Details Hide Details Co-starring Lila Lee and Nita Naldi, Valentino played the lead, bullfighter Juan Gallardo. Initially believing the film would be shot in Spain, Valentino was upset to learn that the studio planned on shooting on a Hollywood back lot. He was further irritated by changes in production, including a director of whom he did not approve. After finishing the film, Valentino married Rambova, which led to a bigamy trial. The trial was a sensation and the pair was forced to have their marriage annulled and separated for a year. Despite the trial, the film was still a success, with critics calling it a masterpiece on par with Broken Blossoms and Four Horsemen. Blood and Sand went on to become one of the top-four grossing movies of 1922, breaking attendance records, and grossing $37,400 at the Rivoli Theatre alone. Valentino considered this one of his best films.
  • 1921
    Age 25
    The couple remained legally married until 1921, when Acker sued Valentino for divorce, citing desertion.
    More Details Hide Details The divorce was granted, with Acker receiving alimony. Valentino and she eventually renewed their friendship, and remained friends until his death. Valentino first met Winifred Shaughnessy, known by her stage name, Natacha Rambova, an American silent film costume and set designer, art director, and protégée of Nazimova, on the set of Uncharted Seas in 1921. The two worked together on the Nazimova production of Camille, by which time they were romantically involved.
    In November of 1921, Valentino starred alongside Gloria Swanson in Beyond the Rocks.
    More Details Hide Details The film contained lavish sets and extravagant costumes, though Photoplay magazine said the film was "a little unreal and hectic." Released in 1922, the film was a critical disappointment. Years after its release, Beyond the Rocks was thought to be lost, save for a one-minute portion. But in 2002, the film was discovered by the Netherlands Film Museum. The restored version was released on DVD in 2006.
  • 1919
    Age 23
    In 1919, just before the rise of his career, Valentino impulsively married actress Jean Acker, who was involved with actresses Grace Darmond and Alla Nazimova.
    More Details Hide Details Acker became involved with Valentino in part to remove herself from the lesbian love triangle, quickly regretted the marriage, and locked Valentino out of their room on their wedding night. The couple separated soon after, and the marriage was never consummated.
  • 1917
    Age 21
    Displeased with playing "heavies", Valentino briefly entertained the idea of returning to New York permanently. He returned for a visit in 1917, staying with friends in Greenwich Village, eventually settling in Bayside, Queens.
    More Details Hide Details There he met Paul Ivano, who would greatly help his career. While traveling to Palm Springs, Florida, to film Stolen Moments, Valentino read the novel The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. Seeking out a trade paper, he discovered that Metro had bought the film rights to the story. In New York, he sought out Metro's office, only to find June Mathis had been trying to find him. She cast him in the role of Julio Desnoyers. For the director, Mathis had chosen Rex Ingram, with whom Valentino did not get along, leading Mathis to play the role of peacekeeper between the two. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse was released in 1921 and became a commercial and critical success. It was one of the first films to make $1,000,000 at the box office, and remains to this day the sixth-highest grossing silent film ever.
    In 1917, Valentino joined an operetta company that traveled to Utah, where it disbanded.
    More Details Hide Details He then joined an Al Jolson production of Robinson Crusoe, Jr. which was travelling to Los Angeles. By fall, he was in San Francisco with a bit part in a theatrical production of Nobody Home. While in town, Valentino met actor Norman Kerry, who convinced him to try a career in cinema, which was still in the silent film era. Valentino, with Kerry as a roommate, moved back to Los Angeles and took up residence at the Alexandria Hotel. He continued dancing, teaching dance, and building up a following which included older female clientele who would let him borrow their luxury cars. At one point after the United States joined World War I, both Kerry and Valentino tried to get into the Canadian Air Force to fly and fight in France. With his dancing success, Valentino found a room of his own on Sunset Boulevard and began actively seeking screen roles. His first part was as an extra in the film Alimony, moving on to small parts in several films. Despite his best efforts, he was typically cast as a "heavy" (villain) or gangster. At the time, the major male star was Wallace Reid, with a fair complexion, light eyes, and an All-American look, with Valentino the opposite, eventually supplanting Sessue Hayakawa as Hollywood's most popular "exotic" male lead.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1913
    Age 17
    He was processed at Ellis Island at age 18 on December 23, 1913.
    More Details Hide Details Arriving in New York City, Valentino soon ran out of money and spent time on the streets. He supported himself with odd jobs such as bussing tables in restaurants and gardening. Eventually, he found work as a taxi dancer at Maxim's. Among the other dancers at Maxim's were several displaced members of European nobility, for whom a premium demand existed. Valentino eventually befriended Chilean heiress Blanca de Saulles, who was unhappily married to prominent businessman John de Saulles, with whom she had a son. Whether Blanca and Valentino actually had a romantic relationship is unknown, but when the de Saulles couple divorced, Valentino took the stand to support Blanca de Saulles's claims of infidelity on her husband's part. Following the divorce, John de Saulles reportedly used his political connections to have Valentino arrested, along with a Mrs. Thyme, a known madam, on some unspecified vice charges. The evidence was flimsy at best, and after a few days in jail, Valentino's bail was lowered from $10,000 to $1,500.
    Unable to secure employment, he departed for the United States in 1913.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1912
    Age 16
    After living in Paris in 1912, he soon returned to Italy.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1895
    Born
    Born on May 6, 1895.
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