Posts Tagged With: Mrs. Valentino

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26 Dec 1923 – Valentino Coming Back

With all differences patched up and with a brand new spelling for his first name Rudolph Valentino will begin work immediately after the holiday season on a film version of Booth Tarkington’s Monsieur Beaucaire.  Famous Players-Lasky are again his employers.  When he formerly toiled before the cameras he was known as Rodolph.  Reading the latest contract one finds the signature Rudolph with no explanation for the name change.  Recently Ritz Carlton Pictures corporation announced he signed with them to begin work on a series of new films as soon as his contract with Famous Players ran out.  In the latter contract, owever, was a clause giving them the option on the players services.  They decided to exercise this option and after long negotiations through his attorney Max Steuer succeeded in their attempt to win back the famous actor.  An official of Famous Players-Lasky said today, the company had tried several times in the last year to settle the matter, offering Valentino cart blanche to seletct his stories, director, and virtually name his salary. they had extreme difficulty in negotiating with him directly and rapprochement was only reached through Mr. Steuer.  By the terms of the settlement all litigation between Valentino and Famous Players will be dropped.  Mrs. Valentino as attorney in fact for her husband said she played an important part. Before sailing for Europe this last week after she had affixed her signature to the contract. Mrs. Valentino said “It is gratifying to reach a satifactory conclusion and to see Rudolph again in a position to pursue his career under satisfactory conditions.  Some sample screen tests were made while we were abroad and the results demonstrated conclusively the character development and artistic advance made by him since he previously appeared.  In all respects he is fit and ready for his new tasks”.

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23 Dec 1924 – Natacha sends June on her way

Hollywood tongues have been wagging over the newest sensation of studio circles.  What will be the result of the ruption between Mrs. Valentino and June Mathis? For the time being “Rudy” has bowed to his imperious wife and let his ablest friend and sponsor go her way. It was Miss Mathis who started Valentino on the road to opulence and fame. She picked him for the lead for “The Four Horsemen” she saw an opportunity and it paid off in a big way.  Mrs. Valentino who wrote “The Scarlet Power” saw what changes Miss Mathis had made in it, the grand smashup came. So “Cobra” was substituted and all the grand vestments and shining armour for the Rambova story were packed away.  Cost of the switch runs into the hundres of thousands, but the wife, who in other matters also laid down the law, is triumphant.  No one concerned will talk, but Valentino retains his admiration for Miss Mathis. But only from a safe distance.

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1927 – Speaking of Divorce Interview with Miss Natacha Rambova


