Archive for the ‘Rudolph Valentino’ Category

Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

Monday, August 17th, 2009

VALENTINO

 82nd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

 

 Cathedral Mausoleum

 

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

6000 Santa Monica Bld. @ Gower
Cathedral Mausoleum
Sunday, August 23, 2009
12:10 p.m.

  

The life & legacy of Rudolph Valentino will be remembered at the annual Valentino Memorial Service which will be held on August 23rd, just as it has every year, steadfastly without fail for the past 82 years.

  

The program for the Valentino Memorial Service will include:

 

  • For the 1st time in over 75 years a member of the Valentino family will speak at the Valentino Memorial. Alberto Valentino’s great granddaughter, Jeanine Villalobos will be our featured speaker, drawing from family archived letters from Alberto Guglielmi Valentino (to his wife Ada who remained back home in Italy for the first year) of his thoughts and observations about the public’s outpouring of emotion, traveling across country on the Valentino funeral train and the West Coast funeral and burial of his brother, Rudolph Valentino. The letters have never been made accessible to researchers and are being translated from Italian to English for this presentation.

 

  • A tribute to honor Bob Mitchell, who for almost 30 years was involved with the Memorial first with his Bob Mitchell’s Boys Choir, and later on as a speaker/singer and musical accompaniment.

 

  • Donna Hill will also be making her first speaking appearance at the Valentino Memorial.

 

  • A new Memorial tribute video short spotlighting the relationship of Rudy & Natacha Rambova.

 

Stolen Moments

 

Also – the Valentino outdoor screening the evening of the 23rd returns after a two year absence. “A Society Sensation” and “Stolen Moments” will be shown. Bob Mitchell recorded his only in-studio recording for a silent movie when he did the score for “A Society Sensation” and that will be presented with his score, and Vince Morton will play live for “Stolen Moments.”

 — Tracy Terhune

More to be announced.

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Valentino’s Lady in Black…

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Ladies in Black haunt Rudolph Valentino’s tomb

 

Above is the earliest photograph of a Lady in Black mourning Rudolph Valentino
taken from the Los Angeles Times, August 23, 1947.

 

After the actor’s death in 1926, a veiled woman (or several of them) appeared each year to lay flowers near his tomb. The original mourner may never be identified, but others have taken up her mantle.

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By Larry Harnisch
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 31, 2008

 

In the decades since Rudolph Valentino’s death in 1926, one of Hollywood’s odder, more macabre rituals has unfolded every Aug. 23 at his crypt — the mysterious appearance of a Lady in Black.

 

Her face obscured by a black veil, her identity more or less unknown, a Lady in Black (or sometimes several of them) would silently place roses at the tomb of the silver screen’s “Great Lover” on the anniversary of his death from natural causes at age 31.

 

“So many mysterious women in black moved in and out of the mausoleum in Hollywood Cemetery yesterday that it took on the appearance of the salesgirls’ entrance to a large department store,” The Times reported in 1938.

 

The Italian actor, one of the silent era’s most popular movie stars, was among Hollywood’s earliest sex symbols and is best known for his roles in the 1921 films The Sheik and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

 

It is believed that the first Lady in Black (or Woman in Black, as The Times sometimes called her) appeared at the Cathedral Mausoleum at what is now Hollywood Forever Cemetery on the first anniversary of his death in 1927, and anonymous mourners in black continued to show up through the years. By the 1950s, the bizarre tradition had turned into what Valentino’s family thought was an offensive publicity stunt.

 

One of the more enduring Ladies in Black was Ditra Flame (pronounced Flah-may), who said Valentino visited her as a young girl when she was ill. Flame quit visiting after 1954 because there were so many competing Ladies in Black, but she resurfaced occasionally — notably in 1977, inspired by the death of Elvis Presley.

 

Another legendary Lady in Black was Estrellita de Rejil, who claimed that her mother was the original Lady in Black. De Rejil died in 2001, leaving the role of the Lady in Black to mourners born decades after the screen legend’s death.

  

larry.harnisch@latimes.com

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Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service…

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

  

 

The 81st Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service was held today in the foyer of the Cathedral Mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The Valentino Memorial Committee put together an exceptional service this year and should be congratulated. The committee members include: Chanell O’Farrill, Jay Boileau, Tracy Ryan Terhune, Stella Grace and Marvin Paige.

 

This year’s special guest speaker was actor Tim Considine, the son of John W. Considine, Jr., producer of the Valentino films, The Eagle (1925) and Son of the Sheik (1926). Considine spoke of his father and was surprised by a brief pictorial video of Considine and his relationship with Valentino as producer and friend.

