Friday, January 29, 2016

RVG

Here is a close-up scan of one of Rudolph Valentino's pieces of stationary.  Over the years I have seen several types that he used; some said 'Rudolph Valentino'  some had the name of his home 'Falcon Lair' and some, such as this example had the three initials of his name
 Rudolph Valentino Guglielmi

I have always found it interesting, yet pleasing, that Rudy kept his original family name within his monogram.  Not only his stationary but his cigarette cases, luggage and many other personal artifacts were all monogramed with RVG.  The only thing I have found that is authentic that was monogramed with only RV was items in his stables.  His horse blankets had RV as well as did the brass and copper horse feed buckets!




Thursday, January 28, 2016

Alberto Valentino & Pola Negri - Rare Photo Leaving Ambassador Hotel For Valentino Funeral 1926

We have all seen the well known photo of Pola Negri and Alberto Valentino entering the Church of the Good Shepherd for his brothers funeral on September 7, 1926.


Here is a rare photo of them just minutes prior; leaving the Ambassador Hotel.  Pola had already rented a bungalow on the grounds of the hotel and upon his arrival in Los Angeles the day before, Alberto took up temporary residence in a bungalow of his own there.  Thinking he would be in town only for the funeral and awhile after to settle the estate - it turned out that he would bring his family to Los Angeles and all of them would live their entire lives there.  But he didn't know that then, when this photo was taken.


I am also showing a close up of their exit of the hotel; you can see the sadness etched onto Alberto's face.  The next stop after this photo would be the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills.


Alberto Valentino escorts Pola Negri from the Ambassador Hotel to the Valentino funeral that would be held at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills  September 7, 1926


Close -up of photo showing Alberto's visible grief

Well known photograph of Pola Negri & Alberto leading the procession into the Church of the Good Shepherd, followed by Mr. and Mrs. S. George Ullman




Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service - Remembering August 23, 2011

At the Valentino Memorial Service on August 23, 2011 a man brought a hand painted likeness of Rudolph Valentino and allowed any and all to take photos of it.  It turns out he works for the Disney Studios and he told me his father was a fan of Valentino and he created this as a tribute to his late father.


He did a wonderful job, wouldn't you agree?  It was so nice to have Rudy "there" with us that year. Also is a photo of the Valentino crypt taken on the same day just prior to the start of the Valentino Memorial Service.










Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In Memory of Rudolph Valentino

Here is a July 1927 edition of the Girls Cinema, a London based collectable movie magazine geared towards a younger female audience.  It was printed on cheaper paper stock.  On the eve of the first anniversary of his passing, Rudolph Valentino is again the cover story with a beautiful color card given in each magazine.  This edition is quite collectable and very few survived intact.  It's nice to see Rudolph Valentino remembered across the globe.



Monday, January 25, 2016

Eleanor Parker visits Valentino's Whitley Heights Home

Here are two publicity shots of gifted actress Eleanor Parker visiting the former Whitley Heights home of Rudolph Valentino.  One taken outside the doorway, and one inside the ransacked home.   The reason she is there is to squeeze publicity out of the (then) recent ransacking of the famed Valentino estate.  The home set to be sold and moved - the idea was abandoned when over eager fans broke into the home and stripped every away any item or fixture that they felt was associated with Rudolph Valentino.  The home, inside and out had been heavily modified in the 25 years after Valentino's passing; however there were many original items carted away.


Eleanor Parker the same year would star in the lukewarm biopic called "Valentino" released by Columbia Pictures in 1951.  She played the love interest 'Joan Carlisle' which was a fictitious character.
She later gained a degree of screen immortality when cast in the 1965 musical classic "The Sound of Music" playing 'The Baroness"


The home was later demolished to make room for the Hollywood freeway, and it's brick foundation can still be seen.







Friday, January 22, 2016

Marion Davies Arrives At The Rudolph Valentino Funeral September 7, 1926

Here is a vintage photo of Marion Davies (left) arriving with her sister Ethel at the funeral of Rudolph Valentino on September 7, 1926 held at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills.


Also attending the Valentino funeral was publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst, who arrived and departed separately to keep up public appearances.


This year marks the 90th Anniversary of the passing of Rudolph Valentino and each year the historic Valentino Memorial Service is held to honor his life and legacy.


The motto of the Valentino Memorial Service - held each and every August 23rd  is


"We Never Forget" 


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Pola Negri Arrives in NYC To Attend Valentino Funeral

Here is a vintage candid newspaper snapshot taken in August 1926 capturing forever the bedlam when Pola Negri arrived on the train in Grand Central Station in New York. Flanked by Valentino's manager S. George Ullman (hat in hand) and unidentified man to the right.  You can see a young girl has broken through the brisk escort and appears to be reaching out to Miss Negri. 