This newsarticle interview featuring Natacha Rambova, dancer, designer, and former wife of the late Rudolph Valentino.  Miss Rambova feels her opinion on the subject of divorce can bring clarity and help women who read this article is reason for participating.  Miss Rambova starts the discussion by saying “I would hate to suggest anything that would make this supposed democracy less free and equal than it is already. Nevertheless, I would like to see marriage made difficult and expensive and divorce easy and cheap to obtain”.  A most beautiful lady says this a lady you all know and many of you have seen: a tall slender leady in a golden robe with great splashes of purple and a ruby turban bound closely about a pair of wondrous eyes and a brow like cream satin.  A lady of experience she is, and of deep learning, with a flair for the mysteries of the East and an unquestionable conviction that we can communicate with the so-called dead, who live in a world of their own, a world of spirit, yet amongst our very selves. Natacha Rambova alias Winifred Hudnut once the wife of the most loved of all move screen stars Rudolph Valentino. Rudy to her, a Rudy still loved and still adored and still a friend, invisible but articulate.  Miss Rambova typing manuscript at a table in a sun-flooded room high up above the Park, rises and comes forward looking like a being from a Tennyson poem or an Ibsen play, a sort of “Lady of the Sea” with slim cool hands and a quiet manner.  It is a good thing Chi-Chi also present with his chop bone and a few Pekingese sniffles to remind us we are in the everyday world.  For we are going to talk of a rather everyday thing divorce, why it is and what’s it all about.  We asked Natacha Rambova to go on and say some more.  How would she make marriage harder and divorce easier? Wouldn’t drastic laws tend to make people disregard them? Would that be better or worse than what we have now? Can human nature be “prohibited” by this statute or not? What of property and children? “It does seem”, she says from the corner of a deep black velvet sofa, “rather presumptuous to talk of legislating people into happy marriages, and my mind isn’t legal enough to work out a plan”. “But there should be some way to compel people to know more about each other before they marry. You’ll think me hopelessly unoriginal to advocate trial marriage. But if marriage were difficult to enter and could then only be contracted for a term of say, five years at a time, I believe men and women would try harder to remain attractive, kind and companionable so that they would be wanted for another five-year term.  As it is too many people, once given the marital life sentence, cease making an effort to love and be loved.  He’s taken me says the wife now let him work for me and make me happy. While the husband says I’ve married her and gave her a home now I can go my own way without having to pay attention to her all the time. There are many things about marriage besides its permanence says Miss Rambova. For instance, I don’t think a girl and a man of different races or nationalities ought to marry, unless they know each other’s background thoroughly and sympathetically”.  Our mind flashed back to the Italian Rudy and his presumably Old World ideals of women, wives and marriage, and our glance traveled from his portrait in a silver frame on the piano to the beautiful living woman on the divan who legally freed herself from him less than a year before his death. Before we could frame the personal question, Miss Rambova went on “during courtship differences of opinion are diverting and rather ‘cute’. After marriage, they become tragic. They can never be smoothed over, because what has been implanted in the mind of youth, with centuries of heredity behind it, cannot be allowed.  Arguments only make it worse.  During courtship the arguments may end in laughter for your life is not actually affected by these differences of opinion. After marriage it is, and so the arguments end in tears and anger.  “Another reason marriage goes wrong is that man and wife are either too much together or not enough. There is no life-balance living closely in small homes, as we do these days, leads to boredom or outright disgust.  Being apart for long periods of time, as happens in the theatrical world and often when the wife is a business or professional woman gives each the bachelor habit and mutual interest dies.  “Possibly the worst of all marriage wreckers is interference from outsiders.  Husbands and wives are often not allowed to work out their lives in their own way.  Relatives won’t leave them alone.  Mothers, mothers-in-law and friends, relatives mixed in and cause hopeless situations. Sometimes the exigencies of public life rob a couple of happiness. There is no such thing as complete freedom of action. Everything we try to do is hampered more or less by what we owe others.  Because of these and a hundred other things that make one American marriage in four a failure, we certainly ought to make it easy to get divorced. When you’re through your through, that’s all and should have divorce for the asking and without having to give any reason at all”. We asked the lovely Natacha, what she’d do in case only one party to the marriage wanted divorce and he other wanted to go on loving and trotting the double harness. “Grant it, anyhow she said. It’s one of the chances you take when you marry, and you should be ready for it.  It’s all the more reason why everything from health certificate to a bank balance should be required before marriage, and then only a short-term contract be given on approval. To be renewed if mutually desired or cancelled, and one more chance given to make a permanent choice”  “Oh just one more chance given”? “Well the divorced wife of Rudolph Valentino spread both slender hands wide, with eyes to match said otherwise it would be just a series of on approvals a sort of legalized free love and that would certainly not be constructive”.  Miss Rambova doesn’t like the “Interlocutory decree” feature of divorce. She thinks once you’re through your through and a six month wait before a second marriage can take place leads to hardship and temptation”. But I couldn’t help but wonder why she would say that when she did the very thing with her former husband. Her and Rudolph Valentino married before the decree was up and there were charges of bigamy making them front page news. During the interview, Miss Rambova speaks of Rudolph Valentino with tenderness and understanding. One senses that proficient actor as he was, was in some ways quite a child and that the beautiful young woman with the magenta turban loved him with just a touch of the maternal. “No one, she says simply was ever more devoted to Rudy than I was and still am.  Which makes me add from deep, deep feeling of its truth that no marriage can be a true marriage without spiritual love, for other love vanishes, is often destroyed by persons and by circumstances.  But love that is of the spirit lives on”.  There you have it readers Miss Rambova’s opinion on divorce.

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10 Dec 1937 – Famous Designer Concerned for her Niece in War Torn Spain

Award winning interior designer Elsie De Wolfe, in private Lady Mendl, is regarded by many as about the most famous elderly socialite in New York, Paris. London without a care in the world or so one would think.  These days, Lady Mendl is concerned for her equally famous niece fashion designer and the former Mrs. Valentino Winifred Hudnut.  On a social scale, the former Mrs. Valentino outranks her Aunt due to courtesy of her marriage to a Spanish count in Majorca.  Her husband is currently involved in the fighting and is away from the home front.  Winifred Hudnut is still living in Spain near the French border devoting her life to caring for destitute and wounded people.  Her aunt would like nothing better than to see her niece leave and return to safer shores. In the meantime, Winifred Hudnut is said to have grown quite plump and her hair has turned gray.  She is still vastly interested in spiritualism.

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Oct 1923 – My Honeymoon by Mrs. Valentino


Would you consider yourself the luckiest girl in the world if you married a man who owned $60,000? Would you think you were in for a life of bliss if your husband had no position and stood small chance of getting a position for several years? Would you think you stood on top of the world if your husband were dragged from the honeymoon to answer a charge of bigamy? No, you would not and very likely you would go home to father and the certainty of three meals a day. Mrs. Valentino naturally enough won’t admit that she wasn’t the luckiest girl in the world. But she will admit that the first months of their married life weren’t all moonlight and roses. For moonlight please substitute the unbecoming glare of publicity and for roses please substitute legal papers. But it’s all over now. In her apartment in the Hotel des Artistes, Mrs. Valentino prepared for a trip to France and Italy. Another honeymoon, no, just a vacation it will be a rest from the long dreary and lonesome months spent on the dancing tour. There are all sorts of movie wives – frivolous ones who step=out, there are the home-loving ones who do the mending, there are the wives with careers of their own and there are the wives with influence. Mrs. Valentino is one of few wives who has influence – she reminds you of Mary Pickford. She talks  business in a sane, cool-headed way. She is engrossed in her husband’s success and his ambitions. Like Mary Pickford, she is of the Disraeli, the Colonel House and the Charles Evans of the household, and naturally, her husband thinks she is the whole works. Does she care that women mob her husband every time he appears in public? N he’s going to make good o, she doesn’t she is used to it. When Rudolph begins working on his new pictures for Ritz Carlton, he’s going to make good pictures. And, I believe the public will like them, and then, we’ll know that it has been worth all the trouble and all the fights. Substitute the small blond Mary Pickford for the tall dark Mrs. Valentino and you have the same arguments that launched Douglas and Mary on their career as independent artists. Mary, stubborn and contrary, also fought her way through lawsuits, and matrimonial difficulties. A pretty woman with an idea firmly fixed in her mind can battle strong men. Beside their stubbornness, Mary and Mrs. Valentino have another trait in common. They have a shared sense of humor. They can laugh at their husband’s jokes and the grotesque comedy of the rest of the world. They are experts at discovering the silver lining and at making the best of bad situations. The dancing tour may have been bad in many ways, but its made new friends for her husband. The lawsuit was disagreeable but it has proved to the public that he has the courage of his convictions. The more adventures that befall you in marriage, the less possibility is there that marriage will suddenly turn dull and stale. And marriage can weather many storms but it can’t stand a long period of calm. Just ask the man who has the placid wife.


