Monthly Archives: June 2019

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24 Jan 1929 -Richard Hudnut Estate Left to his Wife

Richard Hudnut perfume mogul and a former father-in-law to Rudolph Valentino left his entire estate to his wife with the exception of $4000 bequest according to the terms of his will.  Mr. Hudnut claimed Foxlair Camp as his legal residence.  The will was filed by the National City Bank, New York with Mrs. Hudnut and their stepdaughter Natacha Rambova as executors.  The petition gives value of the real estate as $10,000 and personal property $50,000, but it is understood the estate is actually many times over these figures.  The will first provides Woodlawn Cemetery Inc of Bronx County shall be given the Hudnut burial lot and $4000.  Mr. Hudnut’s first wife is buried there and the will provides that plots shall be provided for other relatives.  The remainder of the estate is given to his present wife.  The will provided in the event she died before him for $110,000 in specific bequests to nephews, grandnephews and friends leaving the residue of the estate to Miss Rambova.  The will states that “for reasons I deem sufficient I have omitted from the provisions of this will” Frank Hudnut (Half-brother), Maude Louis Chaplin (Half-sister), Eugene Beals (Son of the first marriage).  Mr. Hudnut had previously given large considerable amounts of money to Mrs Beals the will said.

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1922 Hudnut Summer Home, Foxlair, North Creek, NY

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Richard Hudnut, entrepreneur and New York City businessman, often visited the Adirondacks with his family. In 1890, he discovered the Oregon valley in the Town of Johnsburg in Warren County, and by the turn of the century had purchased 1,200 acres of land there. Although it took him 10 years to acquire the estate it was the ultimate summer home. Foxlair was located near North Creek, NY in the Adirondack’s. The main house was 270 foot long and was three stories high with a huge double staircase and a veranda across the front.  Foxlair was fashioned in a French Chateau style that was favored by Richard Hudnut and was furnished with European furniture.  One of Richard Hudnuts trusted employees Thomas Thornloe was superintendent for the estate as well as over 40 servants on staff, a 9-hole golf course along the valley and a host of barns for carriages and animals. The estate also had a Japanese Teahouse and a nature house built near the river.  There was also a large aviary to grace the porch. Every summer during the afternoons, dancing pigeons put on a show for the famous guests who came from around the world to enjoy the great outdoors and the legendary Hudnut hospitality. In 1922, his adopted daughter Natacha Rambova went to Foxlair in seclusion during her future husband’s ongoing legal battle over his movie contract with Famous Players-Lasky.

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This was a family residence until 1938. After Richard Hudnuts death the estate was endowed to the Police Athletic League of NYC as a summer camp for boys. In 1970’s, Foxlair was burned to the ground IAW the Adirondack Park Agencies Master Land Use and Development Plan which required all state land to be kept in a natural state. There are still remnants of the stone foundation to be found and overgrown stone stairways.

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1 Jul 1921 – Screen Scribbles

Speaking of screen premiers in Los Angeles, the opening performance of the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” was an affair of importance. All the principal players from the cast were there, including Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry, Derek Ghent and Virginia Warwick. The tango was to have been danced by Rudolph Valentino and Beatriz Dominguez who played the Argentinian dancer in the picture, but she, poor girl, passed away following an operation for appendicitis a few days before the picture was shown. The presentation was somewhat marred by the introductory remarks of a gentleman from Brazil, who although an American, had a limited vocabulary, and a distressing originality of pronunciation. “My friends” he began, “we are about to witness the great dramatically spectacular “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse the –“business of consulting the program) the Apoc-al-ypse–..A titter from the audience checked him and he tried it again. After the roar of laughter had subsided he let the matter of pronunciation go hang, and contented himself with referring to the feature as the greatest “dramatically spectacular”.
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31Oct 1939 – Marian Adored Valentino

