4 Jun 1944 – Search for Valentino Successor Is Extended to Ft Bliss Sergeant

Hollywood’s search for a new male star to play the role of Rudolph Valentino matinee idol of the 1920’s reached out to Ft Bliss, Texas today where an Army private recommended his First Sergeant.  He is handsome the Soldier wrote and has a pair of eyes that are attractive enough to bring Betty Grable to this command.  Enclosed in the letter was a photograph one of more than 20,000 which have poured into the United Artists Office in New York since The Are You A Second Valentino Contest opened 1 April.  Many letters come from wives, who coyly insist their husbands are “the great lover of the century” or “a real swooning type and I should know”.  Men who write to suggest themselves are somewhat, more modest, qualifying their boasts of star material with such phrases as “of course, you would have to fix my nose? Or “I have no real sex experience, but I can learn”.  There are also please from young boys who insist Valentino should be shown as he looked in his teens and add each is the very to handle the role.  “My teacher said I could act good when I played the role of Old King Cole five years ago in grammar school” said one budding actor 19 years old.  A 15-year-old Chicago boy said bashfully that he knew he wasn’t the great lover type, but he would do his best, and the mother of a 17-year-old lad wrote that year son was young but very slick.  A policeman in Jacksonville, Florida asked for a chance to be a Valentino the Second and a Japanese girl wrote her brother now training to be a minister would be a great choice.  The judges – Mary Pickford, Edward Small, Gregory Ratoff, and Pola Negri will choose four winners who will be given $500 war bonds, trips to Hollywood and screen tests. The contest closes 15 June.

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