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8 Mar 1925 – Where Rudolph was when the lights went out

While on the subject of temperaments have you heard the news of Rudolph Valentino’s tiff with Ritz-Carlton Pictures? Well it seems that Rudy was right in the midst of making “The Hooded Falcon” making it just as he jolly well pleased and under the supervision of his own hand-picked director, when J.D. Williams, president of Ritz-Carlton, thought he ought to have something to say regarding the expenditure of something like $500,000 of his own hard cash. First of all he requested that Mrs. Valentino hie herself to the sidelines and confiner her helpful operations to merely looking on and keeping quiet. When Mr. Williams took exception to Rudy’s choice of Alan Hale as the director he declared that Mr. Hale was not experienced enough to look after the destinies of a film which was estimated to cost it producers half a million dollars. So the Valentinos walked off the set in a huff. According to the latest reports they are passing the time in luxurious
idleness at Palm Springs. They are not going back to Hollywood until some spirit greater and more omnipotent than J.D. Williams moves them. In the meantime, Adolph Zukor and Famous Players Lasky who have contracted for hte release of Valentin’s pictures, are pacing the rugs in their majogany paneled executive chambers, wondering if ever there had been a spoiled child more incorrible than this boy Rudolph.
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16 Nov 1925


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24 Feb 1927 – “Forget the Past” Says Second Wife of Late Rudolph Valentino

“I want the public to forget that I was ever Mrs. Rudolph Valentino” says Natacha Rambova alias Winifred Hudnut. “But privately that is another matter, for he is still with me talking from the other world”. The former wife of the late screen star, who is now starring in a mystery play, explained that she was “tired of being called Mrs. Valentino because some people seem to think that I am attempting to capitalize on the late Mr. Valentino’s popularity.

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29 Mar 1924 – Even the Sheik Arises at 5’oClock for Studio Work

Rudolph Valentino arose at 5’oclock this morning, hurried into his clothes and dashed off to work. He is doing that every morning now for the sheik of the screen is taking his return to the movies seriously. At 7 o’clock every night Director Sidney Olcott tells him that will be about all for the day and that he can run along now but be sure to be on time in the morning. He has been saying the same thing for two months now and he probably will be saying it for a month longer until the picture “Monsieur Beaucaire” is completed. Then Rudy will have a whole week in which to rest before he plunges into the work of making his next picture. It is a strenuous life indeed that Rudolph is leading these days, but it certainly agrees with him. For all of which, he gives entire credit to two persons Mrs. Valentino who sees, that he eats only the right things and Chris Schnurrer his trainer who sees that he gets plenty of exercise. “My business is to see that the boss is kept al pepped up” said Chris as Rudolph bent low to touch with his lips the fingertips of the lovely Doris Kenyon, “look at him – ain’t he full of pep”? Rudy certainly did seem to be “full of pep” and yet Mrs. Valentino, gazing on the same scene didn’t seem to be a bit jealous. “Isn’t she sweet”? she asked. Mrs. Valentino wasn’t so hard to look at herself. The process of pepping starts at 5 o’clock every morning in a basement room of the Long Island studio which Chris has fitted into a gym. Here he gives Rudolph his daily fencing lessons to prepare him for one of the scenes in the pictures play that is still to be made. Afterwards the star has a busy half-hour with the pulley weights and then a vigorous rubdown at the hands of his trainer who boasts that he once performed a similar office for the Chicago Cubs. “What do I do next”? asked Rudy “I eat some breakfast” with the accent on the “some”. Actual work before the camera does not start until 9. But making up one of the principal actors in a costume play requires from an hour up to two hours. Adjustment of the wig alone consumes fully an hour. “It requires a world of patience to make a picture” remarked Valentino after the scene finally had been taken and retaken several more times and there was more standing around while waiting for the next scene. “But it is more fun than touring the country giving dancing exhibitions”.

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1922 – Rodolph Valentino’s Screen Smile, Which Really Masks a Sad, Sad Heart.

