Rudolph Guglielmi better known as silent movie star Rudolph Valentino called at the Federal Building, New York yesterday and took out his first citizenship papers. William J. Burns, formerly with U.S. Secret Service, came along as his sponsor. Mr. Valentino wore a mixed cray suit, a gray cravat, a gray hat with tan leather shoes. To clerk Frank O’Grady, who put the usual questions to him, he said he said he was a motion picture player, five feet eleven inches tall and weighted 164 pounds. He further said, he was born in Castellaneta, Italy on 6 May 1895. He lives at 270 Park Avenue, and came to this country from Genoa, Italy, his wife’s name is Winifred, born in Salt Lake City, Utah and now lives at 96th Street, New York City. A statement sent out last night by the publicity agent of the United Artists Corporation, says that as the first step in his application for citizenship. Mr. Valentino presented an honorary discharge by the Italian government from all military duties past and present. This action was taken, it was explained, because of a rumor current during the World War in Mr. Valentino’s home neighbourhood in Italy that he failed to enlist. It is further explained Mr. Valentino’s failure to take part in the war was due to a slight defect in his left eye. For this his offer of military services was refused. This defect, it was stated, does not interfere with his motion picture work. A year after his rejection by the Italian authorities, the statement says, Mr. Valentino tried to get into the British Aid Service, but Major Manchester of the British Recruiting Service rejected him presumably for the same reason as that which led to the refusal of his services for Italy. Mr. Valentino again sought military service under the draft rules of the U.S. and when he was turned away, he made another unsuccessful effort to enter the Italian military service through the aid of the Italian Consul General. After the war, Mr. Valentino heard from a brother whom he met in France that he was slated as a slacker in Taranto, Italy. This was found to be true, but it was discovered to be an error which was later corrected. The statement says that Mr. Valentino delayed his application to become a citizen of this country until his record was cleared of all stain. Mrs. Rudolph Valentino returned from Europe yesterday on the Leviathan under her professional name of Natacha Rambova, accompanied by her mother Mrs. Richard Hudnut and said she intended to start work on a picture play in New York immediately. When it was pointed out to her that her husband stated to newspapers he wished her to leave the film business and make a home for him, the screen star smiled and said “ I will let him do the talking. I do not care to discuss my private affairs with the public”. She further added it was her intention to keep in business as she had done before er marriage and that the next move would be up to her husband.
The 1920’s was a time period of social and economic change. People were tired of living a legacy of war and sorrow. They wanted to live life on their terms and not what society deemed as acceptable or tolerated. There was a hint of the curious in people. Eager to explore beyond their own backyards by going out into the world and try new things. But while these were deemed forbidden or taboo it didn’t stop the rich and famous. No, they led and mere mortals followed. For instance magic shows were something a sober upstanding and law abiding citizen would not normally attend. However, they became a public phenomenon and no one was more public and a forbidden marvel than Harry Houdini and his magic performances that made viewers believe. Also, people enjoyed participating in popular parlour board games such as seances or Ouija boards giving them a chance to communicate with the dearly departed. This too became a phenomenon making skeptics into believers. Lastly, Spiritualism became all the rage among many famous people or newly turned believers of the day. Famous author and noted believer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a strong advocate and was often found to lecture on his theories and beliefs. So strong was his beliefs that he felt Houdini had supernatural skills and even when the magic trick was explain he refused to believe otherwise. The author felt there was a commonality between spiritualism and motion picture industry. But let us not forget Doyle’s interest goes back further than Rudolph and Natacha. During and after WWI Doyle was a member of the Society for Physical Research and became friends with all sorts of people with a shared intriguing interest. Rambova’s interest started at a young age and believed strongly in reincarnation and automatic writing. She surrounded herself with people that had a shared belief and was firm follower of Madame Helen Blavatsky. When she became involved with Rudolph Valentino, she shared her personal beliefs. During the course of their relationship he became an enthusiast and newspapers have documented the couple’s belief extensively. June Mathis the woman who discovered him and other mother were also believers. However, when Valentino’s marriage to Rambova ended so did his interest with spiritualism. On his death bed he reconciled with the Roman Catholic faith. Rambova eventually reinvented herself as a world known Egyptologist and carried her belief to the grave.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave his final interview to Horace Leaf, published in October 1930 issue of Ghost Story.
This interview seemed a culmination of Doyle’s fanaticism with spiritualism. The writer starts out writing Conan Doyle’s last words to me were “Spiritualism is the most important fact in life, and we must make this world accept it in the interests of both worlds”. Towards the end of interview, he talked about how Doyle would talk to crowds about spiritualism and the mileage he traveled. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did make a promise and his final words were published in the New York Times that I have included in this blog post.
There has been no evidence that suggests the Valentino’s ever personally met Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. But at one time, all had a shared interest, in spiritualism and the great beyond. How fascinating it would be to read about them having a conversation where they share opinions on mutual interests. The spiritualism movement continued into the early 1930’s and interest declined thereafter.
