1923- Excerpt from “Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary”

Now for a choice bit of scandal. You remember I told you that Valentino had picked Vilma Banky as his leading lady. Well, it seems they are going around together quite a bit. Last night Rudy took Vilma to the preview. Everybody was astonished at this. After the preview, the party I was with and myself walked around the piers and didn’t go home right away. Quite some time later we went home, and we rode behind Valentino’s car—and Vilma was with him. This morning, the whole studio was talking about it and the papers carried a big story regarding it too. Mr. Goldwyn asked me to get Vilma to come over to see him—I located her in Valentino’s bungalow! She came over and I kidded her a bit before she went in. I heard Goldwyn tell her that she must not do anything that will in any way ruin her reputation, etc. etc. When she came out, she gave me a wicked wink and said in her charming broken english, “Before, Marion Davies everyone else say look at me unt zay nozzing,” (with this she raised her head, lifted her shoulders, and turned her nose up indicating that they all more or less snubbed her). “Last night, Marion Davies zay ‘Hello Vilma’ so I will go wid Valentino—eh?”It didn’t take her long to catch on and with of all men who was supposed to be so attached to his wife. However, I can hardly blame him because she is very pretty, whereas Natasha is anything but good looking. Valentino is going to be in N.Y. for the opening of “The Eagle” and Mr. Schenck wired Goldwyn to have Vilma come to N.Y. and also make a personal appearance with Valentino . Mr. Goldwyn just wired us to explain to Mr. Schenck that in view of the relations between Mr. and the second Mrs. Valentino and the fact that Vilma is quite friendly with him , it wouldn’t be good policy to have Vilma in N.Y. at the same time Valentino is appearing. So, Vilma is not going to N.Y. Mr. Goldwyn can’t afford to have any scandal to arise around Vilma as that would be sure to kill her popularity. You, know of course that Fitz is going to direct Valentino in “The Son of the Sheik” and Vilma is going to play opposite him.


Belletti, V. (1923). Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary. University of California Berkley Press. P.82, 122

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