Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mary MacLaren The Star Who Knew Rudy

Mary MacLaren was a star in many Universal films. One of her biggest hits was called "Shoes" and alas is now considered a lost film.  She also played the Queen in the Douglas Fairbanks silent film "The Three Musketeers"   Once sound came in, she fell into bit roles and uncredited parts.

While at Universal Mary MacLaren's dressing room was next door to Rudolph Valentino's. Valentino made five 'pre-star' films at Universal.  This simple fact of side-by-side dressing rooms became her calling card for attending the Valentino Memorial Service.  She  was a guest speaker for 17 consecutive years, a record that still stands today.  She held the audience in rapture year after year telling glowing stories of Rudy.
She passed away in 1985 at the age of 89 and is buried at Forest Lawn in Glendale.

Actress Mary MacLaren
Glass slide of Universal film of which she was the star
Mary addresses the Valentino Memorial Service
Speaker Rudy Vallee gives Mary a hug at the
1984 Valentino Memorial Service. This was her
last appearance there.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

1700 Lexington Road

We've all seen the wonderful photos of Rudy frolicking at the pool of Marion Davies home at 1700 Lexington Road in Beverly Hills.  Rudy with a line up of fellow celebrities, and one of him hugging Louella Parsons.

Here is a clipping of a photo I recently ran across in a vintage scrapbook.  Its a photo taken at the same setting as all the rest, but this shot I have never seen before.  Left to right:  Charlie Chaplin, Louella Parsons, Larry Gray, Harry Martin, Marion Davies, Beltran Masses and Rudolph Valentino

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Friend of Dorothy

Don't you wish your name was Dorothy and you were at the theater one night alone, and suddenly unexpected the theater usher taps you gently on the shoulder, hands you this card and bows as he backs away.  Ahhh.... the allure of Rudolph Valentino doesn't fade with age.

"My dear Dorothy,
Could you come with me to the Montmartre for a little supper and few dances? 
 If so let me know by bearer and I will wait at the stage door.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Rudolph Valentino Auditions for Role in Broken Blossoms

This rare Valentino image was scanned from a vintage hand tinted photograph. I would say this photograph was taken when he was hoping to land the male lead opposite Lillian Gish in the 1919 film "Broken Blossoms"   

Unfortunately for Valentino the role went to actor Richard Barthelmess.  While Valentino never got to star opposite Lillian Gish, he did get the opportunity to work with her sister Dorothy Gish in "Nobody Home" that same year.

Lillian Gish & Richard Barthelmess 
in "Broken Blossoms"  1919

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Valentino Estate Items #6 Luther H. Mahoney

Valentino Estate Items are quite rare and often go for a pretty penny at auction.  This one is listed as #6 for if you scroll back you will see each time I post an Estate item, I number it so you will know what to search for.  This is from my collection.

This beautiful purple leather bound edition is the complete works of Shakespeare in miniature. Each volume contained within the purple leather bound casing is about the size of a deck of cards. 

Faithful worker for Valentino, Luther H. Mahoney acquired this set after Rudolph Valentino's death. Sadly, Mahoney has been badly maligned in a recent book but I am glad to see his descendants stepping forward and taking an active part in sweeping the fiction away from Luther's legacy.  No evidence to date has been presented to authenticate the fictional dialogue attributed to Luther Mahoney (used as quotes in the book!) nor that he stole anything from the safe of Rudolph Valentino.  He was an honest family man whom Valentino trusted above all others.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

J. Edgar Hoover to George Ullman - Thanks But No Thanks

Here is an interesting letter from J. Edgar Hoover the legendary director & founder of the FBI   Apparently Valentino's former manager S. George Ullman made some type of pitch which Mr. Hoover politely turned down.  Do you think maybe he was trying to get Hoover to find the missing Valentino court documents? 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Maria Gabriella Barbin Guglielmi - To Rudy In 1908 "Oppertunity To Go To America"

Here is a hand written letter from Rudolph Valentino's mother to him while he was away at school and just 13 years old.  The letter is dated January 15, 1908.  The translation was done professionally.

In her encouragement for him to apply himself to his studies she opens the possibility that one day he would perhaps get the "opportunity to go to America on a nice steamboat"

Yes, you read that correct.  Even as early as 13 years old his mother was planting the seed of America and the land of opportunity.

There is a book out that would lead you to believe that in 1913 at 18 years of age, he was surrounded by aunts and uncle's wagging their finger at him saying that he brought shame to the family and they all decided to send him to America in exile.

That "family gathering" and finger "wagging" was all made up!  Here's the proof  that as early as 13 years old his mother Maria Gabriella Barbin Guglielmi herself was suggesting going to America as a golden opportunity for her young son.  The trip didn't come to fruition until December of 1913 but now the truth is out that there was no dark cloud of shame upon him when he came to America.



Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Complete Valentino Estate Catalog

This is the complete Valentino Estate Catalog.  This represents the first auction that would be held.  Later another auction was done more quietly in San Francisco.  Also, almost none of the contents of Valentino's Whitley Heights home were included in this auction and were disposed of in an unknown fashion.




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