Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Vintage Photos: Frank E. Campbell's Funeral Church

We have all seen the photos of surging crowds in front of and lined down the sidewalk of Frank E. Campbell's Funeral Church in late August 1926.  I thought it would be of interest to show a couple of photos that show the Funeral Church six years after Valentino's viewing took place. 

Here is the 1932 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and to the far right in both photos you get a good look at the structure without the crowds there.  Cambell's would remain in this location until 1938 when they moved to the location they are still at, on Madison Avenue.  Mr Cambell died in 1934 and his daughter continued the business until her death in the early 1940's. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Merry Christmas! Rudolph Valentino's 1925 Christmas Card

It's just around the corner until that most holy of days, Christmas.
I thought it would be nice to share the Christmas 1925 card that Rudolph Valentino sent out 90 years ago.   Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Valentino Rumors

Even on the date of his death Rudolph Valentino did not escape rumors.  Here is a late edition paper which called attention to rival tabloid papers by telling its readers of the list of ways he was rumored to have died.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Valentino Funeral Site - Church of the Good Shepherd

At 10am on September 7, 1926 the funeral of Rudolph Valentino was held at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills.  Entrance was by invitation only.  Over the past almost 90 years since that funeral, the church remains in fairly unchanged condition.  Here are vintage photos of the day of the Valentino service and photos taken recently.

The Valentino Memorial continues the remembrance of Rudolph Valentino - the motto being
"We Never Forget.



Thursday, October 29, 2015

Valentino Era Tabloid Newspapers

Back when Rudy lay ill in the hospital, any update on his condition was worth a gold mine when it hit the press. Back in those days the newspapers often ran a morning as well as evening editions with trumped up stories to make eye catching headlines.

Here is a completely faked "photo" of Rudy laying in bed as his nurses old the phone for him to hear get well wishes via phone and telegrams from fans.  Sadly, nothing could have been further from the truth as Rudy lay in excruciating pain and suffered terribly.  However this mocked up photo was how most fans wanted to picture him.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Valentino Memorial Guest Speaker Mary Philbin "Phantom of the Opera" Silent Star

On August 23,1988 silent film star Mary Philbin was the guest speaker at the Valentino Memorial Service.  Mary is best known as Christine who rips off the mask of Lon Chaney in the 1925 silent classic "Phantom of the Opera"  She also starred in many Universal silent films.  When sound came in she decided to retire from acting.  Over time Mary became a wealthy recluse as she had invested her money very wisely and was financially very well off.  The historic Valentino Memorial brought her out of the house to speak fondly of Valentino.  Mary had attended both the New York and Hollywood funerals, one of the few people to have done so.   Here are a couple of snapshots of Mary on this rare outing.


Valentino Memorial Guild Chica

Monday, October 26, 2015

Valentino Memorial 1926 Tribute Plaque

S.George Ullman, early administrator of the Valentino estate commissioned this plaque in August 1926.  It is not known what he intended to do with it, but by December it was auctioned off along with all of Rudolph Valentino's personal belongings (sans jewelry and clothing)  The price the estate paid for this was $800  The relief likeness of Valentino is in solid brass and the surrounding is veined black marble with polished brass framing along with the 'comedy/tragedy' artist masks at the top. It stands about a foot and a half.  I have had the privilege of holding this in my own hands and can attest that it is very heavy, very sturdy, and has a built in latch to have it stand upright like an easel.  It is now in a private collection.  Truly a beautiful one of a kind piece of Rudolph Valentino art.  Here it is pictured sitting in a red chair.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Sculpted Hand of Rudolph Valentino

After Rudolph Valentino died on August 23, 1926 his estate was put up for auction.  All of his possessions were put on display and with the clash of the auctioneer's gavel, sold.

Only his clothing and jewelry escaped that fate and were retained by the family. To this day the whereabouts of the famous platinum slave bracelet remains as much a mystery as ever. 

One item that did get auctioned off created quite a stir in the press.  It was Rudolph Valentino's hand sculpted in  marble with a black marble base.  It was created by Prince Trobetskoy who gifted it to Mr. Valentino.  Photos of the hand are very rare, outside the actual estate catalog.  This was lot # 233 in the December 1926 auction.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Rudolph Valentino and James Dean

This past September 30, 2015 marked the 60th anniversary of the passing of James Dean. 

Throughout the past 60 years, memorial services are held at his grave every year.  If you walk down Hollywood Blvd it’s not hard to find James Dean items on the shelf of every gift shop. T shirts coffee mugs, key chains etc.  On his death in 1955 there was a great outcry of the loss of this young 24 year old actor which blazed across the sky starring in just 3 films "East of Eden", "Rebel Without A Cause", and "Giant"

Almost every newspaper made the connection of the outpouring of grief to that of Rudolph Valentino 29 years earlier, in 1926 when he died at the age of 31.  A bust of Rudolph Valentino is in the DeLongpre Park in Hollywood.   A bust of James Dean is at the Griffith Park Observatory which served as the backdrop in key scenes of his classic film "Rebel Without A Cause"

Yes the Valentino Memorial and its continuance have paved the path for other stars to be duly remembered.  "We Never Forget"

James Dean - Valentino Newspaper Connection

James Dean bust at Griffith Park Observatory

Rudolph Valentino bust at DeLongpre Park

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Birth of the Valentino Memorial 1927

On August 23, 1927 Alberto Valentino held the first Memorial Service for Rudolph Valentino at the newly built Church of the Blessed Sacrament.  The church is still there, located at 6657 Sunset Blvd.

The service, held one year to the day of Rudolph Valentino's death attracted a large who's who of Hollywood.  Later in the day, the first Valentino Memorial was held at the Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery. Thus the tradition had been born, thanks to Alberto Valentino who deserves the credit of paving the way for his brothers continued remembrance.

