Archive for the ‘Rudolph Valentino’ Category

The last days of Rudolph Valentino…Part Four

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

RUDOLPH VALENTINO

The last days of Rudolph Valentino…Part Four

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For the next several days, we turn back the clocks 88 years and detail the last days of the silent film idol, Rudolph Valentino, on the corresponding day today…

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By Allan R. Ellenberger

August 17, 2014

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Tuesday, August 17, 1926

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According to hospital statements, Rudy passed a moderately comfortable day. Lying, for the most part, with eyes closed, he opened them only when treatment was administered. At one point Rudy smiled weakly at Ullman and declared. “I’ve gotten out of worse fixes that this. I’ll soon be on my feet again and making pictures.” As Ullman left the room, the actor summoned up enough energy to wink “good-by.”

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Rudy insisted that the mass of flowers that continued to pour into Polyclinic for him be distributed to the various wards of the hospital. Hundreds of telegrams remained unopened, waiting until he was well enough to read them himself. As he lay there, Rudy surprised Ullman by asking for a mirror. Ullman was at first hesitant because the illness had clearly left its mark on Rudy’s face. “Oh, let me have it,” Rudy insisted. “I just want to see how I look when I am sick, so that if I ever have to play the part in pictures I will know how to put on my make-up!”

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Early that morning, Joseph Schenck and Norma Talmadge arrived from Maine but were not permitted to see the actor. Schenck told reporters that millions of dollars would be lost “in the event of the star’s death.”

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The “no visitors” order, however, did not deter creative fans from attempting to see their idol. Many would-be visitors succeeded in reaching the eighth floor but were stopped before they could enter his room. Marie Markiewz, a determined young woman, demanded that she be allowed to see her “beloved.” When told that Valentino was too ill for visitors, she became hysterical and recited poetry that she scribbled down on paper. As they were forcibly ejecting her from the hospital, she sobbed loudly, “Oh, my beloved, I hope you get well.” Another admirer was a young man whose only request was to kneel at Valentino’s bedside and silent pray for his recovery.

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Meanwhile, outside the hospital, crowds watched as reporters photographed the arrival of Betty Hughes, a dancer in a Brooklyn cabaret that Valentino reportedly frequented. Accompanied by her pet monkey ‘Pepy,’ Hughes told reporters that the simian had often amused Valentino on his visits to the café. Neither she nor the monkey got any further than the first floor.

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Unfortunately, all this attention generated by Valentino’s illness seriously disrupted the hospital’s daily routine. After a consultation with Polyclinic’s administrator, Ullman hired a private detective to stand guard outside Valentino’s suite, hoping to deter further undesirables. In addition to barring the curious and overzealous flappers that tried to force their way in, all reporters, who had been maintaining a “death watch” on the first floor, were ordered out of the hospital shortly before noon.

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At seven o’clock that evening the last official bulletin of the day was issued. “There is no change in Mr. Valentino’s condition. His temperature is 103.6, respiration 26, pulse 103.” Physicians were certain that whatever transpired the next day would determine Rudy’s fate.

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TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW…

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Be sure to attend the 87th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial held each year at the Cathedral Mausoleum of Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm. See you there…

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The last days of Rudolph Valentino…Part Two

Friday, August 15th, 2014

RUDOLPH VALENTINO

The last days of Rudolph Valentino…Part Two

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For the next several days, we turn back the clocks 88 years and detail the last days of the silent film idol, Rudolph Valentino, on the corresponding day today…

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By Allan R. Ellenberger

August 15, 2014

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Sunday, August 15, 1926

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The first reports from that morning claimed Rudy arose from bed about eleven-thirty. Still feeling poorly, he refused breakfast, and instead read the Sunday papers. Suddenly, he turned pale, clutched his abdomen and collapsed on the floor. Frank Chaplin, Rudy’s valet, called for assistance and notified Barclay Warburton. Ullman and his wife Beatrice, who were in adjoining suites, were with Valentino by the time Warburton arrived. Later in the day, Ullman gave a slightly different version of what happened:

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Mr. Valentino had gotten out of bed, but had not ordered his breakfast. This fact, it may turn out, may save his life. We were sitting around reading the Sunday papers when suddenly he groaned and pressed his hand to his side, complaining of a severe pain in the region of his abdomen. The pain passed off, but a little later he turned pale again and another pain seized him. Then I called a doctor whom I know personally. He came into the hotel and as Mr. Valentino continued to get worse we had him removed to the hospital.

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Dr. Paul Durham of the Polyclinic Hospital was a friend of both Ullman and Warburton. Within minutes of his arrival, Durham examined Rudy but waited four hours before calling an ambulance, even though his symptoms appeared to be serious. Several reasons have been given for this delay, one being that it was a hot Sunday afternoon and many physicians were out of town. Valentino’s brother, Alberto, believed that no one wanted to take responsibility for operating on Rudolph Valentino, so they waited for a “well-known surgeon, [an] experienced surgeon, to come along.”

