On 23 Aug 1926, 93 years ago, Rudolph Valentino, silent film star died, and it seemed the world was less brighter without his presence. His funeral was on a grand scale, the likes of which Hollywood had not seen. There were mourners of all ages, men and women who came together to say farewell to someone they had seen on the movie screen and felt an affinity to. For women, it meant an end of their dreams of faraway places to be swept away by a handsome sheik on a white horse that would rescue them from their drab and dreary lives. For men, they emulated him by changing their grooming standards and appearance trying to act like their idol. Movie studios trying to find a successor and their reality is there is only one Rudolph Valentino and no amount of trying will come up with a replacement.
As the years pass, new generations of fans have come forward and discovered what previous fans have. These fans have a thirst for knowledge of any kind to satisfy a hunger or a need of a information on who was Rudolph Valentino? He was more than just a mere presence on the movie screen. The fans knew he was tall, slim, handsome, athletic build, and mesmerizing. But what was he like in person or what did he sound like? There are no known voice recordings except a lone music record and the lasting impression he left with friends, wives, colleagues, family, autograph seekers, or those who had a personal encounter. was one of what a gentleman he was, how kind he was, shy, a good dancer, serious actor, loyal and loving. Who would not want to be around such a man? We all would even then or now. What would it have been like to see his movie on the big screen for the first time or take a trip to “Old Hollywood” to see what true movie stars were like or excitement of knowing how near we would be to his his location. A chance to see him just for a glimpse or a word. What about hearing him on the wireless and knowing how he truly sound back then. Ah we can only dream.
The 21st Century allows Rudolph Valentino fans to watch a movie of his anytime. Online shopping for a book, a souvenir, or read blogs, social media groups dedicated to him. Generations of new fans appreciate his acting skills and for the man he truly was. Discussions centered around his personal life, the pain he felt when his love was not returned, dreams of a having his own children left unfulfilled and reality of a movie career slowly fading away. Questions and more questions.
Every year, a global community of Valentino fans come together on 23rd of August, to mourn him all over again. Because the only people that appreciate Rudolph Valentino is his descendants and his true legion of fans. May we always remember a man who wanted to give his very best and live a life full of love. May we never forget.