 

Other participants in today’s program included 95 year-old Valentino perennial, organist Bob Mitchell, Vince Morton and Ian and Regina Whitcomb who handled the musical portion. Garrett Bryant read selections from Valentino’s book of poems, Daybreak and Woolsey Ackerman spoke about and displayed a rare Valentino doll which depicted the actor from The Eagle.

 

TODAYS PROGRAM

 

 Photos from todays service…

 

It was a full house at this years memorial service

 

 

Hollywood Forever Cemetery representative, Chanell O’Farrill opened the 81st Annual Valentino Memorial Service

 

 

Valentino author and emcee,

Tracy Ryan Terhune introduced the scheduled guests

 

Organist Bob Mitchell sang “You, My Love” and “He Love, He Danced, He Tangoed”

 

 

Garrett Bryant read a selection of poems from Valentino’s book, Daybreak

 

 

Special guest speaker, actor Tim Considine spoke about his father, John W. Considine, Jr., who produced two Valentino films, The Eagle (1925) and The Son of the Sheik (1926)

 

 

Woolsey Ackerman spoke about his rare Valentino doll from The Eagle (1925) that can be seen in the background

 

Ian and Regina Whitcomb sang popular Valentino

Songs, “New Star in Heaven Tonight” and “Sheik of Araby”

 

 

Stella Grace (center) of the Valentino Memorial Committee, closed the service with a reading of Psalm XXIII with audience participation

 

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Special guest speaker, Tim Considine speaks with committee member, Marvin Paige

 

 Close-up of a rare Valentino doll from The Eagle (courtesy Woolsey Ackerman)

 

 Floral tributes at Rudolph Valentino’s crypt

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Valentino Tributes…

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

 VALENTINO WEEK

Valentino Tributes

 

 

Today is the 82nd anniversary of the death of actor Rudolph Valentino. Dozens of fans will assemble at Hollywood Forever Cemetery at 12:10 pm to celebrate the memory of the man.

 

Upon the death of Rudolph Valentino, more than 100 tributes were published from the efforts of the publicity team formed by S. George Ullman and United Artists Studios. Not before or since has such an outpouring of reaction to an actor’s death been collected. All were issued within 24 hours of Valentino’s death by newspapers around the world, which chose only select ones for publication. The following are seven tributes from friends and collegues, all of whom are also interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

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NORMA TALMADGE

 

 

“Millions will mourn Rudolph Valentino but I know no spot in the world will feel his loss so keenly as here in Hollywood, where we knew and loved him.”

  

 

 

 

BEN LYON

 

 

“I am deeply shocked at his death. The motion picture industry has lost one of its most wonderful actors.”

 

 

  

 

 

 

MARION DAVIES

 

 

“The news of Rudolph Valentino’s death came as such a shock that I cannot yet believe it. I feel that with his passing the screen has lost a great actor and his associates have lost a great friend. He was a wonderful artist, a staunch friend, a fine, manly young man and a good loyal American.”

 

 

 

 

JESSE LASKY

 

 

“Please convey to Miss Negri and to Rudolph Valentino’s grieving friends my most sincere condolences. His death is an irreparable loss to screendom. His passing causes me to mourn the loss of a great artist, a true friend and an admirable man.”

 

 

 

 

ESTELLE TAYLOR

 

 

I cannot believe yet he is really gone. He was so young and strong looking. It is hard to associate him with death.”

  

 

 

 

CECIL B. DE MILLE

 

 

“In Mr. Valentino’s death we have lost a great artist. But fortunately we can look on death as progress and not as the finish.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE MATHIS

 

 

“My long association with Rudolph Valentino endeared him to me, as he has become endeared to everyone who knew him. My heart is too full of sorrow at this moment to enable me to speak coherently. I only know that his passing has left a void that nothing can ever fill and that the loss to our industry is too great to estimate at this time.”

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EMAIL: Hollywoodland23@aol.com

 

Valentino Memorial…

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

 Rudolph Valentino

 

 

May 6, 1895 – August 23, 1926

 

 

IN MEMORIAM

by Margaret Sangster

 

His feet had carried him so very swiftly,

Into the lands of wonder and romance;

And yet, although they travelled far, they never

Forgot to dance.

 

His lips had learned to speak a stranger language,

His smile had warmed the wistful, lonely earth —

Yet fame had never taken, from his spirit,

The gift of mirth!

 

Although his eyes glimpsed bitterness and sadness,

They saw a dream that few folk ever see —

God grant the dream may tinge, with lovely color,

Death’s Mystery!