Pictured here are Alberto and Ada Valentino posing with a newly completed bust of Rudolph Valentino which had been unveiled at the conclusion of the church service.

The Valentino Memorial motto is and continues to be  "We Never Forget"

Friday, October 16, 2015

Rudolph Valentino Vintage Memorial Items

These two memorial pins with accompanying ribbons are an example of the items that went on sale shortly after Rudolph Valentino's passing on August 23rd 1926.

Every year since 1927 on the anniversary of his passing the annual Valentino Memorial Service is held as a way to respectfully honor his memory.  Next year will mark the 89th Valentino Memorial.   The Valentino Memorial motto is  "We Never Forget"


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Remembrance of Rudolph Valentino

Many people wished for additional ways to remember Rudolph Valentino.  Starting in 1927 the Valentino Memorial Service was (and still is) the most noteworthy way to annually commemorate the life of Rudolph Valentino

However, within a short time of his passing ribbons, pins, plaster busts, and other remembrance artifacts came upon the market.  Here is one plaster plaque that I was able to buy at a Bonham auction.  I have not seen another come available before or since.  Circa  late 1926

The Valentino Memorial Service motto -  "We Never Forget"

Remembrance of Rudolph Valentino

Many people wished for additional ways to remember Rudolph Valentino.  Starting in 1927 the Valentino Memorial Service was (and still is) the most noteworthy way to annually commemorate the life of Rudolph Valentino

However, a short time of his passing ribbons, pins, plaster busts, and other remembrance artifacts came upon the market.  Here is one plaster plaque that I was able to buy at a Bonham auction.  I have not seen another come available before or since.  Circa  late 1926

The Valentino Memorial Service motto -  "We Never Forget"

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

In 'Grateful Appreciation" Rare 1926 Thank You Card from Valentino Family

This rare 1926 thank you card was sent to only a select few by the Rudolph Valentino family - namely his brother Alberto & sister Maria.  I purchased this card from William Self who was good friends with Alberto Valentino.    "We Never Forget"  - The motto of the Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

Monday, October 12, 2015

Valentino Forever "We Never Forget"

This is one of my favorite photos of Rudy.  Picturesque of him astride his steed. 
Sharing this photo is a way of keeping the Valentino Memorial motto evergreen;
"We Never Forget"

Monday, October 5, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Alberto Valentino - Beloved Brother, Beloved Father, Beloved Husband

No one suffered more after the untimely death of Rudolph Valentino than Alberto Valentino his beloved brother.  They were very close and Rudy had sent him to Paris to set up a distribution hub for Rudolph Valentino Productions when he received the wire that Rudy had fallen ill. Rudy's passing changed forever Alberto and his family's whole life. For them nothing would be the same.  The below photo is an original signed Abbe photo of both Alberto and Rudy in happier days visiting the Hudnut Paris home circa 1924.  I purchased this photo from the highly esteemed Valentino collector William Self, he himself a personal friend to Alberto and Alberto's son Jean.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Valentino Memorial - Early Photos

Now that the 2015 88th Valentino Memorial Service has successfully concluded, I thought it would be fun to share early photos of where it is held.  These photos show the exterior of and inside corridor of the Cathedral Mausoleum from 1938.  It is here in this wide corridor that the annual Valentino Memorial Service is held every August 23rd.  Every year since 1927

 "We Never Forget"

Monday, September 7, 2015

Valentino Memorial 2015 In Pictures

Banners flank the columns for the 88th Valentino Memorial 

Front of program for the Valentino Memorial 2015

Inside of program

12:10pm  - The Valentino Memorial Serice is set to start

Tracy Ryan Terhune -  Welcome and opening remarks including a passage from Rudy regarding his thoughts about the Valentino Memorial (read from Rudolph Valentino The Untold Story by Wayne Hatford  - page 103)

Tracy Ryan Terhune introducing guest speaker Allan Ellenberger, showing his wonderful book The Valentino Mystique

Historian and author Allen R. Ellenberger spoke and showed historic Valentino locations from both New York and Los Angeles

Allison Francis read three selections of poetry from Daydreams the book of poetry that Rudolph Valentino wrote in 1923.  She is holding (and read from) Valentino's own personal copy of the book.

The Wegter family sang two songs which they wrote and performed;  Like Valentino and Shooting Star   Rex, Laura, Rachel and Seth Wegter

Zachary Kadin read the listing from The Eagle campaign book detailing how exhibitors can increase business by using the brass Eagle coin as a promotion.  He is holding one of the Mark Strand Theatre Eagle coins which are the most valued, as Rudolph Valentino attended the performance and later threw them out of the car window to get people to scatter so his driver could escape the crowd

Tracy Ryan Terhune introducing the key note speaker for the 88th Valentino Memorial, Jeffrey Vance.  Holding Mr. Vance's Chaplin book.

Aclaimed author and historian Jeffrey Vance spoke indepth on the Valentino/Picford association.  

-----    CLICK ON LINK FOR VIDEO  ----

The ring Valentino wore in The Eagle (pictured) was on public display for the very first time in it's history (aside from public auctions) at the Valentino Memorial this year

Gifted singer Nick Palance was not listed in the program as they had gone to press prior to his being confirmed for the Memorial.  This was his third time at the Valentino Memorial.  His first song was Ave Maria

Stella Grace led the audience in reciting of the 23rd Psalm from the Bible.  This is a long standing tradition at the Valentino Memorial


Valentino Displays at the 88th Valentino Memorial

Thank you to Frank Labrador and Chris Roman for kind permission to use their photographs of the Valentino Memorial 2015