Posts Tagged With: Death of Rudolph Valentino


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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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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

3 Sep 26.JPG

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27 Aug 1926 – Readers Complain

Several readers have complained because the newspapers devoted more space to the death of Rudolph Valentino.  An editor is not a historian who seeks to put happenings into their proper perspective. If the great preoccupation of the public with Valentino is a thing to evaporate in a short time, that is more reason why it becomes news today.  It is well to remember also that the story of Valentino’s death is not concerned alone with the individual in question but with the reaction of the public to this event.  When thousands stand in the rain for hours seeking a chance to pass the dead man’s bier, that is news beyond any question.  It does not matter that many of the people in line were morbid curiosity seekers. The precise extend of morbidity is also a proper subject of journalistic concern. I rather think that some reports have been too severe in judging the motives of the crowd.  I saw long lines at a distance in the dripping rain, and it is my belief that if it had been possible for a reporter to investigate the hearts of all who waiting there he would have found in many who trudged the slow march through the doors a profound emotion. Valentino had become that priceless thing – a symbol. It was not so much a motion picture actor who lay dead as Pan of Apollo whom they are to bury from Campbell’s funeral parlor. He was to the thousands the romance which they never knew.  He was Prince Charming and came from the other side of the moon.  And if a symbol of romance in the lives of many millions fades, that is a not undignified matter of newspaper interest.  It is a long sleep to which Valentino has gone, and soon the thousands will have another symbol to take his place. It seems to me a little cruel to deny a dead actor his last full measure of press clippings.

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92nd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

This year’s memorial service a tribute to a great silent film star that brings the Valentino Community under one roof both physically and virtually.


The 92nd Valentino Memorial Service featured a salute to the 100th Anniversary of “Eyes of Youth”. and remembering Jean Acker.  From the music selections, to the readers, and guest speakers the audienced was moved and in awe by it all.  The time past quickly and it seemed to come and go.  My trip was making new memories and enjoying moments with special friends.  Another year gone by and as always I am eagerly awaiting the 93rd. Special thank you to Tracy Terhune, Karie Bible, Donald Gardner,  and everyone else who tirelessly labored to provide an event worthy.

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1926 – America in Mourning

Rudolph Valentino died on Monday. Not since the death of the three American Presidents Roosevelt, Wilson and Harding has there been in the present generation such country-wide public manifestations of grief over the demise of any person as that of Valentino. Newspapers through out the nation in headlines, in many cases six inches high state “United States Mourns Valentino”. Many journals devote half their contents to pictures of the cinema star from baby-hood to man-hood and long accounts of his life career even stressing that he was not and American and his residence in this country was brief, having arrived penniless and for many years earned his living at the most menial tasks.  He was unquestionably the most popular state figure in America. One writer declares Valentino was more popular the world over than any King who ever lived.  Hundreds of thousands of people literally blocked the street around the hospital for 24 hours before his death. An appeal was broadcast over the radio for helpful thought when his condition became serious. Thousands of messages a day poured in from people, while floral contributions filed the corridors of the hospital. His death cast a gloom on the bright lights of Broadway the famous NY theatre district.
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17 Aug 1927 – Hysteria and Home Truths — An Interesting Comparison— Of Extreme English and American Opinion

England Opinion: In a golden casket one London woman is preserving as her greatest treasure – a shirt of the late Rudolph Valentino. Other erratic female specimens have erected shrines in their boudoirs, others again grow flowers under his portrait. There is no limit to their sentimental extravagance. It is therefore of interest to read two opinions, one English and one American, on the all important topic of Rudy. At Shepherd’s Bush Pavilion, London, the last week of July, many British women thronged to the Pavilion as a tribute to the memory of their departed idol. Many of them carried banners. The demonstration was arranged by the Valentino Memorial Guild and the service was subsidized by the International Memorial Fund, a fund that in the first feminine frenzy after the ex-waiters death was collected among susceptible women from all different parts of Britain. Pictures of the star’s home life at Hollywood were screened and wept over, extracts from his poems were read, and a bronze plaque was erected to his memory. And for several hours hundreds of infatuated women wept and slobbered and lamented. As time goes on, the Guild will, unless it decides to squander the money in some other way, reissue the Valentino films and a children’s hospital which will be in memory of Rudy.
American Opinion: Rudolph Valentino,’ said an American Writer just before the stat’s death, ‘is one of those half breed Italians, of whom both halves are bad. He came to a stony-broke waiter. For a time the. Heavens were just and he stayed a waiter. ‘Then he tried dancing. All his brains were in his feet and his pockets soon began to fill. ‘Full pockets meant high spots for Valentino, booze and women, both pretty bad, and thus excellent company for an imported an entity whom no One but the jail governors should have keen glad to welcome. ‘In a weak moment someone let him in the movies some giggling flapper saw Mm and decided this greasy, ill-washed continental butt was thrilling. She told her friends and convinced them to think so too. ‘When they tried him in a Sheik stuff the flapper thrilled again. ‘In no tithe TBIS WOP WAITER became better known than the president. With the morals of a sewer rat and the scarred face of a Cairo boatman Valentino vamped himself a place in the best movie society and began to love and leave th6 women & bit higher up the social ladder. ‘American women who shudder at the scum that slinks off the immigrant ships into Ellis Island gaped in thrilled awe at the dago’s » bear-hugging and thought the greatest joy in life would be to have their spinal cord crack in elegant embraces that wouldn’t, be permitted in a rough-run ?wrest- ling joint. ‘Generally the men of Hollywood bated him. His debts of which were never paid because he had a lot of debts and no honor this text Men hated him because a half-baked satyr is never popular. He was a poor sport, a miserable mugger of detent women and he should never have been allowed to wander into any civilized country.
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22 Aug 1983 – Harmony Treasure Stolen

Tommorrow is the 57th anniversary of film idol Rudolph Valentino’s death a doubly sad day for the town of Harmony, population 28 located hear San Simeon.  For years, an unusual monument to Valentino there was accompanied by a sign that read “In the early 1900’s and in the company of W.R. Hearst and Pola Negri, Rudolph Valentino had a call of nature”.  Guilda Williams, who lived here, was kind enough to let him use her bathroom.  When the little house was remodeled, the potty was converted into an outdoor planter that disappeared earlier this year.  “We heard it had been found by police in Clovis” said Jim Lawrence, who owns the town.  But when I called the ID didn’t seem to match up.

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Three hundred women and girls, In deep mourning, attended a special Man at St. Orrvals Church to-day. In memory of Rudolph Valentino. Scores of girls waited outside the Late Rudolph Valentino church. The Mass was arranged by a mysterious woman, reputed to be im mensely wealthy, who Is frequently seen al Uie church. She does not reveal her name, but often goes to the church to request a Mass for the repose of the soul of Valentino

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