1951 Real Rudolph Valentino As His Close Friends Knew Him

He was nice enough to the people he knew and liked, but when he didn’t like someone watch out. For example, one of those he didn’t like was noted press agent, Harry Reichenbach a dynamic man who was doing some special publicity work on Valentino. Once the actor was making up for a scene. As usual, his valet, Chris, knelt before him with the makeup kit open. Reichenbach bustled up, placed his hand on Valentino’s shoulder and started talking. “Screen me in”, Valentino ordered to Chris. Reichenbach watched open-mouthed as the valet placed a screen around the disdainful Valentino. “He wasn’t a woman chaser” said Dev Jennings who photographed Valentino in “The Cobra”. And is still a cameraman at Paramount. “When I knew him he was very much in love with his wife Natacha Rambova and was very jealous of her. “Rudy lived very quietly and did not get involved with the wild Hollywood crowd. He would have just a few friends up to his home in the Hollywood Hills. He seldom went to big parties. “He had a great love of Italian cooking and loved garlic. He used to have Italian food in his dressing room at lunch time. That was hard on his leading ladies, and Nita Naldi said she was going to chew garlic for revenge”. “Rudy’s hobbies were riding, fencing, and boxing. Another Valentino hobby was hunting, and he often went on mountain trips with fellow star Stuart Holmes. Holmes now a movie bit player, declares that “whatever he did, he did with all his heart”. He added that Valentino had a passion for foreign cars, but was a conservative spender. “He was always sincere in his work” Holmes said. He remembered once when Valentino wanted to wear a grey derby in a movie scene, but the director said no. the star held up the picture until he got his way. Concerning Valentino’s romantic abilities, Holmes commented, “I never saw him break his neck over any woman”. But the legend of Valentino the lover still prevails after 25 years and will no doubt grow in the next 25.

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