23 Aug 1926 – Death comes to Rudolph Valentino

As it must to all men, death came to Rudolph Valentino, sheik. Sitting in his apartment at the Hotel Ambassador, Manhattan last week, he suddenly clapped a hand to his side, fainted.  Taken to the Polyclinic Hospital, he was operated on for appendicitis gastric ulcers. Over the wires of the world buzzed the news. At the hospital door bushels of flowers arrived. Two extra operators were detailed to the telephone switchboard to answer calls concerning Mr. Valentino (when a rumor that he was dead circulated, the calls came at the rate of 2,000 an hour). A maid delivered an Irish linen bed spread and pillow case marked “Rudy” with a card from Jean Acker.  From Paris, came a message “Pray God night and day for your recovery”signed Winifred Hudnut. “This is Pola Negri in California said a brittle voice on the telephone, “How is Mr. Valentino”? Thousands, hundreds of thousands of women everywhere were asking “How is Mr. Valentino”? Mr. Valentino developed pleurisy. He was worse, said one of the telephone girls. Then a blood transfusion was performed. He was resting, sleeping. As dawn came, he awoke seemed restless. At last a scrawled note was laid before the switchboard operators.  One Lucy Vanderbilt broke down sobbing into her instrument “he’s dead, Rudy’s dead”. Traffic was choked with thousands as his body was taken to the undertakers. The corpse of Rudolph Valentino adequately educated, never actually in want, he roved from one occupation to another until fame and wealth came to him as Julio of “The Four Horsemen” When he died he was insured in favor of his producer Mr. Joseph Schenck for $1,000,000.

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