EVERYBODY who goes to the movies knows Rudolph Valentino knows him, of course,as he moves about on the screen, knows his eyes, his smile and his red-blooded heroic deeds. Certainly he seems to be a very happy young man, full of chivalry, with a soul above whining about the little things which would harass a less noble character. But all this on the screen. The real truth is that Rodolph Valentino is unhappy. Very unhappy. Of course, he has been divorced from his first wife but that isn’t what is distressing him. Je has married another wife; but there is no cloud of trouble here, at least not yet. Rut still Valentino, the
heroic lover of the movies, is very, very wretched. It is because his salary is too low, his movie masters are so mean to him and so cruel to his new wife and he isn’t given any allowance to pay for postage stamps to mail his picture to the millions of dear girls who write for his photograph. Unhappy Rodolph’s pitiful story is enough to bring tears to the eyes of Adeb the Chess Automaton if it wasn’t for a more tragic twist to the misery of the unhappy screen hero he is being followed by detectives. Now who in the world would dog the tracks of Rodolph Valentino? Some love sick girl in disguise who seeks to be near him? Oh, no. A real, hard-boiled sleuth, just like the detective story detectives, and Valentino says he knows who is hiring these hounds and why. The reader has seen Valentino’s manly form and heroic deeds on the screen. Now the reader may step behind the scenes and see poor Rodolph almost sobbing tears in his dressing room. With heaving bosom The Great Lover cries aloud “I cannot endure the tyranny, the broken promises, the arrogance” of unjust masters. Down in the solemn atmosphere of New York’s Supreme Court lie the long legal documents in a law suit in which Valentino and his employers of the movie company have locked horns. And here it is in these documents that Valentino lay bare the anguish of his soul and reveals the misery which his movie smile has always hidden from the audience. Who, indeed, beholding Mr. Valentino the swaggering, fascinating toreador in his screen play, strutting toreador among his conquests who could suppose that behind that devil-may-care manner lay an aching heart and a scorched rear anatomy. Yet, says Mr. Valentino, in his sworn statement: “They transformed a part of a public general dressing room by placing a partition at one end, thereby constituting a small, impromptu dressing room composed Mrs. Valentino says they told her the girls were all crazy about Rodolph and that he was having a good time and that she might as well too”. Three of the walls open on the fourth side, and without any roof whatever, letting a burning sun shine in, and heating the chair so that I could not sit on it. “As my costumes were such that I could not wear underwear and was naked each time that I changed my costume, this condition was almost impossible. There was no floor in the studio and I was compelled to stand in the sand. There was a very small mirror, although I had requested a full length location mirror, which is usually given to the stars and leading players in order that they may properly arrange all of the details of their costumes. “An empty wooden barrel was given to me for a seat which as a few days later changed for a chair. When I first sat-down on the chair between changes of my costumes I was burned, and jumped up and did not sit down again upon it.” Nor was it enough that Mr. Valentino should be forced to sit on a red-hot chair. His troubles with dressing rooms and costumes continued. A still worse thing happened to the hero of “The Four Horsemen” hear it in Rodolph’s own words: “Whenever I was not acting on the set (the stage) and was tired or needed rest, I was compelled to ask the hospitality of some more fortunate play, who had a couch, or to put a coat on the car? t on the concrete floor of my own dressing room and use it as a pillow, or lie on the floor until I was called. By doing this with the skin-tight costume that I was wearing and not allowed to take off while resting, several rips or tears would occur, causing delay until they were repaired. “I was several times severely reprimanded by Mr. Eyton, the general manager, for matters that were trivial and were not my own fault. Among them was a reprimand for appearing with a rip in my costume that had been caused wholly by my being compelled to lie down on the floor of my room.” Horrors! Valentino has split his trousers. It will partially console Mr. Valentino’s many sympathizers to learn from his own words that he is not one to flaunt the manly beauty that has made him famous. Rather, with becoming modesty, he seeks to conceal it. But this was not always practicable “During the period of the taking of the bull fight at the
Western ranch in a scorching sun and during the windy, dusty day, I was compelled to make as many as eight complete changes during the day. There were no dressing room accommodations provided for me at all notwithstanding that I had requested that a small dressing room be built near the location, and I was compelled to make changes in my open touring car where possible, or more frequently under the embarrassing and undignified conditions of making the changes in the open. “After three days of arduous work I told the business manager of the company that it was shameful that I should be treated in that manner and compelled to walk in the scorching sun and through the dust more than one hundred yards every time I was compelled to make a change, and must make this change in full sight of everyone else. “My Toreador costume weighs with its embroidery about fifty pounds and is skin tight. For the type of work that I was doing in working with a dangerous bull I needed all the strength and rest possible.” Not all of Mr. Valentino’s complaints are of this nature, of course. He had thought, it seems, that his contract was like that of another star with regard to its main provisions, one of which may come as a revelation to many people. The clause that Valentino imagined would be in his contract provides that the actor shall make at least one picture a year in New York, and shall be given transportation for himself and his wife to New York and back. It also provides the star with an opportunity to reside six weeks or longer in New York City once each year in order that in his off hours he may see all of the places, have access to libraries and books on costuming, manners and customs, armor and other physical conditions of the various periods, he may attend art exhibitions and musical performances, mingle with the people of New York, observe contemporary habits, modes and style and freshen himself up for the following year’s work. But after Mr. Valentino had signed his contract, he was unable to find this provision in it. There was also, in the contract on which Mr. Valentino thought his contract was modelled, this provision: “The company shall at its own cost and expense furnish all photographs of the