Happy 🎃 🎃 Halloween
According to court documents the ongoing trial of Arthur Butler Graham vs. Rudolph Valentino continued for most of the year 1923. It’s a known fact that Rudolph Valentino had problems with paying his bills on time. Looks like the amount went up to $65,000 for services rendered when Arthur represented him in court during the Famous Players-Lasky suit
During the presentation of “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at the Lyric Theater last week, many Stocktonlans recalled they had seen Valentino, who played the part of Julio, some place, some time. Mr. Valentino made a tremendous hit in “The Four Horsemen” and. according to Stocktonians who have verified their recollections. he danced at Tail’s in San Francisco about eight years ago. Following his successful engagement at Tail’s Cafe he joined Mrs. Irene Castle as a dancing partner, and it was while with her company that he developed those abilities which he expresses in part to distinguish his portrayal of the life of Julio. After a highly successful week at the Lyric, Theater “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” closed last evening.
Rodolfo Valentino, the Shiek of Shieks, arrived in Paris last week accompanied by his red-lipped wife Winifred Hudnut. He had a rousing reception from a large crowd and posed for almost an hour for photographs for French newspapers and photograph service, but one thing the Parisians found out that Americans have failed to notice. Rodolfo is bald. According to a dispatch carried in the Los Angeles Times there is no doubt about it. He is bald. Between the shining and lacquered flairs over his Apollo-like head gleams the unmistakable whiteness of Valentino’s skull. Three years hence those black hairs will not even l)e able to conceal the gaping spaces, so girls resign yourselves to the truth. Both the Valentinos unanimously and voiciferously declared to reporters that they are going to have their own company when they get back to America. Rodolfo will act and Winifred intends to design his costumes. His contract with Lasky is up in January, and by that time he will have his own company duly organized and under way. Rodolfo made quite a hit on the boulevards. He kissed the hands of all the European ladies present, and Winifred, smiling with her startling red lips from her dead white face, allowed her hands to be kissed in faultless Parisian manner. They made deep impressions on crowds of Parisian celebretieh, who considered them .sharply different from the previous visitors from Hollywood who did not know how to eat, or talk, or bow or smile. Rudy and his wife have the grand manner, as if they were brought up in the world of cosmopolitan society.
Gerardo Cetrulo, 89 world fencing champion who lived at 556 Clifton Ave, died Sunday at Clara Mass Memorial Hospital. “Fencing whets the minds appetite” he said, at the age of 73 when he agreed to teach the sport at the Boys Club of Newark, New Jersey. “It develops alert mental faculties and stars a youngster on the road to clear thinking. A youngster who has his wits about him is not apt to get into any mischief”. Mr. Cetrulo came from Caposele, Italy to New Jersey before the turn of the century and was introduced to the sport that was to dominate his life thereafter. A colorful figure, Mr. Centrulo was the center of many controversies among fans of the sport. His sharpest rivalries were those with Don Generos Pavese, his former teacher and Gus Troxier. Mr. Cetrulo helped Rudolph Valentino get a start on his film career. Valentino studied fencing in Newark under Mr. Cetrulo who introduced him to D.W. Griffith, movie mogul who was then working at movie studios in Ft. Lee, New Jersey. After reaching stardom Valentino always returned to Mr. Cetrulo for fencing lessons before a new picture. Mr. Cetrulo was a former fencing instruction at Barringer High School. In 1929, he won the collegiate fencing championship, New York Athletic Club. Mr. Cetrulos 8 children were all fencers. Two of them, Dean a teacher in Parasnippay, Dr. Gerald Cetrulo were members of the American Olympic Team at different times. Mr. Cetrulo’s 3 daughters were also accomplished fencers.
At 1735 yesterday, a tall slim stooping figure in a turned down college boy hat slipped out of the rear door of the Harbor Sanitarium, 667 Madison Ave. The figure held an animated conversation in the alley with a person who later turned out to be his valet. Then the figure darted nervously into a 15 and 5 taxicab and was whisked away. Thus, Barclay Warburton Jr, host to Rudolph Valentino at that mysterious party, leave the sanitarium where he underwent an operation only a few days after that of his famous guest. Everyone at the Harbor from the superintendent to the doorman tried to keep Warburton’s departure a secret. The young society man plainly looked ill as he left. Meanwhile Broadway, astir with reports about Rudy’s illness was still wondering about the speedy retirement of his host. After giving out a statement that there was no party at his apartment 925 Park Ave a story contradicted by at least one guest apartment owner Warburton has frantically dodged questioners. Warburton’s story told immediately after Valentino was taken to the hospital, was that Rudy was taken ill at the Ambassador Hotel and not after the party at Warburton’s. Harry Richman of the cast of George White’s scandals, said Rudy, Warburton, and himself, accompanied by three women, went to Warburton’s apartment. “We had some drinks, music and dancing” Richman said, until about 1:30, when Rudy was taken violently ill and was rushed to his apartment at the Ambassador. While his death mystery deepens Rudy lay in peace yesterday in the gorgeous gold room at Campbell Funeral Home.