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Still others claim that Valentino had a fear of hospitals. Dr. Arthur Bogart, who worked at Polyclinic Hospital in the late 1940s, was well acquainted with one of Valentino’s former physicians (who was still on staff at the hospital). “The doctor told me,” Bogart said, “his patient refused surgical intervention which might have saved his life, because he was terrified of surgery.”

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Whatever the reason, sometime around four-thirty, Rudy was taken by ambulance to the Polyclinic Hospital on West 50th Street. According to Ullman, in his time of need, Rudy sought assistance from his spirit guides. “I remember, too,” Ullman recalled, “as he lay in that ambulance, doubled up with pain, unconscious and en route to the hospital where he was to die, he kept repeating the word, ‘Jenny, Jenny, Jenny.’”

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Shortly after five o’clock that afternoon, Dr. Harold D. Meeker, a consulting surgeon at Polyclinic, examined Valentino. The fifty-year-old Meeker, a graduate of Columbia University, was also professor of Surgery at Polyclinic’s Medical School. When Meeker first examined Valentino, the actor was in great pain with a moderate fever, a rapid pulse and a board-like rigidity of the abdomen. Meeker’s first diagnosis was a perforated gastric ulcer, but he couldn’t rule out other possibilities at that advance stage of the illness. In his expert opinion, the only way to save Valentino’s life was to operate.

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At six-thirty the patient was rolled into the operating room. Meeker was assisted by Durham; Dr. Golden R. Battey, senior house physician of Polyclinic; and Dr. G. Randolph Manning, a specialist in diseases of the stomach. During surgery, fluid was found leaking through a round hole one centimeter in diameter in the anterior wall of Valentino’s stomach. Meeker’s report stated that the “tissue of the stomach for one and one-half centimeters immediately surrounding the perforation was necrotic. The appendix was acutely inflamed from a secondary infection…” Meeker repaired the opening in Valentino’s stomach and removed his appendix.

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Valentino was taken from the operating room at nine-thirty and transferred to a suite on the eighth floor. Suite Q, the most expensive suite in the hospital, had two luxurious rooms and a bath, a large mahogany bed and dresser, two large easy chairs, handsome rugs and several smaller chairs. It was aptly dubbed the “lucky suite” when Mary Pickford successfully convalesced there in 1912. When Rudy came out of the anesthetic at about ten o’clock, he asked, “Doctor, am I a pink puff?”

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“No indeed,” Durham replied. “You have been very brave.”

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Later, when Ullman arrived, Rudy smiled and asked, “How did I take it?”

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“You took it fine,” he replied.

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“Oh well,” Rudy whispered. “Once a sheik, always a sheik.” He then fell asleep.

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Shortly after midnight, Ullman announced that Valentino reacted very well from the operation, but warned that his condition was critical. “Indeed, we fear that it is doubtful if he can survive because the disease had progressed so far without him knowing or suspecting it,” Ullman said. “It will be several days at the very least before we can know the outcome.”

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TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW…

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Be sure to attend the 87th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial held each year at the Cathedral Mausoleum of Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm. See you there…

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The last days of Rudolph Valentino…Part One

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

RUDOLPH VALENTINO

The last days of Rudolph Valentino… Part one

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For the next several days, we turn back the clocks 88 years and detail the last days of the silent film idol, Rudolph Valentino, on the corresponding day today…

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By Allan R. Ellenberger

August 14, 2014

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New York City, Saturday, August 14, 1926

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The facts about Rudolph Valentino’s last night on the town vary, depending on who is telling the story and when they are telling it. In George Ullman’s book, he mentions that Rudy’s coloring was bad and urged him to return to his hotel room for a rest.”Why, I feel wonderful!” Rudy replied. “I don’t need rest.”

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Rudy spent the majority of the day at the apartment of Barclay Warburton., Jr., or “Buzzy” as his friends called him. Warburton, the grandson of department store founder John Wannamaker, was a scion of Philadelphia high society. Young, blonde, and handsome, Warburton, who was recently divorced from his first wife, occupied a bachelor apartment full of “soft lights, low couches and luxury.”

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That evening Rudy was feeling ill but insisted on going to his favorite restaurant, the Colony, for dinner with Warburton and Ullman. Adela Rogers St. Johns was visiting New York and also had rooms at the Ambassador. Rudy stopped on his way to suggest that Adela, James Quirk, and Quirk’s fiancée, actress May Allison, join their party. “But we had theater tickets and it wasn’t until the next day that we knew the serious results of that gay evening,” St. Johns later wrote.