artist necessary to distribute among the public and shall attend to the artists ‘fan letters.” But this clause seems to have been omitted from Mr. Valentino contract. It was certainly very careless of Valentino to sign a contract without reading it, and reading every word of it. He will know better the next time. A movie star expects to get admiring letters from the public the more letters he gets, the bigger he is. But somebody must open and read these “fan” letters and pay the postage for mailing the star’s much coveted photograph. Mr. Valentino valued the “fan” letters and wanted his pictures sent to everybody who asked but he had an idea that the movie people ought to pay for it all. “The cost to me of furnishing photographs to distribute among the public in response to the letters that I directly receive and the cost of attending to my ‘fan’ letters is at the present time approximately $200 per week and this has been rapidly growing and is now rapidly increasing so that I have no doubt that before the expiration of the first year the said contract this cost will equal or exceed $500 per week,” Valentino asserted. “I have just received word from my secretary that in the last week the number of requests for my autographed photograph, which letters contained no money or provision for the photograph or postage, amounted to $1,385. She tells me that she cannot handle the work and that I must get an additional secretary, a second typewriter and larger office accommodations.” What is somebody else signing those treasured “autographed photographs”? Girls can it be that the photo of Rodolph you thought he sent you and that lovely written message and the dear boy’s own signature is from the hired secretary and that Rodolph never even saw your letter? Then, too, it seems that certain friends of Mr. Valentino were not permitted to visit him while he was at work, that his personal press agent was denied co-operation, and that on one film, at least, the names of two women were featured with his. What Mr. Valentino has to say in his testimony in regard to not being advertised always on all occasions as the sole star of the picture, is very interesting. It appears that there was a clause in his contract that his name should be the only one used in big type or prominently mentioned in advertising all his films. Rodolph introduced in testimony photographic copies of some advertising of one of his films, as follows: “RODOLPH VALENTINO with Lila Lee and Nita Naldi” while Mr. Valentino is full of chivalrous deeds as the public sees him on the screen, he did not consider it a chivalrous thing to share the glory of his picture with very charming women like Miss Lila Lee and Miss Nita Naldi. Chivalry and business are two different things. Commenting on why it was a serious affront and damage to him to have the names of these two young women printed on the
advertisement of, the film, he said “This matter is one of great importance in the motion picture business, the mention of others on the bill weak the effect of the sole starring of the of the production and dilutes it. If company can feature two other names it can feature a dozen of them with the name of the star and the effect is lost among the other names.” And again the Great Lover complained of another time when the names of the same two young women and an actor named Walter Long and other star were printed in the advertising much his damage. Valentino complains these words “As appears by Exhibit G, I was advertised as follows: ‘With Lila Lee, Nita Naldi, Walter Long and other stars.’ “The reaction of the public mind such forms of advertising and the diminished value of the thereof to me is shot by the article from the first page of New York newspaper of September 11, 1922, hereto annexed and marked Exhibit C. etc.” Mr. Valentino further explains he can’t share his glory with anybody in these words: “The motion picture company is also enabled by such a method to use which I am sole star to divert at attention to other growing players, to whole attention is thus diverted from me an seriously effects my commercial value and by encouraging the public to look upon such growing players as a star or near star soon launches him or her as a sole star. All stars in motion pictures with any experience in the business uniformly insist upon this exclusive fixture in the contracts.” Mr. Valentino, recently married Natacha Rambova alias Winifred Shaughnessy or Winifred Hudnut, adopted daughter of the perfumery Hudnut’s before the decree had been signed divorcing from Jean Acker, his first wife. California authorities arrested Mr. Valentino on a charge of bigamy and released him. There seems to have a sort of gentlemen’s agreement. Mr. Valentino does not exactly ‘ employers for his marital troubles, he does assert that they told him I would prefer he remained “single,” as he calls it. Furthermore, he says, they far from anxious to bail him out. Finally, it was decided that it what is a good time for Mrs. Valentino to visit adopted parents in the East while bigamy clouds were hovering over It is painful to record the following even Mr. Valentino’s employers deny it. To put it bluntly, the new Mrs. Valentino was forced to travel from California to New York in a lower berth As Mr. Valentino remarks “brutality on the part of the company sending Mrs. Valentino East in a lower berth would be more apparent, perhaps to one in the motion picture business knowing the conditions and practice thereof.” It is true that Mr. Fred Kley, assistant general manager, swears to this “It was not requested to secure a compartment drawing room. I asked Valentino particularly if he wanted a lower berth an repeated to me that he did not want a compartment or drawing room but he wanted a lower berth.” Sure but His Managers Are Mean to Him and His Pictures to His Admirers? It was not Mr. Valentino’s desire to have Mrs. Valentino “constantly annoyed by newspaper representatives who would not leave her in peace, her requests to that effect, and she was several times compelled to appeal to the train conductor for protection,” as he asserts. And now comes the melodramatic Touch his detectives are prowling about, as the reader will soon see. Valentino has followed his wife to the Adirondack camp of the Hudnuts. This was after their sudden marriage and the bigamy clouds had safely rolled by. Here is the beginning of the detective melodrama as Mr. Valentino tells it “At North Creek, I was informed by the conductor on the train, who knew me personally, that a passenger had stated that he was interested in me, as he was a newspaper representative, and wanted an interview. I was interested, and at the next station left the train, saw where the man was standing, and approached close to him to see if he wished to talk to me. He saw me but made no effort to approach or converse with me. This man was a very tall man with a long, loose gray overcoat and a closely cropped moustache. I would recognize him if I saw him “I proceeded to the Waldorf-Astoria