Rodolfo Pietro Filiberto Raffaello Guglielmi was bom in the village of Castellanola in the deep south of Italy. When he was still a youngster, Rodolfo whose father was a veterinarian emigrated to the United States. The poor Italian immigrant grew up and became Rudolph Valentino, the handsome idol of the silent screen whose romantic style enraptured American womanhood. Despite his fame in the United States, Valentino was virtually an unknown in his homeland. Very few people remembered young Rodolfo Guglielmi or connected him with Rudolph Valentino for many years. And it was even a longer time before he became famous in Castellaneta mainly because there was no movie house in Valentino’s home town until 10 years after he died. Valentino is causing more of a stir in Italy now than he ever did when he was alive. The trouble started last year when the village of Castellaneta’ decided to pay tribute to its native son. The town fathers decided to erect a statue in Valentino’s honor with money that the critics said should have been used to clothe the village’s poverty-strick children. The dedication ceremonies took place Sept. 20. There was a banquet, receptions, speeches and. of course, the unveiling of a six-foot statue showing Valentino as “The Son of the Sheik.” On hand were government officials, movie personalities and a host of reporters and photographers. But the extravagance of the affair resulted in a storm of protest in the Italian press. Typical of what was published was an article by Rome’s “II Messaggero,” ! one of the most respected newspapers in the country. Totals Up Costs The newspaper said the poor village could have done without the monument. It totaled up the cost of the statue, the receptions, the banquets and noted that most of the hotels were taken over by the government to house the “personalities” who took part. “This belated honoring of Rudolph Valentino represented a hard blow to the treasury of Castellaneta,” the newspaper said. “With the money for the banquet and the receptions, they could have bought shoes for the poorest children. With the money for the monument they could have built some public utility, which certainly would have been more useful than a monument. . .and particularly in a country where the people have enough to do to live, let alone find enough time to honor their saints.” This and similar articles apparently made an impression with the Italian government. A spokesman said today the monument was aimed at representing all tha emigrants who left Italy during hard times, rather than for Valentino himself. , “He was for the emigrants a symbol of success,” the government spokesman said. He also claimed that the expenditures for the statue and celebrations were “minimal ” and that the area was ‘ not as poor as the newspapers has led the public to believe.
Rudolph Valentino “lover of the .screen,’’ shortly after 10 o’clock today pushed his way through crowds of women into the court of Justice J. Walter Hanby for his preliminary hearing on a charge of bigamy. Long before the handteome young Italian, actor, his dark eyes glowing his black hair slicked tightly to his head made his appearance, the courtroom was crowded wi ii a chattering throng, largely composed of women from young high school girls to elderly matrons. Valentino, dressed in immaculate black, with a few vigorous strides as though crossing the camera’s lens, entered the courtroom and
slipped *into a chair. He appeared excited and ill at ease, looking at no one, and saying nothing as he did at his arraignment. He sat without smiling, chewing one finger of his right hand as he waited, attorneys, and film friends grouped about him, for the call of the bailiff. The courtroom hushed as Valentino entered and one girl dropped her knitting. Several consulted motion picture magazines, comparing the screen star with his pictures. Without moving from his place Valentino allowed several pictures to be taken by newspaper photographers. Deputy District Attorney J. D. Costello, briefly outlined the case and called the first witness, Jean Acker, first wife of the defendant, to the stand. Valentino did not look at her, a vision in creamy silk, but the expression of his eyes seemed to say that his thoughts were a continent away with Winifred Hudnut, his exiled bride who has sought refuge with her stepfather, Richard Hudnut, in New York. Costello at once began the examination, and Miss Acker, answering in soft tones, told him. she had been married to Valentino June 5, 1919, how they quarreled and separated, became reconcile 1 and quarreled again, and how sh? sued for divorce. Papers to show an interlocutory decree of divorce had been granted March 4, 1922, were introduced. Spectators leaned forward to see when photographed copies of the marniage license of “Rudolph Valentino and Winifred De Wolfe” was introduced as the first peiise premise in the state’s effort to prove its bigamy charge. The record showed that the wedding was performed in Mexicali, Mex., May 13, 1922, by Civil Judge Tolentini Santoval. At this point, the justice abruptly called the morning recess and the crowd surged round Valentino as he rose and shook hands with Miss Acker, conversing with animation for the first time. Miss Acker smiled, addressing him as “Rudolph.”
