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13 Nov 1923

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1926 – Suicides due to Valentino Death

In 1926, Rudolph Valentino’s death triggered a string of women committing
suicides. The first one was Agatha Hearn, NY who could not stand the thought
that the Sheik was gone forever. Waiting outside Campbell’s funeral parlor
in NY was enough catharsis to many mourners, but Mrs. Hearn believed her
grief was too great for that; so she shot herself. When her body was found,
a sheaf of Valentino photographs was clutched in her hand.  The second one
was “A Bronx housewife attempted suicide of ‘my love for him’ but failed.
The third one “In London, Peggy Scott, 26 year old dancer, made away with
herself and left behind a note:
It is heart breaking to live in the past when the future is hopeless please
look after Rudolph’s pictures.
The fourth one “In Japan, two girls clasped hands and leapt into a fiery volcano”. The fifth “In Rome, where the death was regarded by some as a greater calamity than Caruso. Mussolini exhorted women to become mothers not suicides. “What can best be described as grief riots were staged by women in many parts of the world.
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8 Sep 1926 – Late Valentino Commentary

It was with boiling indignation that I read the letter of “Disgusted”. It was full of disrespect to the late Rudolph Valentino, yet your correspondent stated, “Far be it from me to say anything disrespectful of one who has passed through the great divide.” We women know what was at the bottom of the letter – pure jealousy. then he states that the flapper must save some excitement. Let me tell him that if his life has been as clean as was that of Valentino then he has something to be proud of.
Marie Crossett, Adelaide.
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6 Sep 1925 – Rudolph Valentino Injured by Horse

Rudolph Valentino silent film actor, was scratched and bruised at Lankershim near
here today, when he was dragged some distance by a galloping horse.  The scene
in which Valentino was making for the screen required him to halt a running horse.
He grabbed the animal by the bridle, but the horse entering into the spirit of the act,
kept going bumping the actor along the road but doing no serious damage.
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1926 – Memories

With $350 in cash in her pocket and a $1500 wardrobe Ruth Waterbury goes to Hollywood what changes a girl has without experience or influence to break into the movies.  She tries out several studios and is disappointed to learn there are no openings for her. Her last change is the First National Studios.  She goes there and fortunately obtains employment in a picture that Charles Brabin is directing.  She gets a bit part in another picture with Colleen More and is told to report on the set again after dinner; there is to be overtime work. When she finishes her work at midnight she is given a ride home in a Ford by a former star wo is now rated as a has-been. It is Sunday, and Miss Waterbury moves into a hotel to find nothing but lonesomeness in Hollywood. Another part falls to her lot on Monday; she is to work on a picture with Harry Langdon.  Then comes a bit in a picture in which Alice White, a new screen find is appearing.  Next day, when she is told she is a very good type, she becomes a street sweeper in a picture and works with Natalie Kingston on a set and her efforts draw the approval of Milton Sills.  The big thrill comes when she goes through a part with Milton Sills the star.  It was the day, Rudolph Valentino was being buried from the Good Church of the Shepard in Hollywood.  I learned that morning my  it with Milton Sills did not count. Dan Kelly, casting man, heard of it and put me down a foreign type. Furthermore, he called me to be an Italian on location with Doris Kenyon and Lewis Stone.  I didn’t attempt to figure out my sudden foreign look. To myself, I appear about as European as griddle cakes, but the camera sees strange things. It was discovered, for instance Gilda Gray and Gloria Swanson both in person look totally unalike but have Polish ancestry, screen so nearly identically it takes much maneuvering of the lights, to destroy that photographic resemblance. So possibly the camera saw back to the bones of my venerable Dutch forebears. The company had already gone to the beach, so the automobile to transport me and two other girls to the location arrived at my hotel. The location was breath-taking in its beauty.  Some 49 miles from Hollywood, it was one other stretches of bare wild beach that are so characteristic of California.  There were no real homes in sight, but the mountains, great brown masses of power, ran straight to the blue waves of the Pacific Ocean.  Our costumes were delightful their colors were blue, scarlet, yellow, green, orange, with embroidery. At a distance, tiny huts had been erected on the sides of a hill, for the scene was supposed to be a Sicilian fishing village and there were shrines here and there with little plaster virgins and over it all the blue cloudless sky. It there was a murmuring in the crowd, something unexpressed but alive.  The extras were almost without exception Italian born.  Doris Kenyon had a difficult scene to play.  Extras love Doris, for she is as charming as beautiful. So the extras stood at their posts quietly, respectfully, while she worked.  I had to do a bit where I ran furiously down a hill shouting other extras did bits but the strange silence continued.  For the purpose of the scene Doris Kenyon, had evidently misunderstood Lewis Stone, who was present but just outside camera range.  She was apparently seeing him disappear into the distance and discovering true feelings about him, as heroines do so often about reel 5. She looked at him and became angry, looked again and reconsidered looked once more and knew she was in love. She had to play without gestures, without a movement, with the only changing expressions of her eyes to tell the story.  “Bravo” said Lewis Stone it was perfect. The extras were released for a moment.  I knew then what they had been waiting for.  It was the hour of the high mass at the Church of the Good Shepard. Around the shrine on the other side of the hill those Italian extras gathered. They had secured a priest from a nearby village and his fine voice began speaking. They began praying for him who gave so much pleasure for the world and so much pride of his own work. Rudy had been an extra like myself and given access to stardom.  He knew fame and wealth, fleeting happiness, and heartbreak.  We knelt and I with the rest of them found tears in my eyes as I whispered my prayers.
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4 Sep 1933 – What Rudolph Valentino Items are Worth

A Rudolph Valentino autograph recently was sold for $75.00.  A mechanics weekly salary will buy Rudolph Valentino’s $18,000 Isotta Town Car, now dusting on a used automobile lot. Nina Wilcox Putnam has a Voisin formerly owned by Valentino.

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1 Sep 1930 – Two Valentino’s

When I first met Valentino I was amazed to find not the romantic hero, but
just a boy, quite frank and sincere. Why, he is only a child! At first, I
was disillusioned, but in another way I liked him the more.  There were two
distinct Valentino’s – Rudy the artist and Rudy the man.  The one was
swashbuckling cavalier who flashed across the screen into the hearts of
millions. The other was a simple boy with a childish sensitiveness often
mistaken for weakness by the undiscerning and the prejudiced. American men,
particularly had no use for him. They looked down on him, criticized him,
which hurt him for he was anxious to be liked; he wanted friendship and
respect. Had they taken pains to know him, they would have given him both;
but he couldn’t talk business, politics, or the stock exchange. He had no
mentality for such things. They lay beyond his grasp because he had utterly
no interest in them.
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2 Sep 1926 – Valentino Car Starts

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“I think that it would fascinate me to live in such a place, I have very steady nerves or even an imagination that needs such stimulation, but I have always felt strongly akin and at home in places of this kind. I am not afraid of the dead or of ghosts, the whole store and lore of grizzly fears that have shaken the human race at thought, or apprehension of meeting with the dead, is quite foreign to me, I am not afraid of anything pertaining to the life beyond.” And it isn’t because I don’t believe in it it is because I do, I BELIEVE IN THE SUPERNATURAL I don’t believe there is anything I would or could be afraid of. It seems to me we have more cause to be afraid of the living than of those that have gone on shaking off as they go, the lusts and cruelties of the body. What the average man calls death I believe to be merely the beginning of life itself we simply live beyond the shell. We emerge from out of its narrow confines like a chrysalis. Why call it death or, if we give it the name death why surround it with dark fears and sick imaginings?”

My Private Diary’ by Rudolph Valentino 1929

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