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

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