Posts Tagged With: Winifred Hudnut

7 Jun 1922 – Rudolph Valetino Released

Rudolph Valentino, the motion picture actor, who was charged with having committed bigamy, by marrying Winifred Hudnut, the daughter of a rich American perfumer, before his final divorce decree was granted from Jean Acker, another picture artist, who was his first wife, have been set free. The evidence was found to be insufficient.
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15 May 1922 – Scandal Happenings in Mexicali

SCANDAL ARISES IN VALENTINO marriage nuptials in Mexicali celebrated at local Cognisance is taken of the rumors and semi-allegations afloat this morning to the effect that Rudolph Valentino, famous film celebrity, has committed bigamy in marrying Winifred Hudnut, art director for Madame Nazimova, in Mexicali Saturday afternoon. So far as has been learned there has been no official action in this direction but opinion is rife that such will be the result. It is alleged that Valetino came to Mexico to marry because of a legal technicality in his divorce obtained last year which stipulated that ho could not marry within the state again within one year. “We are madly in love with each other and it just counld’t wait, said Valentino, to a large gathering of Mexicans around Mayor Otto Moller’s home in Mexicali Saturday afternoon, after he was called on to appear with his new bride. Valentino and Winifred Hudnut, a former dancer and now art director for Madame Nazimova, were quietly married at the home of Mayor Moller at 2:30 o’clock Saturday afternoon by Civil Judge T. Sandoval. Only four Americans were present at the cereOftony which was witnessed by four Mexican officials. The Americans were Dr. Florella Mansfield Wyatt of Palm Springs, Cal., Douglas Gerrard, former director for Valentino and now a director for Universal, and Mr. and Mrs. Billy Silver of Calexico. A queen play on two Mexican words kept the whole affaij as quiet as it was kept and saved the famous couple from having to dodge old shoes and rice from a vast throng of admirers. One of the words means hunting and the other, so similar that when pronounced can hardly be distinguished from “hunting”, that the general impression was noised around that Valentino was here for a three week’s hunting trip in the mountains. He was seen in Calexico early Saturday morning and many suspicions were aroused when it became known that his finance was in his party stopping at the Barbara Worth hotel in El Centro. The’ party was chaperoned by Dr. Wyatt. However, Valentino was content to let the rumor that he was here on a hunting trip continue its course. The Mexican band and string orchestra furnished the music at the wedding dinner served at the home of Mayor Moller. Many beautiful floral offerings were received by the newlyweds from Mexican officials and other people. Valentino and his bride slipped quietly away Saturday night for San Diego where they are today. It is understood that they may leave for New York to live at the home of his bride until the legal verbiage clears away

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12 May 1922


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27 Jan 1926


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17 Sep 1923 – Oh Horrors Girls Rodolfo is Baldo

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.

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8 Sep 1957


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Jan 1923

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Apr 1925 – Passport Application


Natacha Rambova was in Monaco to visit the American Embassy to file for an extension of her passport. It was during this time she was establishing residency in order to file for divorce from Rudolph Valentino

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25 May 1922 – Valentino Bride Tenders UA Studio Resignation?

Reports in circulation here today that Winifred Hudnut, bride of Rudolph Valentino had sent in her permanent resignation as art director for Nazimova were denied here today by the United Studios. “Wo have received no official word from Miss Rambova since she lofts here,” it was declared. “It is possible the resignation may have been sent to Mme. Nazimova, who is away, but we have heard nothing about. Mme. Nazimova will not return until June 1. and there is no way for ns to check up on the rumor.”, Miss Hudnut, under the name of Natcha Rambova, was employed as art director by Mine. Nazimova at the United Studios up to the time of her separation from Valentino, now under a charge of bigamy. Miss Hudnut took her vacation at the time of the wedding and has made no formal communication [since. Her leave of absence has ‘not yet expired, it was. stated. Preparations to bring to a final the California statute prohibiting marriage within a year from the granting of interlocutory decrees of divorce were being made by counsel for Rudolph Valentino today. The ultimate decision is expecting-to be brought to the ‘supreme court in an effort to defend the marriage of Valentino in Mexicali and similar marriages of at least twenty other picture stars and persons said to be under investigation. The strongest efforts will be made to quash the case against Valentino in’ the justice court, was learned today, but both state and defense are preparing for a long series of appeals.  The attorney in charge of Valentino’s defense dared that hundreds of marriages in the State of California believed themselves to be united will depend on the outcome of this court.  The district attorney’s office continued its efforts to piece meal its case against Valentino will be arraigned before Justice Vincent Bowser.

