21 Sep 1957 – George Raft on Rudolph Valentino

One of the few souvenirs, I have left is a huge photograph of a dark, sultry young man with sleek black hair and most people say, “Why thats Rudolph Valentino. Did you know him”? Yes, I knew him intimately. We were ballroom gigolos together. But that man in the photo is not Valentino. Its me made up and photographed to look like Valentino. When Rudy died so tragically, the promoters were knocking on my door an hour after the funeral saying. “Here’s your chance Georgie. Your a dead ringer for Rudy and you can step right into his shoes”. They dressed me in a Gaucho costume and they took pictures. One enterprising theater man offered me $1500 a week if I’d work up an act with Jean Acker, Valentino’s first wife. I said the hell with it. But I keep the photograph on my bedroom wall just to remind me that no man can step into another’s shoes on resemblance alone.

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