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Dagmar Godowsky, Rudy’s old friend and former costar, was also having dinner at the Colony the evening. I saw him the night before he was taken to the hospital,” Godowsky later said, “we were at the Colony restaurant. He wasn’t a happy man.”

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After dinner, Rudy complained of indigestion, admitting to Warburton that he had been troubled with it for some time. Regardless of his discomfort, the trio attended the George White’s Scandals at the Apollo Theatre on 42nd Street. This was the eighth performance of the hit revue that Rudy had attended in the last two weeks. After the show, they met backstage with Scandals stars Frances White and Harry Richman. At some point, the group was invited to a party at the apartment of actress Lenore Ulric, but Rudy declined, saying he was not feeling well. Instead they went to Warburton’s apartment, where, later reports said, between fourteen to sixteen people gathered including Marion Benda, who was just getting out of a performance of the Ziegfeld revue “No Foolin.’”

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According to Harry Richman, there were “some drinks, music and dancing,” but Valentino declined any refreshments” because he had indigestion. Guests slowly began leaving as the night progressed until only a small group remained. “Suddenly he collapsed.” Richman said that Valentino became violently ill around one-thirty in the morning and was rushed back to the Ambassador.

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TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW…

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Be sure to attend the 87th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial held each year at the Cathedral Mausoleum of Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm. See you there…

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Rodolph Valentino in “Blood and Sand”

Friday, February 7th, 2014

RUDOLPH VALENTINO

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The 86th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

HOLLYWOOD EVENTS

 The Eighty-Sixth Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

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 Friday, August 23, 2013

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, California

Cathedral Mausoleum

12:10PM

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This year’s Valentino Memorial Service will include new videos acknowledging the 100th anniversary of Rudolph Valentino’s arrival in America will be shown. There will also be a tribute video saluting his cinematic career.

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In addition, a video saluting Valentino’s friend and costar, Mae Murray with be presented and the guest speaker will be Michael G. Ankerich, the author of the new biography “Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips.” Also speaking will be Christopher Riordan who will update the audience about Falcon Lair. Riordan lived in the guest home on the estate, as the property overseer.

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This year the Memorial is themed to salute the 90th anniversary of the Mineralava Tour. There will be a special display of Mineralava artifacts including two of the trophies that Rudolph Valentino presented (one to a dancing couple, the other for the beauty contest). The trophies will be made available at the conclusion of the service for people to get their photo holding them. Live singing of Valentino music will be presented by the Evans & Rogers musical team.

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Acknowledgements: Valentino Memorial Committee: Tracy Ryan Terhune, Stella Grace, Chanell O Farrill, Marvin Paige. Research on the Mineralava Tour—Rebecca Eash; Mineralava Tour video—Donna Hill; remaining videos—Frank Labrador.

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Valentino’s Lady in Black legend grows

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

RUDOLPH VALENTINO

Valentino’s Lady in Black legend grows

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By Allan R. Ellenberger

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One of the legends that have developed after the death of silent screen idol, Rudolph Valentino, was about the mysterious Lady in Black. Many have claimed to be her and others have donned the black veil and dress in their memory over the past eighty-seven years. Just a few that have either laid claim or have been credited to the legend are Pola Negri, Marion Benda, Jean Acker, Estrellita del Regil and her mother Anna, and the one who is most accepted to be the original Lady in Black, Ditra Flame.

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Another woman who also has a claim on the legend is one that most Valentino fans probably have never heard of. Her name is Florence Harrison. Florence’s story is as mysterious as the woman she was alleged to be.

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Harrison’s claim to the title was not known until several years after her death and was made by a man who was her son. This is what is known. Several years ago a copy of the book, Valentino As I Knew Him, written by the actor’s friend and manager, S. George Ullman, surfaced with the following inscription:

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“In loving memory of Rodolpho Valentino and my beautiful mother, Florence Marie Rittenhouse (Marie Valentino) who died in Los Angeles of cancer on March 7, 1947. May my beautiful mother and the beautiful memory of her that I will cherish to my grave and Valentino, may they both rest in peace in each other’s arms! My mother was the original ‘Woman in Black’ and quit when others tried to copy her and make a cheap publicity stunt out of it. T. G. (Tony Guglielmi).”

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There was a Florence Marie Rittenhouse who was born in Pennsylvania in 1900 to Charles and Lillian Rittenhouse. A professional pianist, Florence married Samuel Harrison and moved to Washington D.C. There the Harrison’s had three children: Warren, Thelma and David. One day in 1934, according to family lore, Florence and her eleven year-old son David, left Washington and moved to California, never seeing her family again. Nothing more is known about Florence until her death from breast cancer on March 7, 1947 at the County General Hospital in Los Angeles.

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As for David, he enlisted in the Army in 1942. The family also claims that he had mental health problems and was apparently not able to live on his own. Were those problems a result of his stint in the Army, since they never would have inducted him if they were present before?