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22 May 1922 Valentino’s Bride Declared Former Dancer Who Disappeared in 1916

On reaching Chicago, from escaping the madness she was forced to leave behind when she married Rudolph Valentino in Mexico.  It was revealed by her friends that until her marriage she was Winifred de Wolfe daughter of Mrs. Edgar de Wolfe and niece of Elsie de Wolfe, well known interior decorator.  This discovery recalled the fact a world-wide search was being made for her in 1916, when she suddenly disappeared from New York.  Two Senators and a Russian Ambassador participated in the search. She refused to discuss this disappearance when asked about it tonight. Neither would she say anything about her relationship with a married Theodore Kosloff, Russian dancer with whom she was found as a dancer going by another name of Vera Fredov.  In 1916, she left her home and told her mother the married Kosloff was the only person in the world who could develop her talents. After months of searching she was found with his troupe in Chicago. Later on, Kosloff declared “Miss De Wolfe came to my studio in New York. She wanted to dance the Russian dance. She was not like those other girls who would come to be thinking I could help them. “Altogether she is the same as a blue diamond. Her family did not want her to go on the stage, but it is her life not theirs.  Some girls dance and sing but never have I seen such a clever girl as she to get what she wanted.   I prepared to give her a chance on the stage.  She designed and sewed costumes and did whatever I asked she was dedicated.

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20 May 1922 – All Will Be Well

Winifred “Shaughnessy” Hudnut, bride of Rudolph Valentino, passed through here this morning bound for New York. In a long letter to her new husband, she stated “everything will come out all right and I will be with you shortly.”

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8 Mar 1926 – What If?

What if Rudy Valentino married Pola Negri, Winifred Hudnut hopes he will buy the bride pretty things. Lawyers’ bills prevented Winifred from having real jewels when she was Mrs. Rudy, she says, and he never mentioned his passion for a family. Pola loves Rudy, she has said at Los Angeles, but is waiting to see if her affections are the same when she returns from Europe four months hence.

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2 Apr 1922 – Valentino Misses Again

Mrs. Edward Franklin White, Deputy Attorney General of Indiana, in an informal opinion expressed the belief that the latest marriage ceremony of Rudolph Valentino and Winifred Hudnut at Crown Point, Indiana last week was illegal. The Indiana law, according to Mrs. White, provides that the woman be a resident of the county in which the marriage license be granted.

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28 Jun 1931 – The Case of Why Rich Women Prefer to Divorce in Paris

This writer is going to use the divorce case of Winifred Hudnut/Natacha Rambova versus Rudolph Valentino as an example of why women prefer to divorce in Paris. So we know that Winifred/Natacha was granted a divorce in Paris simply on the fact Valentino wrote a letter to her that he definitely and purposely left her and decided to cease all relations with her. Thus she was “grossly insulted”. But lets not forget Winifred got her knickers in a twist when she was no longer Valentino’s de facto manager and barred from movie studios. Hudnut and Valentino journeyed to Paris and it was no secret they were planning to divorce. The ruling of the Seine trial was Hudnut was entitled to all of the rights of as an American because her marriage was in Crowne Point, Indiana and “gross insult” was grounds for divorce. Most French writers contend there are three grounds for divorce under French Civil Code. Grounds for divorce are innumerable: Article 229 A husband may divorce his wife on the basis of her infidelity.Article 230 A wife may divorce her husband on the basis of his infidelity. Article 231 Both spouses may reciprocally divorce each other on the basis for violence, cruelty, or gross insults.Article 232 The condemnation of one of the spouses to a corporal punishment shall be another cause for divorce. Although no local difference is suppose to exist, so as far as husband and wife are concerned French authorities contend that in the case of an indiscretion the courts always seem to look with more indulgence upon the false step of the husband than of the wife.

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21 May 1922 – Winifred reaches Chicago

Winifred Hudnut alias Natacha Rambova reached Chicago today, enroute to her secluded home in New York with a pledge of love for Valentino on her lips and tears in her eyes when she heard the latest news of the screen idol. All the way on her trip from Los Angeles she steadily refused to discuss the case, which scores of news reporters who guarded the train at almost every station or who were already on it when it started, but at the last moment when someone suggested her silence might result in misjudgement of Valentino and asked her if she loved him, her lips formed one word “forever”. then she resume her attitude of silence.  Persons on her train said she told them she would “never never leave” Rudolph but planned to return to him one day.  The only time she had real joy on her face was when the porter gave her telegrams from Valentino.