Millions of Rudolph Valentino fans were shocked when his manager George Ullman admitted, during a law suit that he had hired 40 press agents and 1500 policemen to dramatize the star’s funeral.
Held as Fugitive Michael B. Mindlin, 40, of – 403 Ocean Point, Cedarhur , L. L, was held on $12,000 bail when arraigned in West Side Court, Manhattan, as a fugitive from Chicago, Illinois where he is sought on a warrant charging he misappropriated $2,600 he is said to have collected for the Chicago Valentino Memorial Club. Mindlin denied the charge and said he will fight extradition.
A cat may look at the Queen but a little chorus girl even though she may be one of Ziegfeld’s most glorified may not publicly make indiscreet remarks about a great movie star. This Marion Kay Benda, one of the follies beauties, discovered when, in an interview given immediately after the death of Rudolph Valentino she said “He was not engaged to marry Miss Negri, you’ll notice all the statements have come from her. He never denied any of them because he was too fine. He did think a great deal of her, but he had absolutely no intention of marrying her. I know. He often, in my presence, refused to speak to her on long distance telephone calls. “No one knew him as I did. He was the most wonderful person I have ever known. I can’t believe that he is dead. He was so fine, so wonderful, so sincere, and I know he liked me very much. He couldn’t stand “rounder’s” and his ideals were of the highest. In every sense of the word he was an artist.” A rumor was circulating at that time that Miss Benda and Valentino were secretly married a few weeks before, this the show girl denied. “Oh those things always are said” she complained. “People cannot understand being simply good friends. I’ve known Mr. Valentino for four weeks and I saw him a great deal. Often we hired a cab and drove through Central Park after the show and then there were early morning walks and talks.” It was in the company of Miss Benda that Valentino attended his last social evening. The two of them, accompanied by Buzz Warburton, jr. went to Texas Guinn’s Night Club on the evening preceding the star’s fatal operation. During Valentino’s illness there was a long procession of greater and lesser lights of the theatrical world calling at the hospital and leaving flowers, but all visitors were denied admittance to the sickroom. And it wasn’t of his companions in the night clubs and after-theater suppers that Rudolph spoke when he was strong enough to talk but of his friends in the movie world. Welcome enough, then, were the tempestuous Polish star’s long-distance telephone calls. The little chorus girl who believes that “no one knew him as I knew him” was evidently quite forgotten. Her change as a protégé of the famous sheik had been snatched from her, and the limelight of public interest shone on her only for a moment and then promptly turned in another direction. Stars in the movie world are the “clannish” on earth. They have their scraps and jealousies, rivalries and revenges in private life, just like other folks, but it is an unwritten law that those shall never be divulged for publication. One great consolation Miss Negri has, and that is that it was her image which floated across the mind of Valentino the last moment before he lost conscious contact with life. Dawn was just breaking in the sky when Dr. Meeker noticed that his patient was trying to say something. After a night of agony he was too weak to raise his voice above a whisper. The doctor placed his ear near the dying star’s lips and just managed to catch the words “Pola, Pola” if she does not come in time…tell her I think of her. Those were the last words Valentino uttered in English. From that time on, until he passed away at midday, delirium and coma alternated, and all the incoherent remarks which passed his lips were in the old mother tongue. This message was relayed by Dr. Meeker to Mary Pickford and from her to Norma Talmadge. The Polish actress received it in the Campbell undertaking rooms at the funeral of Valentino began. There was so much talk about