Photoplay, October 1926

 

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Valentino in the Park…

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

VALENTINO WEEK

DeLongpre Park

 

 

  

 By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

Developed in 1924 for $66,000, De Longpre Park is named after painter Paul De Longpre, whose celebrated home at Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga Avenue was the first tourist attraction in Hollywood.

 

On May 5, 1930 (Valentino’s 35th birthday), at twelve o’clock in De Longpre Park, actress Dolores del Rio drew back a velvet curtain to reveal the bronze figure of a man with face uplifted.

 

 

The statue, entitled “Aspiration,” was designed by sculptor Roger Noble Burnham and was paid for with contributions from fans and admirers. The inscription reads: “Erected in the Memory of Rudolph Valentino 1895-1926. Presented by his friends and admirers from every walk of life — in all parts of the world, in appreciation of the happiness brought to them by his cinema portrayals.”

 

 

 

A week later, neighbors, who insisted that they were not consulted on the matter (and that the only statue in the park should be of De Longpre himself), made an official protest. Regardless, nothing came of the matter and the statue remained. No more was heard of the statue until a few years later when a woman named Zunilda Mancini came forward, claiming to have donated $6,900 towards the statue, which actually cost only $1,500. She sued Valentino’s former manager, George Ullman in court and was awarded the difference of $5,400.

 

“Aspiration” as it appeared in the 1930s

 

The year after the unveiling, a fourteen-year-old girl was found on a bench near the statue. Police said she had been chloroformed and most likely sexually assaulted. She died at Hollywood Hospital without regaining consciousness. Three years later, on November 1, 1934, the caretaker of the park found the lifeless body of thirty-year-old Ann Johnston in a rest room just a few feet away from “Aspiration.” Next to her was an empty poison bottle. Since she left no note, it remained unclear whether her suicide was related to Valentino or, as the police surmised, was due to a nervous breakdown she recently suffered.

 

The statue has been the object of vandalism several times over the years. On February 2, 1952, it was found broken from its base and lying on the park lawn. Taken to the city service yard for repairs, it was not returned for nearly twenty years.

 

Close-up of repairs made in the 1970s

 

In July 1979 a bronze bust of Valentino sculpted by Richard Elllis and paid for from the estate of one of his fans, was mounted on a tall, white pedestal several feet from “Aspiration.”

 

 

 

 

 Bust of Valentino that has stood in DeLongpre Park for almost thirty years

 

Shortly afterward a group of concerned neighbors initiated a campaign to revamp the neglected park. To this day, “Aspiration” is the only monument ever erected to honor an actor in Hollywood.

 

Warning: De Longpre Park is surrounded by a metal fence and locked up at night. Please take reasonable precautions when visiting.

 

 

 

If you are in the Los Angeles-Hollywood area this Saturday, August 23, be sure to drop by the Rudolph Valentino Memorial at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The service is held at the Cathedral Mausoleum and begins at 12:10 p.m. – the time of Valentino’s death in New York. Arrive early as seats go quickly. See you there.

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 EMAIL: Hollywoodland23@aol.com

 

Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service…

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

VALENTINO WEEK

The 82nd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

 

 

 

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY

6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood

Cathedral Mausoleum foyer

Saturday, August 23, 2008

12:10 pm

 

By Tracy Ryan Terhune

 

This coming Saturday – August 23, 2008 marks the date of the 82nd anniversary of the passing of Rudolph Valentino. And keeping with long time tradition, once again we will be celebrating the LIFE and legacy of Rudy in the annual Valentino Memorial Service. (Contrary to some misguided opinions we do NOT celebrate his death. Only a person who’s never attended the respectful recent memorials would think in that way.)

 

 

 

This year our key-note speaker will be Tim Considine. He himself was named a “Disney Legend” in 2006 for his classic Walt Disney television work in the Spin and Marty serials as well as the Hardy Boys and co-starring in The Shaggy Dog and much more.

 

Tim’s father was United Artist producer John W. Considine Jr. – who produced Valentino’s final two films: The Eagle (1925) and Son of the Sheik (1926). His father was, along with Charlie Chaplin, (and others) a pall bearer for Valentino’s West Coast Funeral on September 7, 1926. He will speak for the first time publicly on his father’s stories and association with Rudolph Valentino.

  

Also there will be a new introduction video on John W. Considine Jr which is being edited by Bob Birchard. Also a complete new Valentino Tribute video will be shown.

 

Legendary musician Bob Mitchell (who will turn 96 next month) will once again be on hand to both play the music and sing two Valentino related songs.