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12 Aug 1923 – Valentino Sifts Ashes of his Dead Loves with Poetry

“To rake over the dead ashes of a burnt out love one must use the pen point of poetry” –Rudolph Valentino.

Behold the sensitive soul of a Sheik, self-revealed to a world of worshippers. Rudolph Valentino master lover of the silver screen, forcibly exiled from film land, declares he has found consolation in the Muse of Poetry.  A volume of poems and epigrams bearing his signature has just been published.  Flaming orange, symbolic of passions torch, contrasted with the black of disillusion, appropriately clothe the slender sheaf of verse in which the screen troubadour sings his first serenade to the public.  “Day Dreams” he modestly calls his offering. “Just dreams a bit of romance, a bit of sentimentalism, a bit of philosophy”.  They were written, he tells us during his enforced inactivity, “to forget the tediousness of worldly strife”.

“I am a slave, yet free as birds above, Sold into bondage by the tender kiss of love”

Sings Rudolph, the adored of a million maidens. Love indeed, is the stuff that makes up most of the Sheik’s dreams. Among all the love inspired stanzas that Valentino has penned in words as ardent as the glances and embraces which have won him his title as screenland’s champion lover, not a single offering is dedicated to his present wife.  The initials of Winifred Hudnut, step=daughter of the millionaire, and known to the stage as Natacha Rambova, are conspicuous by their absence.  But her are dedications galore to others, whose identity is veiled behind the non-committal initials: “M”, “B”, “O”, “MK”, “AT” “EB” “GS” and “J”. Still more mystifying is the dedication of the whole book “To J.C.N.G. my friends here and there”.  Trying to fit these initials to well-known personages of the screen and artistic world will be one of the favorite indoor sports of the season, guaranteed to start a lively discussion anywhere. Shakespeare has kept the world guessing over four centuries in regard to the identity of a certain dark lady of this celebrated sonnets. Now comes Rudolph with his dozen or more mysterious affinities to puzzle the public.  Who is the fortunate friend whose inspirations has led the Romeo of filmland to protest: “Possessing the jewels of the earth, Holding within my grasp the scepter of the universe, all these would but make me more the pauper.  Were, I beggared of your love”? Who is E.B.? who will be envied by damsels all over the country, when they read the plea of her tempestuous wooer: “O Love, when you leave me, do not say rather, beloved of my heart, we will meet at sunshine tomorrow,” A kingdom for a key to the secrets locked up behind those initials, Mr. Valentino! A thousand lovers rolled into one and you have the romance make-up of the inner Valentino as revealed by his verses.  Sometimes he naively declares:

“Till we kiss our lips, of the mate of our soul. We will never know love has reached its goal.” More often he is the sophisticated Don Juan, reflecting cynically: “I do not care for anything that comes easily, It never lasts I know, but I fell in love with you easily. But not lastingly I know”.   Then inconsistently enough, he turns to reproach someone else for being just as fickle.  But enough of the offerings laid so generously on the altar of love. They fulfill the promise of the Valentino who thrilled the nation as the on-screen lover of Alice Terry, Nazimova, Agnes Ayres, Nita Naldi, Patsy Miller, Gloria Swanson. A many sided personality emerges from the orange covers of “Day Dreams”.   Day dreaming Rudolph is the life-story of the actor-dancer-poet, with many a flash-back into the days of discouragement and disillusion of the first eight years, in America.  It is the struggle of the unknown Italian youth in a strange land that lives again in the verses between the pages of this book.  Many of the lyrics owe their inspiration to Nature.  Rudolph’s intimate knowledge of growing things comes from his early training as an agriculturist, and recalls the humble past of the future Sheik who left the fruitful farms of his native Italy to work in America as a landscape gardener.  Religion plays an important part in the nature of worship of Valentino, who sees God’s handiwork everywhere, and pays tribute to its observations. It’s a sad, sad, world to Rudolph Valentino despite all the popularity that has come to him in the past two years. The author of “Day Dreams” if his revelations are to be considered as bona fide, is a young man who takes himself and his art seriously. His verses are filled with melancholy. The idol of the world of movie fans doesn’t seem very much thrilled by his sudden attainment of the pinnacles of success.  Far from being satisfied with things as they are “Happiness you wait for us Just beyond, Just beyond. We know not where, nor how we shall find you. We only know you are waiting, waiting just beyond”.

