1922 – Juan Duval and Rudolph Valentino

In 1897, Juan Xicart Bellavista was born in Spain and became a well-known Hollywood entertainer who held many roles such as: screen writer, tango, flamengo, apache dancer and actor.  At the age of 22, Mr. Bellavista immigrated to this country, where he changed his name to Juan Duval and the rest was Hollywood history.  Mr. Duval started his career as a fight choreographer hired by Metro to help Rudolph Valentino, for a movie scene in “Blood and Sand”.  Then in the late 1920’s Mr. Duval toured the Vaudeville circuit with the Richards twins with skits that featured dancing and music.  During one skit called “The Cave of Sorrows”, Mr. Duval would dance Apache.


From there Mr. Duval made local headlines when he joined the Hollywood Studios of Stage, Arts and Music as a Tango dance instructor.


On Oct 1941, Mr. Duval opened a successful Spanish dance studio located at 2209 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco.  In 1942 Mr. Duval became an American citizen.  On Apr 1954, Juan Duval died and is buried at L.A. National Veterans Cemetery. Mr. Duval was serving in the Army, during WWI fighting in North Africa.  In 1958, Mr. Duval’s wife filed a lawsuit on behalf of her late husband concerning the 1956, Academy Award winning movie “The Brave One”.  Mrs. Duval believed her late husband who was a writer for this movie filed both a breach of contract and copyright lawsuit.   The story goes Juan Duval wrote the original screen play and died before film production started. Seems the King Brothers and Dalton Trumbo took credit and got the oscar.  Of interest Dalton Trumbo was a blacklisted writer and one of the Hollywood 10 during the communistic period. To this day, google searches show Juan Duval’s family are still bitter about the fact their father never received the movie credit and Oscar he deserved.  There is not allot of facts that show Mr. Duval and Rudolph Valentino were friends of any kind.

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