Author Archives: 1920rudy
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. 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.
A memorial to Rudolph Valentino was projected today with the application of five Chicagoans, who were personal friends of the late film star, for articles of incorporation for the Rudolph Valentino Memorial Association. Judge Borelli, Asst State Attorney Michael Romano, Ellidge Libonati, Stephen Malato, Michael Rosinia, local attorneys, are the incorporators. The professed object of the association is to build a memorial in Chicago, but sponsors said they might also join in a nation-wide plans for a tribute. Romano is now in New York where he plans to consult with the wishes of Valentinos brother on the memorial when the latter arrives from Italy.
Everybody is Rudolph Valentino’s friend now. But those with whom the correspondent talked admitted that everyone breathed a long sigh of relief when he left for Taranto at the age of 12. This passionate, willful, jealous boy was literally a terror to the whole village. His aged nurse Rosa, once she had overcome her diffidence at the sight of a stranger, told endless anecdotes revealing boyhood experiences and traits which went to make the character whom millions of women adored. His whole youth was a passionate revolt against the stern discipline which his father vainly tried to impose. He beat unmercifully those boys who teased him refused to acknowledge that he was “Italy’s greatest bandit”. When his father refused him pocket money he bought things on his father’s charge accounts and sold them for money with which to buy candy. He frequently filched candy, fruit and bright colored ribbons which he loved but which he would give away generously. He used to terrify small boys by pretending to drop them from the balcony of his home catching them the moment they fell. The youth adored his mother and Rosa and was fiercely jealous of them. He used to dare boys to say who was the most beautiful woman in Castellaneta and if they named any other than Rudolph’s mother he would beat them soundly. He almost drowns one boy in the village for that reason. Boy’s to whom Rosa gave candy were beaten almost continuously. The nurse still bears a scar under her chin from a heavy glass pitcher which he threw at her in a jealous rage. But he was religious. His priest said he came frequently came to confession. The priest, when questioned said he did not believe that Rudolph died in mortal sin on account of his divorce because he repented on his death bed and received the rites of the catholic church.
On 23 August every year, there is an annual memorial service held for Rudolph Valentino at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, California. This year marks the 91st anniversary of his passing and once again the Valentino Memorial Committee put together a respectful tribute to a silent film legend.
This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the release of his movie “A Society Sensation” starring Rudolph Valentino and Carmel Myers. Noted guest speakers were Ms. Brandee Cox, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and Marc Wannamaker, Hollywood historian. Also in attendance was the cast and director of an upcoming movie about the famous “Lady in Black” titled “Silent Life”. For the second year this was lived streamed via Facebook to a world-wide audience of fans of Rudolph Valentino.
In 1951, The Carmel Myers Show, was one of the first interview style shows that was briefly on TV. The featured guest, noted soprano and film star, Jeanette MacDonald, was a friend of Miss Myers who came to prominence during the silent film era. Miss Myers was a co-star of Rudolph Valentino in “A Society Sensation”.