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26 Dec 1917 – Vera Fredowa

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05 Jun 1922 – Nazimova Not Fugitive

Silent Film Actress Nazimova denied today she was a fugitive from California where she was wanted as a state witness in the trial of Rudolph Valentino who was charged with bigamy.  The actress was enroute to New York, said she had not tried to evade service of subpoena in Los Angeles.  “I delayed my trip by two weeks in order to give authorities a chance to serve me she said, then I left”.   Nazimova accompanied Valentino to Mexicali where he married Winifred Hudnut.

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1920’s – Jean Rhys and the Hudnut’s

Jean Rhys was a novelist who became famous in her later years. However, it was interesting to note that she had a connection with Richard Hudnut and his second wife Winifred.

In 1890, Jean Rhys was born Ella Gwendolen Rees Williams on the island of Dominica to a Welsh father and white Creole mother. From an early age, Jean wrote stories however, it was when destitute and living in Paris she began writing again. It was also during this time she met literary giant Ford Madox Ford who kick-started her writing career. Ford Madox Ford was born Ford Madox Hueffer in Merton, Surrey Novelist, poet, literary critic, editor, one of the founding fathers of English Modernism. It was through him that she changed her name and his advice to use her tortured life experiences and transform them in to literary form. Also, I was through him that she met Richard Hudnut and his second wife Winifred. In Jul 1925, Jean Rhys took a train to Juan-Les-Pins to meet with Mrs. Hudnut who wanted her to ghost-write a book on Reincarnation and Furniture. However, this was not a subject she was an expert on let alone undertake. However, according to limited research on this subject Jean stayed at the Chateau for a couple of months. But it seems that Ford had received a letter from Jean stating that Mrs. Hudnut wanted her to write an additional book as well. This led to Ford writing Mrs. Hudnut angrily saying she was trying to exploit her and underpay Jean for her writing services. Needless to say Mr. and Mrs.  Hudnut were angry about the whole situation and cabled Ford that Jean would be on a train back to Paris the next day. However, it seemed that a story was going around that about Jean and Mr. Hudnut. It seems Mr. Hudnut had been seen kissing Jean when he took her to the Casino at Monte Carlo ‘Nearly every Sunday’. This was also verified by the chauffeur who was watching them in the mirror. It seems that Winifred and Jean ‘reconciled their differences’ and took the train from Juan-Les-Pins to the Garc de Lyons where Ford met them both there. Winifred did not seem to be impressed when she met Ford she walked away with a porter and her luggage. Did Richard Hudnut fool around with Jean Rhys? There is really nothing to prove this story? There are no known news articles except what Jean has written. Given that Richard Hudnut was a wealthy man I imagine he paid afew people off to insure this little dalliance never seen daylight.

Source Used:

Ford Madox Ford: A Dual Life, Vol II The After-War World. By Max Saunders.


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26 Jan 1926 – Natacha Rambova in Maryland


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26 Jan 1926 -Give the Woman A Break

Being a bred in the bone feminist, I am sure glad to finally stumble across a story based on an interview with the former Mrs. Rudolph Valentino that gives her a fair break. Somehow the picture of Winifred Hudnut Valentino as the old stereo-typed Pekinese-fondling female did not ring true. And her lord and master’s outbreak anent his noble craving for home and fireside and children sounded quite posey and stagey and as though fresh from the fertile brain of that unoriginal lot, press agents, rather than warm and quivering from his own sorrowful heart. But most of the remarks accredited to Mrs. Valentino sound true. Her dissertation on the folly of an American girl marrying a European husband sounds mighty sensible to me. “Foreign men have such different ideas of marriage from Americans. Boys in Europe are taught to consider themselves much more important than girls. “These boys, brought up to consider themselves lords of creation, expect wives to be subordinate. A wife is someone to make him comfortable minister to his wants, provide sympathy when he needs it, and when he needs nothing, keep herself well into the background.” And we regard this especially worthy of thought, as it comes from the former Mrs. Valentino’s ruby lips. “Now I don’t mind doing all this, it’s a pleasure to make one’s husband happy and comfortable when one loves him. “But what wore me out was my foreign husband’s acceptance of all these things as though they were merely my duty, my day’s work instead of a consideration for him and a matter of love”. And apropos of Rudy’s paternal manifestations readers may recall his heralded yearning for offspring with which wifie wouldn’t oblige the ex-wife fires this one “Rudy might like noiseless, dressed-up children, but…” And that unfinished sentence is only What Every Woman Knows. Then about the matter of Mrs. Valentino working” “I worked because I was energetic”. “A man’s love doesn’t compensate for the boredom and depression of being a loafer”. “For a woman to give up all work just to devote herself to loving a man is a great mistake. Because only an egocentric wants a woman to devote her life to admiring him”. Well and ably spoken, Winifred Hudnut Valentino, or Natacha Rambova. “We’re for you! You have a good head, and said head has doped out a much better analysis of why your marriage failed than has either your erstwhile Rudy on his press agent.