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The Tony Guglielmi (Guglielmi was Valentino’s real name) that signed the book was most likely Florence’s son, David Harrison, but why would he sign it that way? He implies that his mother was married to the actor by calling her “Marie Valentino,” so did David, who was born in 1923, believe that he was Valentino’s son? Was Florence one of the many anonymous Lady’s in Black that appeared at Valentino’s memorial over the years? Or were these the wild delusions of a mentally disturbed young man? All we have is a brief inscription on the title page of biography on Rudolph Valentino, so unfortunately we may never know. Florence Harrison is just one more name added to the already crowded legend.

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The 86th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial is coming up on Friday, August 23, 2013 at 12:10 p.m. in the Cathedral Mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Be there. To learn more about the history of the Valentino Memorial, read the book, Valentino Forever: The History of the Valentino Memorial Service by Tracy Ryan Terhune.

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The 85th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

RUDOLPH VALENTINO

Candids from the 85th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

 

 

The annual service was held in the Cathedral Mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 12:10 PM

 

 

 

The Cathedral Mausoleum was standing-room-only as fans of the silent film idol attend this years service.

 

 

 

Tyler Cassity, owner of Hollywood Forever Cemetery, opened the ceremonies

 

 

 

Tracy Ryan Terhune, author of Valentino Forever, was again this years emcee

 

 

 

Sylvia Valentino Huber, the great niece of Rudolph Valentino, delivered remarks from the Valentino family

 

 

 

 

Psychic-medium, Michael J. Kouri provided musical entertainment

 

 

 

Allison Francis read selected poems from “Daydreams” by Rudolph Valentino

 

 

 

Members of the audience enjoy two videos; one a tribute to past participants of the Valentino Memorial and another celebrating the centennial of Universal Studios where Valentino made four films early in his career. A scene from “A Society Sensation (1918) was shown. (Video editing by Frank Labrador Productions)

 

 

 

Mary Mallory, author of “Hollywoodland,” discussed Rudolph Valentino’s Hollywood home

 

 

 

 

Comedian Will Ryan also entertained musically

 

 

 

 

Author Michael Oldham talks about his book, “The Valentino Formula”

 

 

 

Stella Grace, of the Valentino Memorial Committee, closed the service by leading the audience in the 23rd Psalm

 

 

 

 Fans gather in the corridor to pay their respects at Valentino’s crypt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hollywood Forever Cemetery owner, Tyler Cassity and Valentino memorial organizer, Stella Grace discuss next year’s service

 

 

 

Stella Grace and Tracy Ryan Terhune of the Valentino Memorial Committee. Other members include Chanell O Farrill and Marvin Paige.

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85th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

HOLLYWOOD EVENTS

The 85th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

 

 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

12:10 PM

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

CATHEDRAL MAUSOLEUM

6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood

 

This year, as in years past, the memorial has been organized by Valentino experts, Stella Grace and Tracy Ryan Terhune.

 

Stella Grace is a noted authority and collector on Rudolph Valentino and Mr. Terhune, also a Valentino collector, is the author of the popular book, Valentino Forever, which recounts the history of the Annual Valentino services. For more information – http://www.hollywoodforever.com/ 

 

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Valentino at the Smithsonian

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

RUDOLPH VALENTINO

Past Imperfect: The “Latin Lover” and his enemies

 

 

 

Check out the attached article from the Smithsonian Magazine which used my book, The Valentino Mystique as a source.

 

Smithsonian Magazine

June 13, 2012

 

With the Roaring Twenties in full swing and the first talkies on the horizon, Hollywood’s booming film industry already had its share of bankable stars—Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Douglas Fairbanks, Buster Keaton. But in the summer of 1926, an Italian immigrant named Rodolfo Alfonso Rafaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina D’Antonguolla would join them. Known as the “Latin Lover,” Rudolph Valentino would, by summer’s end, single-handedly change the way generations of men and women thought about sex and seduction.

 

Click here to continue reading…

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Valentino home for rent

Friday, January 13th, 2012

RUDOLPH VALENTINO

A chance to step back into Hollywood’s golden age as silent film star Rudy Valentino’s house is on the rental market

 

 

 

By Mike Larkin
London Mail

 

He was the Robert Pattinson of the 1920s and was known as the ‘Latin Lover’.

 

So perhaps the English hunk could be someone who is keen to live on the last remained house of legendary silent film star Rudy Valentino.

 

His death at the age of just 31 in 1926 caused mass hysteria among his strong female fanbase, and he is an icon of the silent era.

 

Now a Spanish-style home that once sat on the Italian’s Falcon Lair estate has hit the rental market.

 

 The house sits above Beverly Hills, and is listed at rates of $1,000 for the night, or $14,000 for the month on real estate website Zillow.com.
 
 

Click here to continue reading…

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