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Rudolph Valentino "We Mourn Our Loss"

Here is an obvious staged photo, but compelling, none-the less.  After the death of Rudolph Valentino on August 23, 1926 there were various outward expressions of grief.   Here, school children in an Italian section of New York kneel before an American flag in flowers, and ribbon draped Abbe portrait photo of Valentino to pay their respects.  Partly hidden by the front row heads of the school children it is written in ribbon "We Mourn Our Loss"


90 years have gone by since this photo was taken.  While time has marched on, Rudolph Valentino is still beloved, both remembered and honored.  Every year at the Valentino Memorial Service the legacy of his life and work is upheld.  Our motto, dating to 1928 when it was first used and has continued - is "We Never Forget"   This year the Valentino Memorial Service will again make true that
"WE NEVER FORGET"


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Rudolph Valentino - Red Cross Signed Card

At the premiere of "The Eagle" in New York in November of 1925 the Red Cross held a benefit fundraising for their upcoming pledge year of 1926

If you donated $5 or more, Rudolph Valentino would autograph your pledge card.  When I bought this item it came with the premiere program of  "The Eagle"

You can see Mrs. Fletcher donated $5 to the 1926 Red Cross pledge drive and Rudolph Valentino signed the card.  Unique Valentino history!



Monday, January 18, 2016

Rudolph Valentino Mass Card 1926 - St. Malachy's Church

Here is the original mass card given to each attendee at the first funeral service held for Rudolph Valentino in New York on August 30, 1926.  The Catholic church St Malachy's was selected.  Often called the 'actors church' it is at 239 West 49th Street.

Very few of these cards have survived the 90 years that they were given out.




Friday, January 15, 2016

Jean Acker - "Mrs. Rudolph Valentino the 1st"

When Rudolph Valentino proposed to Jean Acker to be his wife testimony would later reveal that the two had no more than 'held hands' prior to their November 1919 nuptials.  Quite odd, even for Hollywood in 1919.

She was under contract to Metro and he was a struggling bit player with hopes of breaking through to leading man roles.  History has shown how well he achieved that goal.

After Valentino met with huge success after the release of "The Four Horseman" in 1921 it caused Acker to not press for a divorce and Rudy didnt actively seek one until he met Natacha Rambova.

Jean Acker then lost no time in humiliating him in the court of public opinion; accusing him of using her perfume (a lie) and that she didnt want to support him (another lie)  When she swore under oath that the marriage had never been consummated, it held him up to public ridicule that followed him even after death.

True, they seemed to mend any broken fences in their relationship by August of 1926 and Jean Acker was often seen squired by Valentino around New York City several times that August.

After his passing she lost no time in penning a song "We Will Meet At The End of the Trail" which was most likely written and composed by an unnamed person and her name attributed to it to further sales.  I do not believe Jean Acker could read or write music.

Here are some interesting time line photos of "Mrs Rudolph Valentino the 1st" - a phrase she often used when she signed photographs of herself.

However, of Valentino's two wives, only Jean Acker is on record of having visited his crypt several times over the years, and once at the Valentino Memorial Service of 1940

Very early signed photo of Jean Acker from my collection Circa 1912

 Photograph Signed to his 'beloved wife" Jean Acker 1919 
(photo was altered to read 1924)

Jean Acker conferences with her lawyer in the highly public
Valentino/Acker divorce proceedings




Two Vaudeville theatre ads when she exploited the Valentino name - Circa 1923
Rambova (then currently Mrs. R #2) threatened to file suit to stop this

Vintage August 1926 newspaper showing a
smiling Jean exit the hospital after visiting Rudolph Valentino



Jean Acker (second from left) is escorted out of the 
Frank E. Campbell's Funeral Church after viewing the 
remains of her former husband. Her mother is in the center.






 1926 "Tribute" Sheet Music - words & music
attributed to Jean Acker

Original still that was used for the above sheet music

 Jean Acker at the grave of Rudolph Valentino
August 23, 1940



The grave of Jean Acker at Holy Cross Cemetery
Even in death the Valentino name was used










Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Rudolph Valentino - Atlantic City - August 2, 1926

Here is a rare photo from my collection that shows Rudolph Valentino in Atlantic City on August 2, 1926  -  Just 21 days before his passing.  He was awarded the "Key to the City"
by the acting Mayor Anthony Ruffu Jr

                                     Rudolph Valentino - Circa August 2, 1926

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Rudolph Valentino - Beverly Hills 1959 Statue & Tribute

One of the least known statues/tributes to Rudolph Valentino is the one on Beverly Blvd in Beverly Hills.  Erected in 1959 it salutes Rudy as well as several of his peers for their contribution to getting the city of Beverly Hills be its own municipality rather than an annex of Los Angeles.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, January 8, 2016

George Ullman: Rudolph Valentino Productions

Right after the passing of Rudolph Valentino, George Ullman quickly moved the production offices of Rudolph Valentino off of the United Artists lot, located at the corner of Formosa &  Santa Monica Blvd to just down the street at 6605 Santa Monica Blvd.