where I occupied a room. A man called at the hotel to see an employee of the hotel, and stated that he was a detective employed by the Fly Detective Agency and he made inquiry about me. This man an answered the description of the person who followed me on the train. “The only object that my motion picture employers could have for sending a detective to Foxlair Camp was to attempt to secure or claim that they had secured Some evidence at Foxlair Camp, which Would be a crime under the New York State laws, and then by threats and persuasion to secure my continued employment by the company.” Is it any wonder then, that Rodolph Valentino should end his affidavit thus “I cannot work for this motion picture corporation. I cannot endure the tyranny, the broken promises, the arrogance or the system of production. I cannot forgive the cruelty of the company to Mrs. Valentino. I cannot look forward to a sure eclipse of what promises to be a lasting career of great success, provided that I am permitted to make productions consistent with my drawing power.” Mrs. Valentino adds her affidavit to her husband’s accusations. She tells of her distress because of the lower berth incident, and of the unsympathetic treatment which she says the motion picture company official? accorded her. “When I first arrived,” Mrs. Valentino says “and at my first interview with the president of the company, he seemed to work himself into a rage and asked me how we could have been such fools as to have done such a thing and that the company would lose millions by our action; and that Mr. Valentino was ruined and that his pictures were already being stopped in various cities; that Mr. Valentino would get ten years in prison; that so far as the company was concerned he was ruined for them, and that they were through with him. “The general manager of productions frequently told me that I was foolish to remain at home and worry and that I should go out and enjoy myself. On several occasions he said in effect “You are a great fool to sit and worry about Valentino because the girls were all crazy about him and he is having a good time out there and his love for you will not list. He is an actor. My distress and agitation were extreme. I frequently wept after retiring at night and turned out the lights with reluctance because in the dark, fears and self-reproach could not be banished.” Mrs. Valentino, too, speaks of hounding by detectives. But she, like her husband, leaves the telling of the vivid details to their faithful friend, Douglas Gerrard. Mr. Gerrard is an actor and motion picture director and he makes a very good affidavitAfter relating in some detail his education and career Mr. Gerrard makes a place for himself in history by dating his friendship for Valentino from the time five years ago when Valentino repaid a loan of twenty-five dollars. This extraordinary experience the finding of an actor who promptly repaid a loan so affected Mr. Gerrard that he swore eternal friendship for Valentino, says Mr. Gerrard, B. A. (Dublin, Trinity College.) I first met Rodolph Valentino at the end of the year 1917 when he was well-known in Los Angeles. I sympathized with Mrs. Rodolph Valentino No. 2, Who Was Treated “Cruelly” by Having to Sleep in a Lower Berth, and a Lot of Other things with Valentino because he spoke very poor English, had difficulty in obtaining employment, and I suspected that at times he was actually hungry. I took no other interest in him at the time. “One day early in 19I1, Valentino asked me to loan him twenty-five dollars, which I did out of sympathy, and, perhaps, from the motive of economy, since I knew that if he did not repay me he would not ask for more. “Shortly thereafter, Valentino obtained a position and repaid me my loan from his first week’s salary, and when some time later he attempted to borrow from me a much larger sum, I made the loan willingly. This was also promptly returned. On a number of occasions, I made loans to Valentino and I have found him to be scrupulous about making repayment as soon as he obtained employment. “Mr. Valentino always lived quietly and economically and was most earnest about his work. Later Mr. Valentino and I became close friends and although he was unknown, I took an interest in him and introduced him to friends of mine. At seven or eight big parties given by me at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, where men and women were present, he made a distinctly favorable impression by his courtesy and consideration to certain of the older ladies, mothers of young ladies present, while other young men of the party were dancing with and paying attention only to the younger feminine guests. This was not from any motive whatsoever except innate courtesy and kindness.” Mr. Gerrard then goes on to describe his friend’s character. In addition to being kind to old ladies. Mr. Valentino, according to Mr. Gerrard, was economical (despite the twenty-five dollar loan), mild tempered, conscientious about his work an<l not given to gossip. He corroborates Mr. Valentino’s affidavit as to the dressing room incidents, and tells how he and others put up the bail when his friend had been jailed for bigamy. But his most effective writing is his description of a midnight battle with detective* in the wilds of the Adirondack “On Sunday night, August. 27, 1922 at about eleven-thirty o’clock, Mr. and Mrs.
Valentino and myself were playing three handed bridge in the living room at the Foxlair Camp. Mr. Richard Hudnut was in New York City and Mrs. Hudnut had retired to her bedroom just over the living room. “The living room at Foxlair Camp is a very large room, completely surrounded by windows with an entrance from the hall at one end and an exit on to the large veranda at the other end. “Outside of the living room door leading to the veranda is a screened space. At each side of this is s screen door so that the progress of one walking around the porch need not be interrupted. The screen doors fit tightly in order to keep which Weighed Fifty Pounds, Was Skin Tight and Split Open in the Trousers One Day Be cause of the Cruelty of His Manager mosquitoes and prevent their swaying in the wind on stormy nights. “As we were playing bridge at about eleven-thirty p.m., Mrs. Valentino said in a quiet voice there is someone on the  ‘porch. I heard the screen door open.’ “I said: ‘Nonsense. I heard no one and it may be an animal.’ “Mrs. Valentino answered “I know the sound perfectly and there is no wind and it is not an