whether Pola and Rudy were or were not engaged that finally the star herself denied it. “We were not formally betrothed,” she gave out the statement while enroute to Hollywood on the funeral train. “Rudy never believed in formal engagements neither do I”. “The reason the betrothal was never announced was that Rudy thought such an arrangement appeared too businesslike a proposition, and I agreed with him.” We frequently discussed our marriage plans for next April, and our closest friends knew of them. We thought our private lives belonged to us, and we did not want to make publicity of it. In a very clever composition contained in a book of poems in verse and prose which the late star published two years ago, he expressed a pessimistic viewpoint towards romance. Under the title “The Kaleidoscope of Love Synonyms and Antonyms,” he describes its birth, rise, fall, and disintegration. Is analysis runs as follows:
A-Adoration, Anticipation, Affinity, Arguments
B-Beauty, Bliss, Bitterness, Bondage
C-Caresses, Circumstances, Confidence, Charm
D-Desire, Delusion, Dreams, Divorce
E-Ecstasy, Engagement, Ego, End
F-Fascination, Forgetfulness, Flatter, Faith
G-Gossip, Gratitude, Gifts, Goodbye
H-Happiness, Honor, Heartache, Hell
I-Intuition, Irony, Idolatry, Integrity
J-Jealousy, Joy, Justice, June
K-Kisses, Keepsakes, Knowledge, Kismet
L-Lips, Loneliness, Logic, Longing
M-Marriage, Morality, Money, Man
N-No, Nearest, Novelty. Never
O-Opposition, Own, Offering, Opulence
P-Passion, Promise, Pride, Proposal
Q-Quality, Quest, Queries, Quarrels
R-Romance, Reveries, Realization, Remembrance
S-Sympathy, Sacrifice, Shame, Settlement
T-Thoughts, Truth, Temper, Tears
U-Unkindness, Understanding, Uncertainty, Unfaithfulness
V-Virtue, Vanity, Vows, Vengeance
W- Wisdom, Wishes, Wedlock, Woman
X-The unknown love
Y-Youth, Yearning, Yes, Yawn
Z=Zenith, Zest, Zeal, Zero
So he described in 26 versions the span between the alpha and the omega of the little game of love. In real life, Valentino was as much the great lover as he was on the screen, but he failed to domineer over the ladies he wooed and won without the air of the scenario writer to chasten their independence of spirit. Jean Acker, his first wife, went “on the road” in vaudeville very shortly after their marriage, and it was not until a few weeks before the star’s death that they were reconciled. Natacha Rambova, her successor, also insisted on putting her career first, and, in spite of many reported attempts to adjust matters, this marriage too went on the rocks. Had Valentino Married Pola, would their union have been any more permanent? At the time the exotic Natacha Rambova left her famous husband, ostensibly on a “vacation from matrimony” she was asked if a divorce were in the offering. “I don’t know,” she answered. “There will simply have to be some sort of adjustment. And frankly I haven’t the least idea how we can arrange matters so that we can live together without constant irritation cropping up. “My husband wants me to give up work and devote myself to the home. If I did that, what should I do with all my idle hours?” We have servants who are much more capable of running the house than I am. I have always worked all my life I have had the urge to create. I cannot give this up it is part of myself”. So Natacha Rambova sailed to Paris. At the finish of his picture Valentino came to New York. He as was his habit, refused to commit himself beyond giving more or less of a repetition of what his beautiful wife had said. He was seen a lot in the company of Mae Murray, who had just returned from Paris, where she had obtained a divorce from Bob Leonard, the Broadway matchmakers got busy, but both denied any romantic attachment. Miss Murray intimated that reconciliation with her former husband might be possible; Valentino was less frank, but those who looked wisely declared that the Valentino-Rambova frayed romance was on the verge of a renaissance. As things turned out, the little follies girl was quite correct in her statement that Rudy and Pola were not engaged. However, she spoke out of her turn and was set down.