It was here that, in addition to the settling of the estate, Ullman also had to contend with the delivery by the post office of sacks full of mail on a daily basis, addressed to the deceased star.  Apparently even Mrs. Ullman got into the act and pitched in to help with the overwhelming correspondence.

The address number on the building was later changed.  Here is a rare upstairs look at the suite of offices, it is uncertain which suite that the Rudolph Valentino Productions occupied.  The photos were taken before the more modern restoration of the building took place.  All of the railings and flooring and doors are original.  You can see the famous Rambova/Valentino bungalow just to the right.   You can almost step back in time!



 


 
 
 

This mock photo of Ullman and his secretary with the superimposed image of Rudy (from Son of the Sheik) was taken in the above offices.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Valentino History - The Ambassador Hotel

The Ambassador Hotel was a top of the line showcase hotel when it opened in 1921.  Many parties and events were hosted there.  Located at 3400 Wilshire Blvd it was an imposing structure, with individual bungalows available for rent to the rear east and west of the hotel.

It was here in 1924 that Rudy and Natacha hosted a lavish star studded dinner in the ballroom to introduce Hollywood to gifted painter Federica Beltran Masses.  In 1925 Valentino would be Best Man at the wedding of Mae Murray which was held in the hotel.

At the time of Rudy's passing Pola Negri occupied one of the lavish bungalow suites and it was here she learned of the death of Rudolph Valentino.

After escorting Rudy on the sad funeral train from New York to Los Angeles, Alberto Valentino also took up residence in a bungalow at the Ambassador Hotel, while the Valentino estate was being settled.

Here are some photos I took of the hotel just prior to it's being torn down in 2005.  Also below is a letter written from Alberto to George Ullman on Ambassador Hotel stationary just two days after the West Coast funeral of Rudolph Valentino.  (I have blocked out the content of the letter for personal reasons)  Note on the letterhead the image of the Ambassador Hotel New York - this is the hotel where Rudy was staying in August 1926 when he fell ill and was rushed to the Polyclinic Hospital.


The main Hotel



The Bungalows where Pola Negri and Alberto Valentino resided late 1926



Letter written by Alberto to George Ullman two days after his brothers funeral









 


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Valentino Memorial - The Valentino Family Speaks Appreciatively

It was an historic day on August 23, 2009 when Alberto Valentino's great granddaughter Jeanine Villalobos addressed the Valentino Memorial as the keynote speaker. For the first time in decades; since Alberto Valentino; a family member addressed the Valentino Memorial.   Jeanine Villalobos, on behalf of the family, thanked the Valentino Memorial for continuing to honor her great grand uncle over the years and upholding the "colorful" tradition of the annual event itself. She then proceeded to quote private family letters recently translated that told the inside story of Alberto's grief and his journey escorting his brothers remains on the cross country train trip from NYC to California for burial.

This year marks the 90th anniversary of Rudolph Valentino's passing and on August 23, 2016 the 89th Valentino Memorial Service will be held.

The Valentino Memorial - our motto:  "We Never Forget"


          
      Valentino family historian and authority;  Jeanine Villalobos at
 the Valentino Memorial on August 23, 2009

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

PICKFORD GRIEVES

Here is a rare photo of Mary Pickford, sadness on her face, after stepping out of her chauffeured car on Santa Monica Blvd at the Church of the Good Shepherd on September 7, 1926.  She was there, along with her husband Douglas Fairbanks to attend the West Coast funeral of Rudolph Valentino.  Hard to believe this year marks the 90th anniversary.

The Valentino Memorial is the oldest annual event in Hollywood history.  Our motto is:
"We Never Forget"
 
 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year! 2016

Happy New Year to all fellow Rudy fans!  A very exciting new project is near completion. News will be posted here, when I am able to announce the book.

Of course going into this year marks the 90th anniversary of our Rudy's passing on August 23rd, its hard to believe nine decades have come and gone yet he's still so loved and remembered.

The Valentino Memorial (this year will be the 89th) - our motto is

"We Never Forget"