animal.’ “Mrs. Valentino then stepped to the door leading on to the porch, opened it and locked it  that she was going to close the door, as it was growing cold, and as she did she locked it. “Mr. Valentino thon went upstairs and peered out of Mrs. Hudnut’s bedroom, but could see nothing, as there was a fine, drizzling rain, no wind and the night was intensely black. “After some time Mrs. Valentino again said, I have a feeling that there is some one on the porch.’ “I procured an automatic pistol and walked out of the door at one end of the hall (the hark door of the hall) tramped noisily around the whole veranda, turned and walked noisily back. As I approached the door I saw a form a little darker than the darkness of the night. ‘After some time Mrs. Valentino again said, I have a feeling that there is someone on the porch.’ I procured an automatic pistol and walked out of the door at one end of the hall. As I approached the door I saw a form a little darker than darkness of the night at the end of the porch. I held my gun pointing at the object and would have spoken at any sign of disobedience would have shot this outline except at the moment she called out from her bedroom in a very nervous and alarmed voice, ‘There is someone walking around on the porch.’ “From the testimony of Douglas Gerrard. an intimate friend of the Valentino’s. The end of the porch? I thought that it was a cloth hanging out then, but in order not to take chances I held my gun pointing at the object and would have spoken and at any sign of disobedience would have shot this outline except at the moment Mrs. Hudnut called out from her bedroom in a very nervous and alarmed voice, ‘There is someone walking around on the porch.’ “Not wishing to disturb Mrs. Hudnut and not really thinking that the object was any more than a cloth. I went inside and told Mr. and Mrs. Valentino that there was nothing out there, but casually mentioned the cloth, when upon Mrs. Valentino stated that there was no cloth out there and that it was doubtless a figure of a man. “Mrs. Valentino was so distressed that I began to take her seriously, and I went out of the doorway at the front of the hall and walked stealthily down to the front veranda, outside of the living room, turned the corner, and as I turned I distinctly heard a stealthy movement ahead of me. Thinking it might be a muskrat or an animal of some kind I went very cautiously through the first screen door and closed it very gently. “By this time I was on my knees hidden by the wooden portion of the glass door leading into the room. From this position I still could not see anything until I stood up and peered around the corner of the second screen door, when I saw a tall man in a slouch at and a long overcoat creep cautiously parallel on the rear porch to my course down the length of the front porch. He then dropped to his knees and looked into the window of the living room. “The shock of this apparition paralyzed my faculties for a second. “We were separated only by one screen door. I quickly pushed open the screen door nearest me and shouted “What are you doing here? Stop! Hands up!’ and rushed through the door. “Instead of raising his hands the intruder turned and apparently jumped over the stonewall behind him, although I did not see him as he passed into the outer darkness. I shot and rushed after him, and not knowing the premises, ran with violence against the stone wall surrounding the veranda, the force of which caused me to bounce somewhat over the wall, whereupon a hand reached out from the other side, caught me around the back of the neck and flipped me to the ground on the other side. I fell a distance of five feet on my back, which left me breathless. “My military training had taught me that in a similar situation one must not make a sound, although I was badly hurt and semi-conscious as I fell the intruder struck me a glancing” as I laid on my back covering my mouth with one hand to prevent any sound of my breathing while holding the automatic pistol in the other hand. I then cautiously rolled over from my back and lay on my face and stealthily looked around. On all sides it was black, except in one direction, where the horizon created some light, and in I looked I heard creeping in that direction, and after trying to locate it through the tall grass, to in the direction of the sound. “The intruder then rose to his feet and started running, and I took careful aim and shot a third time. “The stranger let out a wailing prolonged ‘Ah-h.’ almost as a woman might scream, but he passed out of sight. “In the morning our investigation showed fingerprints and footmarks all about the place. The footmarks showed that the man must be a tall man because of the size of the rubbers that he wore. In the soft dirt on the top of the stonewall surrounding the veranda were the marks of a man’s fingers as if he had hung on the wall on the side away from tin house, where the wall is high, and dropped to the ground.” Now, what have Mr. Valentino’s employers to say to all this? They, too, have filed affidavits. How do they explain what Mr. Valentino considers slights, insults and abusive treatment? They don’t bother to explain most of them. Even if so much of Mr. Valentino’s charges were true, they say in effect, it would have nothing to do with the case. The president of the motion picture company remarks “The final excuse now proffered by the defendant for deserting his employment is a mass of trivialities, which he alleges have worked to his discomfort and inconvenience. “There is only one issue involved has Valentino broken or threatened to break his express negative covenant not to engage his service to others than the plaintiff?” Then he goes on to tell how, when actors, directors, camera men and stage were ready to begin the filming of “The Spanish Cavalier,” “with reserved modesty the defendant (Mr. Valentino) proclaims his services to be worth $2,000 per week and nonchalantly intimates that he will not resume his work with the plaintiff unless he is paid that amount, regardless of contract.” After denying; certain of Mr. Valentino’s charges, with which were not here concerned, the president of Valentino’s movie company continues “The opposing affidavits are remarkable for their inconsistencies and contradictions. These contradictions will be pointed out herein: “1. Defendant plead the meagerness of his salary of $1.250 per week and regards it as ‘brutal’ that a woman should be permitted to travel from California to New York in a ‘lower berth.’ and then offers much testimony ns to the simplicity and economy of his tastes, habits end mode of living. “2. Defendant boasts of his physical prowess and then complains about alleged inconveniences and discomforts. “4. Defendant extols his singular merits and submits attestations of his great genius, elaborately sets forth his merits, modestly announces that his services are worth ‘in excess of $1,OOO per week, or $2.000 per year, then concludes with the denial that his services are special, unique or extraordinary. “I am at an utter loss to understand why the defendant should become so exercised over the fact that his wife had to occupy the lower berth.” I have often considered myself fortunate in being able to obtain a lower berth. That people of culture, refinement and respectability and occupying high positions in life ride in lower berths is a matter of common knowledge. The defendant’s viewpoint is well illustrated by his notion that to purchase a lower berth for a lady constitutes ‘brutality.’