 

Much more is in the works – and I hope anyone who’s in Hollywood next Saturday will make plans to be there. 12:10 is the time it starts, which is the exact time of day that Valentino died.

 

Please note: there will be NO outdoor Valentino screening this year.

  

Tracy Ryan Terhune has been the emcee of the Valentino Memorial Service for several years and is the author of Valentino Forever: The History of the Valentino Memoral Service (2004) and Valentino The Unforgotten (2007). He is also the moderator of the Valentino Yahoo Group and has a website dedicated to the silent film actor.

 

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Rudolph Valentino’s 113th Birthday…

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Rudolph Valentino

 

 Rudolph Valentino and his wife, Natacha Rambova

 

BORN: May 6, 1895, Castellaneta, Italy
DIED: August 23, 1926, New York, New York

 

TUESDAY, May 6, is Rudolph Valentino’s 113th birthday. To celebrate you may want to pay homage to your idol this week at the following five Valentino places of interest.

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1. Walk of Fame Star, 6164 Hollywood Boulevard, south side between Argyle and El Centro Avenue.

 

 

Rudolph Valentino’s star on the “Walk of Fame” was one of the original 1,500 installed in 1959. The spot where his Star is located was at one time the front entrance to the Hastings Hotel (formerly the Regent), built in 1925 by producer Al Christie on land where, many years earlier, he had filmed one of the first movies made in Hollywood. The hotel was badly damaged in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and was demolished. The site is now a parking lot used for the Pantages Theatre and nearby subway.

 

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 2. Hollywood High School Mural, southeast corner of Orange Street and Hawthorn Avenue.

 

 

 

Located on the west side of Hollywood High School (1521 North Highland Avenue) is a large mural of Valentino in profile as The Sheik in full headdress blowing in the wind. Until the 1930s, the Hollywood High School athletic teams were known as The Crimson (in emulation of Harvard). It was around this time that a newspaper journalist wrote an article about one of the school’s teams and nicknamed them The Sheiks after “the brave warrior-lover hero in the Rodolf [sic] Valentino film classic of the 1920s.” After the article was printed, the school adopted the name, and they have remained “the Sheiks of Hollywood High” ever since. To view the mural travel south on Orange Street from Hollywood Boulevard. The mural is just past Hawthorn Avenue and overlooks the school’s football field.

 

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 3. De Longpre Park, south side of De Longpre Avenue between Cherokee Avenue and June Street.

 

Statue of Aspiration at De Longpre Park

  

Developed in 1924 for $66,000, De Longpre Park is named after painter Paul De Longpre, whose celebrated home at Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga Avenue was the first tourist attraction in Hollywood. On May 5, 1930 (Valentino’s 35th birthday), at twelve o’clock in De Longpre Park, actress Dolores del Rio drew back a velvet curtain to reveal the bronze figure of a man with face uplifted. The statue, entitled “Aspiration,” was designed by sculptor Roger Noble Burham and was paid for with contributions from fans and admirers. The inscription reads: “Erected in the Memory of Rudolph Valentino 1895 – 1926. Presented by his friends and admirers from every walk of life — in all parts of the world, in appreciation of the happiness brought to them by his cinema portrayals.”

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 4. Lasky-De Mille Barn, 2100 Highland Avenue (across from the Hollywood Bowl).

 

 

The Lasky-De Mille Barn is presently home to the Hollywood Heritage Museum. At one time this simple wood-frame structure was part of Famous Players-Lasky’s studio, and stood on the southeast corner of Vine Street and Selma Avenue. Built in 1895, the barn was where The Squaw Man (1914), the first full-length motion picture filmed in Hollywood by Cecil B. De Mille, was shot. Valentino would certainly have used this building at different times during his tenure at the studio. There are also Valentino artifacts on display in the museum courtesy of Valentino collectors, Tracy Ryan Terhune and Stella Grace. For information on visiting the barn and museum, call (323) 874-2276 or (323) 874-4005.

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5. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, south side between Gower Street and Van Ness Avenue.

 

Rudolph Valentino\'s crypt

 

Founded in 1899, the former Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery is the final resting place of Rudolph Valentino. It is also the site of the annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service held each year on August 23 at 12:10 P.M., the time of his death in New York. Valentino’s crypt, borrowed from his friend June Mathis who is lying in the crypt next to his, is located in the Cathedral Mausoleum, Crypt 1205. As you enter the mausoleum, walk to the back and take the last corridor to the left. Follow that to the end and make a right and walk toward the stained glass window. Valentino’s crypt is the last one on the left at eye level.