83rd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial


Today’s 83rd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial



 By Allan R. Ellenberger


Once again, this year’s highly attended, 83rd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service was a complete success. Held at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, in the foyer of the Cathedral Mausoleum, today’s service had something for everyone. The life and career of Rudolph Valentino was lovingly remembered in word and song.


It was a warm August day, not at all like most of this summer which has been unseasonably cool. Summer is back! Hollywood Forever Cemetery owner, Tyler Cassity welcomed the audience this year before turning the service over to Tracy Ryan Terhune, the emcee for the day.


Yours truly provided a history of the “Aspiration” statue that stands in De Longpre Park that this year is celebrating its  80th anniversary. Following that, a short video that documented the early history of “Aspiration” was shown. Next the audience was treated to a recitation of three poems from Valentino’s book, Daydreams by Allison Francis, the mother of the 2030 Lady in Black.


The crowd was serenaded to two songs by Frank Labrador: “Candlelight” and “The Angels Above Needed Someone To Love” – the lyrics were reportedly written by Valentino for future Lady in Black, Ditra Flame, who wrote the music. Frank was accompanied on the piano by Garrett Bryant.


The current Lady in Black, Kari Bible, treated everyone to a history of Ditra Flame, the original Lady in Black. Following was a short clip from Art Linkletter’s House Party from the 1950s of Ditra being interviewed about her devotion to Valentino. It was the first public showing of this clip in more than 50 years.


Tracy then read excerpts from an unpublished manuscript by Paul Ivano who was a close friend of Valentino. Special guest, Donna Hill, the author of the just published Rudolph Valentino: The Silent Idol spoke about her book and showed a video of rare Valentino photos from her book.


Perennial favorites, Ian and Regina Whitcomb once again entertained the crowd with the songs, “There’s a New Star in Heaven Tonight” and “Sheik of Araby.” Valentino Memorial Committee icon, Stella Grace led the audience in a reading of the 23rd Psalm to end the service.


Once again, many thanks to this year’s committee members: Channell O’Farrill, Tracy Ryan Terhune, Stella Grace and Marvin Paige. And thank you to everyone behind the scenes — you all did a great job as usual.


Following are some photos from todays events:


Rudolph Valentino’s crypt




Donna Hill (left), Kari Bible and Garrett Bryant



Frank Labrador sings “The Angels Above Needed Someone to Love”



 Donna Hill, Tracy Ryan Terhune and Ian Whitcomb



 Allison Francis reads poems from Valentino’s Daydreams



Visitors explore the Cathedral Mausoleum 



Visitors peruse Valentino memorabilia 



 Allan Ellenberger holds the  future Lady in Black-2030, Olivia Francis



 Tracy Ryan Terhune and Stella Grace



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8 Responses to “83rd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial”

  1. Melissa says:

    Wonderful coverage….believe me it is SO appreciated! At least I have an idea of what the program looks like and how it all went. Thanks so much, hon!

  2. d.w. says:

    Thanks much Allan – I wanted to be there but had to be at work.
    Thank you for your report and photographs!
    You’re welcome, hopefully you can make it next year.

  3. landman says:

    Allan, your photo’s are fantastic! What a wonderful story! Next year I want to attend. You always write so beautifully about the “residents” of Hollywood forever Cemetery. Hope I will get a chance to meet you in person next year, and see the cemetery again in all its beauty and serenity.
    that would be great 🙂

  4. Robert Richard says:

    It was great to read about the festivities and see the photos. The photos in particular made me feel a part of the ceremony. If those good vibes reach the next dimension Valentino must be very humbled that 4 generations after his passing he is still beloved by so many and fondly honored every year.
    I’m looking forward to seeing you all at Cinecon.

  5. robin longfield says:

    Thank-you so much Allan for posting the photos and providing coverage of the Rudolph Valentino memorial service. Everything looked absolutely lovely and so fascinating

    I do hope someday to be able to attend , either when I do not have to work, or when the service occurs on a weekend. I really appreciate all that you do on behalf of keeping the history of the Silent era and Hollywood in general alive.
    Thanks Robin I appreciate that 🙂

  6. w. k. mccauley says:

    Great photos. It’s good to see one of you it seems it’s been ages–you look great. Is that Mike and Ali’s baby? Very cute.
    Hi Kevin, yes that their offspring. 🙂

  7. Hi would some one tell me how I can attend the 84th please?
    Hi Curtis, its very simple. Fly to Hollywood and be at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on August 23, 2011 at the Cathedral Mausoleum before noon and you’ll be there 🙂

  8. james smith says:

    I am curious if the scandal involving the Cassity family, Forever Enterprises – including Hollywood Forever, National Prearranged Services, and the 600 million dollar fraud and indictment of Cassity family members handed down recently is going to affect the Valentino Memorial Service for 2011? The cemetery will likely be in receivership by then if there are convictions, which seem likely.

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