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1926 Marriage Grows Cold Gossip

The papers leaped at the story which he gallant Rudy pulled as the cause of the separation which, by the time this appears, will have developed into a Parisian divorce decree. Natacha, he says, was not a home body. She didn’t want children. She would not cook the spaghetti. She was fond of dogs. She wanted to work. His reflected glory did not satisfy her. She wanted her own career. Bunk! Bunk served with piffle sauce. Publicity for Rudy. But old stuff. Do you remember the way Gloria Swanson set the dear old souls of Paris wild over her when she said she wanted five or six children? I believe she meant it, because I have seen her with her two children. She adores them. Her own baby, little Gloria, was not enough, and so she adopted a boy and named him Joseph Swanson, after her father. But I have never heard of Mr. Valentino hanging around an orphan asylum, and I cannot quite visualize the picture of the sheik walking the floor of a cold California night crooning the junior to sleep. It was not, in my opinion, playing the game to midst an effort for sympathy and publicity at the expense of the woman, even if it were true – which I doubt. And we must hand Mrs. Valentino credit for her attitude in the whole matter. She would not live with him and his friends, told him so, got out, leaving her belongings to him, and went on her way, avoiding any opportunity to publicise her- self at his expense. Divorce is no joking matter, but I cannot hold back a little snicker at Rudy crying on the shoulders of the public and yearning for kiddies. THERE is nothing vindictive or downright mean about Valentino. He’s a pleasant chap and a fine actor, whose delusion is that he is also a business man. Natacha has been criticized for managing his business affairs. But we have got to admit that in this case her management was much more commendable than his. To add to her troubles, the F. B. O. Company, for whom Miss Rambova made a picture because she needed the money, changed its name to “When Love Grows Cold” after it was finished, with the frank purpose of capitalizing her marital troubles. Miss Rambova protested that it would harm her and create the impression that she was the one who was profiting by deceiving the public into believing it was a screen revelation of their love wreck.

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8 Nov 1925 – All in the Dark

Rudolph Valentino sat in his suite in the Ritz-Carlton yesterday and admitted that he was “all in the dark” about Mrs. Valentino. They parted two months ago for a marital vacation, she steaming off to Paris and he remaining under the Kleig lights of Hollywood. Valentino came here yesterday, and he sails for the other side on Saturday. Mrs. Valentino is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday aboard the Leviathan. But if the Valentino’s patch up their differences, based chiefly on her demand for a career, the first overtures will come from her. Valentino made that clear, just as clear as he made emphatic his distaste for baggy trousers and other vivid habiliments. Valentino remarked that Oxford bags appeared to be the exclusive penchant of young college boys, said he preferred marrow trousers and a longer coat. He figured that wide trousers and short coats would make him appear shorter. However, he summarized, clothes should not be of importance in the life of any man. What plans had he for his stay in NYC before the boat took him away for two months? Well said, Valentino he will say as many good plays as possible. That will be the most frequent item on his calendar. Then, when he gets abroad he hopes to spend Christmas and New Years in Rome with his brother who may become his continental representative. And above all things, he wishes to rest and relax. When he feels sufficiently eased he may drop in to see Sabatini and Ibanez in search of good movie plots something he finds scarce these days.

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