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10 Jun 1916 – Roses Tossed to Russian Dancer Bear the Name of Missing Heiress Winifred de Wolfe

A flock of detectives took up the trail today of Miss de Wolfe the missing San Francisco heiress While a frantic mother accused dancer Theodore Kosloff, of using hypnotism on his pupil. Just at the end of Kosloff’s act at a local theater this afternoon a huge bouquet of American Beauty roses was tossed across the footlights by an attendant. It was tied with a big black bow of material that looked like undertakers crepe. Kosloff picked up the bouquet and pricked his fingers on the thorns. Blood sprinkled on the attached card on which was inscribed in her own handwriting “Winifred de Wolfe”. Investigation as to the source of the bouquet proved futile. The girl’s relatives however are certain now that she is alive. Kosloff declared this was the message he had vaguely expected and consented to issue his long-promised statement. “I hope” he said, “that when Miss de Wolfe reads the statements about Kosloff made to the newspaper by her mother she will immediately if she is alive, send a denial to the newspapers. That’s why for the time I have refrained from speaking on the subject. I consider Winifred de Wolfe what in my language would be called a saint, and only her great love for art, which is almost fanatical, would compel, her to leave her mother, her home, relatives and friends”. Winifred de Wolfe, has been missing since 26 April. The Russian Ambassador, Senator James O’Gorman, and Secret Service men have at various times joined in the search for her. Miss de Wolfe is the niece of famous NY Interior Designer Elsie De Wolfe.

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1922 – Bride of Mystery

Winifred Hudnut. daughter of Richard Hudnut. the perfume magnate, was his choice. She was a girl of mystery, for it was not known generally that the Hudnut’s had a daughter. The girl had appeared in the films as Natacha Rambova, a protégé of Nazimova, in whose company Valentino had been featured. They were wed In Mexicali, Mexico, at a party, with the municipal band and a reception by the local government. Then came a crash that quite drowned the sonorous music, for it was learned that Rodolph’s divorce would not be permanent until next January and he was promptly arrested for bigamy and jailed when he returned to Los Angeles. Friends supplied bail and he was finally extricated but legally declared unwed.  He was freed only on condition that he restrain himself and live apart from his quasi-wife until the decree became permanent and this he promised. Meanwhile, Miss Hudnut’s history was investigated and It came out that she was merely an adopted daughter of the Hudnuts; that she was really Winifred De Wolfe, a relative of Elsie De Wolfe, and that she had mysteriously disappeared eight years ago, to be discovered in the company of Theodore Kosloff, the Russian dancer, under the name of Vera Fredow.  The bridegroom remained in Los Angeles, the bride hastened to New York and Jean Acker, near-wife, laughed generously, and said “My marriage was a romantic tragedy of the silver screen. Our happiness has been shattered, but I still admire Rodolph. I can’t say that I love him, but he Is a wonderful actor. He and Miss Hudnut have my sympathy and I bear them no malice. As for me I’m trying to forget.” But Valentino assorted proudly last week that Winifred Hudnut would be his forever despite the law, and he added “I’m going to Paris In March, when I have my final decree of divorce. My wife? If she is my wife will leave New York with her parents for Nice soon. When we meet again. It will be in Paris, and we will be married. “Then we will get married in every State of the Union, if necessary. After that, we will settle down in Hollywood in the home that I have provided for my bride the home that she has never occupied. Of course, my wife will continue with her art work. She has designed many of the costumes in my recent pictures. A woman has the right to a career outside of marriage but she cannot devote herself to a career and to marriage  successfully and at the same time.” And In the meantime, Hollywood Is awaiting the sound of the next marital cataclysm in its midst for there always seems to be one ready for the spark that precedes the explosion.

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