1921 – Patsy Ruth Miller A former co-star of Rudolph Valentino’s

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Patsy Ruth Miller (January 17, 1904 – July 16, 1995) was an American film actress who was discovered by the actress Alla Nazimova at a Hollywood party, Patsy Ruth Miller got her first break with a small role in Camille, which starred Rudolph Valentino. Miller’s first billed part was in Alla Nazimova’s “Camille” (1921). Prior to beginning work on the movie, she became close friends with Nazimova and spent quite a bit of time at her house. Valentino, prior to his sudden rise to stardom, was also to be in the picture and spent quite a bit of time there, too. Miller and Valentino spent many hours in Nazimova’s pool swimming, but nothing romantic ever developed between the two of them. Miller was 17, and Valentino was 26.

“One evening when Nazimova was entertaining for dinner, Valentino, Miller and several other guests were there. According to Miller, Valentino began a story that told “something about a ballerina, something about being left waiting at the boat. . .” However, before Valentino progressed very far into the story, Nazimova spoke to him in Italian. Valentino said, “Oh, scusi,” and the story came to an abrupt end. Miller felt the story had been halted due to her young age, and she protested to Nazimova but to no avail. Sometime after World War II, Miller said she assisted in carrying foodstuffs to Scotland where there was still a shortage of many food items. She was invited to tea by a friend, and they were served by the maid, “a gaunt, middle-aged woman who looked more Slavic than Scottish. . .”At one point when the maid left the room, the hostess asked Miller if she remembered a cinema star named Valentino. Without revealing her personal contact with Valentino in those early years, Miller simply replied, “Yes.” “Well,”the hostess said, “she knew him personally,” referring to the maid. When the hostess left the house for her weekly ration of gasoline, Miller said she commented to the somewhat unfriendly maid, “I understand you knew Rudolph Valentino.” At first, when Miller said she knew him, too, the maid appeared uninterested. However, Miller added that she had appeared in a movie with him once. At that point, the maid’s demeanor changed. She became more friendly toward Miller and confessed she had known Valentino once, too. When Miller asked the maid to tell her about it, she began her story. She was Polish, she said, and a great ballerina before the First World War. She studied in Russia and danced before many of the crowned heads of Europe. One of her admirers was a German prince for whom she became somewhat of a spy sending him information as she traveled the continent. When in Milano, Italy, she said she unexpectedly fell in love with a young student who was much younger than her. Although she was being unfaithful to her German Prince, although the affair had become a scandal, and although his family was terribly upset, she said they could not help their love. When she left Italy, the young man followed her. For six months they were together during which time she taught him to dance, very easily, by the way, since he was so talented. While in Paris, she received word from her German Prince that the French knew of her spying. She decided the safest place for her would be in America, so she obtained the necessary papers and sent her young lover on ahead to make sure all arrangements were made for their trip. Suddenly, all of her plans fell through. The police came and took her papers and passport away. It was only through the help of a former lover that she was able to escape to Spain. She had no way of contacting her young lover, and she said she somehow knew that he would go on to America without her and not miss this chance. During the war she had to sell all her valuables, but, nevertheless, she did survive with the help of an admiring Spaniard. Seven years later, the maid said, she saw her young lover on the screen and knew he had met with success. She said she never made any attempt to contact him”..

Reference:

My Hollywood, When Both Of Us Were Young, The Memories of Patsy Ruth Miller by Patsy Ruth Miller, O’Raghailligh Ltd., 1988

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