“My girl Marian was nuts about Rudolph Valentino, judge” and as simple an explanation, as that got Benjamin Platt, 29, slim and bespectacled, out of jail and earned him the promise of a wedding present.  Of course, Marian remained in a hospital under treatment for painful burns but otherwise, Benjamins explanation seemed to liquidate a jam which Marians admiration for the late film star got him into.  It began one night, when Benjamin and Marian went to a movie and saw portions of Valentino in a news reel.  Marian has a collection of souvenirs of Valentino.  “Benjamin” Marian sighed “I’d dearly love to own that film”. Thus spurred Benjamin into action. He pried his way into the theatre projection booth and confiscated the film.  He sped to his love, who awaited him in the basement of his home. There they trimmed the Valentino sequence and hurled the remainder of the coiling into the furnace.  Flames leaped from the furnace door. The precious strip of film which portrayed the star of “The Sheik” went up in flames and Marian fell screaming.  Marian was taken to the hospital and Benjamin was taken to jail. He earnestly told his story to Judge Gibson Gorman, in felony court.  When he finished the judge smiled and placed him on probation.  Up stepped the complainant, Thomas Murray, theater manager.  “For your wedding present, I will give you a copy of the Rudolph Valentino film. I hope it will bring you happiness
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21 June 1917 – Theodore Kostloff in CA

Theodore Kosloff. a graduate dancer from Petrograd and Moscow imperial ballet schools, formerly a member of Serge de Daighlleff’s famous Ballet Russq and latterly at the head of a miniature Ballet Kusse which came to Los Angelos last winter on the Orpheum circuit, has become so enamored of California and the movies that he has Joined the local colony of artists. He is working in conjunction with Cecil de Mille at the Lasky studios at Hollywood.  Vera Fredowa, Natacha Rambova, Alexandre Ivanoff and other dancers of the Russian group seen here last winter also have taken quarters in this city on St. Paul street.

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“My tenacity was bred of necessity. I was determined never to return to dancing”. – Rudolph Valentino

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7 Jun 1925 – Mrs. Valentino

Mrs. Valentino busily supervising the presentation of a most beautiful setting, was very gracious when asked to pose. The classic nose, indicates an inquiring turn of mind, according to the artist. The lines below her heart are  cubist designs for curls, we guess. Otherwise, quien sabe?

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17 Jun 1928 – Never Heard of Him

A garden has been opened on the roof of the Italian Hospital in London celebration of the birthday of Rudolph Valentino.  The garden has been provided by the Valentino Association. The matron of the hospital had not heard of Valentino until recently.

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9 Mar 1926 – Barbara LaMarr Gave Fortune to Charity

Barbara La Marr, one of the highest paid screen stars in moviedom until her recent fatal illness, left an estate appraised at less than $10,000, according to her father William M. Watson.  Although she was making more than $10,000 monthly when she was stricken on the set during the filming of her last picture, Miss La Marr died comparatively penniless, having given her thousands to charity.  ‘Barbara derived her greatest pleasure in lavishing her wealth on others and watching the fruits of her charity’ the aged father appointed executor of the estate, declared in an interview.  ‘She gave away more money than she ever spent on herself.  She spent thousands of dollars every month towards orphanages, hospitals and film struck girls in need of financial assistance.  Hundred benefited regularly by her benevolence. ‘Since her death, we have had visits from more than a score of prominent actresses who came to tell us how Barbara gave them money.’  The movie industry gave more than $1,000,000 to Barbara La Marr.  ‘She received $10,000 for her first six scenarios, which she dictated to me while I typed,’ said Watson.

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June Mathis as an extra on set of The Four Horsemen.

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2019 – New Rudolph Valentino Book Published

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Ms. Donna HIll has just published an updated version of her fabulous book on Rudolph Valentino the Silent Idol.  This new edition is available for sale on lulu.com for $35.00.  I bought my copy and for this price and new pictures, its a must for any Rudolph Valentino fan.  Congratulations to Ms. Hill…

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Jun 1923 – Rudy Won’t Dance for Hollywood

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