1916-1926 Rudolph Valentino’s Friend Norm Kerry


Born in 1889, in Rochester, NY. Norm Kerry was of German descent whose original name was Arnold Kaiser. Norm Kerry lived life to the fullest. Norm worked various trades such as a leather-good salesman, theatrical agent and eventually a silent film star. He was married four times; he was an adventurer, art collector, a heavy drinker and a popular leading man in silent films to famous leading ladies such as Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, Bebe Daniels, Mildred Harris, ZaSu Pitts and Corrine Griffith.  Norm Kerry was never able to make the transition to sound films. It is noted that Norm Kerry was many things but one thing he is noted for was being a close friend to another equally famous silent film star Rudolph Valentino.  In 1916, in New York, Norm Kerry met Rudolph Valentino while Rudolph was selling Liberty Bonds.  In 1917, Norm Kerry ran into Rudolph Valentino while Norm was filming the movie “The Little Princess” with Mary Pickford in San Francisco while Rudolph was touring with the cast of the play “The Masked Model” which ran for two weeks at the Cort Theater.  Norm convinced his friend to come with him to Los Angeles to try his luck in the film industry. So in the late fall of 1917, Norm Kerry and Rudolph Valentino boarded a train and traveled west to Los Angeles where Norm became both mentor and roommate.  Initially, both Norm and Rudolph stayed at the Alexandria Hotel, Los Angeles, CA where Norm already had a room so it was convenient for both to become roommates while Rudolph Valentino tried his luck in motion pictures. Norm Kerry helped his friend out financially because that was the type of person Norm was. Little known fact is that both Rudolph Valentino and Norm Kerry attended flight school together. Natacha Rambova who was Rudolph Valentino’s second wife described Norm Kerry as her husband’s very good friend. Norm Kerry played an important role in his friend’s life and it was through his encouragement the world knows of the talent of his friend Rudolph Valentino. Norm Kerry died in Los Angeles from a liver ailment on 12 Jan 1956.


The life and Death of Rudolph Valentino: Dark Lover by Emily Leider

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One thought on “1916-1926 Rudolph Valentino’s Friend Norm Kerry

  1. Marcia Thelemaque

    It’s nice to know that Rudy had such a good friend. Norm Kerry encouraged Rudy to take a chance on the film industry and through his encouragement, the world was able to enjoy Rudy’s talent. Thank you Norm!

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