Brown - Dark
Brown - Dark
Castellaneta, Puglia, Italy
Place of Death
Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States
Cause of Death
Ruptured gastric ulcer and general peritonitis
Claim to Fame
Known for the films The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle, The Son of the Sheik, ...
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Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor, sex symbol, and early pop icon. Known as the "Latin Lover", he was one of the most popular stars of the 1920s, and one of the most recognized stars from the silent movie era. Some of his best known roles include the silent films The Sheik and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. His untimely death at age 31 caused mass hysteria among his female fans, propelling him into icon status.
Valentino was born Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Piero Filiberto Guglielmi in Castellaneta, Italy, to a French mother, Marie Berthe Gabrielle Barbin (1856 - 1919), and Giovanni Antonio Giuseppe Fidele Guglielmi, a veterinarian who died of malaria when Valentino was 11. He had an older brother, Alberto (1892-1981), a younger sister, Maria, and an older sister Beatrice who died in infancy.
As a child, Valentino was reportedly spoiled and troublesome. His mother coddled him while his father disapproved of his behavior. He did poorly in school, and was eventually enrolled in agricultural school where he received a degree.
After living in Paris in 1912, he soon returned to Italy. Unable to secure employment, he departed for the United States in 1913.
Arriving in New York City, Valentino soon ran out of money and spent a period of time on the streets. He eventually supported himself with odd jobs such as bussing tables in restaurants and gardening. Eventually, he found work as a taxi dancer at Maxim`s.
Valentino eventually befriended Chilean heiress Blanca de Saulles who was unhappily married to prominent businessman John de Saulles, with whom she had a son. Whether the two actually had a romantic relationship is unknown, but when the couple divorced, Valentino took the stand to support Blanca de Saulles` claims of infidelity on her husband`s part. Following the divorce, John de Saulles reportedly used his political connections to have Valentino arrested, along with a Mrs. Thyme, a known madam, on some unspecified vice charges. The evidence was flimsy at best and after a few days in jail, Valentino`s bail was lowered from $10,000 to $1,500.
The trial and subsequent scandal was well publicized, following which Valentino could not find employment. Shortly after the trial, Blanca de Saulles fatally shot her ex-husband during a custody dispute over their son. Fearful of being called in as a witness in another sensational trial, Valentino left town, joining a traveling musical that led him to the West Coast.
One of his father`s ancestors had been enobled by the Pope. Among the other dancers at Maxim`s were several displaced members of European nobility and there was a premium in demand for them. Rodolpho Guglielmi added his ancestor`s name di Valentina d`Antonguolla onto his own.
In 1917, Valentino joined an operetta company that traveled to Utah where it disbanded. He then joined an Al Jolson production of Robinson Crusoe Jr., travelling to Los Angeles. By fall, he was in San Francisco with a bit part in a theatrical production of Nobody Home. While in town, Valentino met actor Norman Kerry, who convinced him to try a career in cinema, still in the silent film era.
Valentino, with Kerry as a roommate, moved back to Los Angeles and took up residence at the Alexandria Hotel. He continued dancing, building up a following which included older female clientele who would let him borrow their luxury cars.
With his dancing success, Valentino found a room of his own on Sunset Blvd and began actively seeking screen roles. His first part was as an extra in the film Alimony, moving on to small parts in several films. Despite his best efforts he was typically cast as a "heavy" (villain) or gangster. At the time, the major male star was Douglas Fairbanks, with a fair complexion, light eyes, and an All American look, with Valentino the opposite, eventually supplanting Sessue Hayakawa as Hollywood`s most popular "exotic" male lead.
By 1919, he had carved out a career in bit parts. It was a bit part as a "cabaret parasite" in the drama The Eyes of Youth that caught the attention of screenwriter June Mathis, who thought he would be perfect for her next movie.
Displeased with playing "heavies", Valentino briefly entertained the idea of returning to New York permanently. He returned for a visit in 1917 staying with friends in Greenwich Village. It was here he met Paul Ivano; someone who would help his career greatly.
While traveling to Palm Springs, Florida to film Stolen Moments, Valentino read the novel The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. Seeking out a trade paper, he discovered that Metro had bought the film rights to the story. In New York, he sought out Metro`s Office; only to find June Mathis had been trying to find him. She cast him in the role of Julio Desnoyers. For director, Mathis had chosen Rex Ingram, with whom Valentino did not get along, leading Mathis to play the role of peace keeper between the two.
Couple Profile Source
Royal Academy of Agriculture
Full Name at Birth
Rodolfo Alfonzo Raffaelo Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguolla
Deep, Penetrating Gaze
Beatrice Gabriela Barbin Guglielmi
Alberto (older brother)
Irish Wolfhound named (Dog - Centaur Pendragon), Great Dane (Dog - Kabar)
Spaghetti With Meatballs
Day Dreams , How you can keep fit  (MacFadden), My Private Diary  (Occult)
Valentino as I knew him  (S. George Ullman), Rudy: An intimate portrait of Rudolph Valentino  (Natacha Rambova), Rudoph Valentino - His romantic life and death  (Ben Allah), The intimate life of Rudolph Valentino  (Jack Scagnetti), Rudolph Valentino  (Alexander Walker), Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino  (Emily Leider), Valentino Forever  (Tracy Terhune), The Valentino Mystique  (Allan Ellenberger), Valentino: The Unforgotten  (Roger C. Peterson), Valentino  (Irving Shulberg), Valentino - The First Superstar  (Noel Botham)
DAYDREAMS OF RUDOLPH VALENTINO, Valentino , The legend of Valentino , Valentino , The legend of Rudolph Valentino , Alla Nazimova and Rudolph Valentino , Rudolph Valentino: The Great Lover 
DAYDREAMS OF RUDOLPH VALENTINO
Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguella, professionally known as Rudolph Valentino (May 6, 1895 – August 23, 1926), was an Italian actor who starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle, and The Son of the Sheik. He was an early pop icon, a sex symbol of the 1920s, who was known as the "Latin lover" or simply as "Valentino". He had applied for American citizenship shortly before his untimely death at age 31, which caused mass hysteria among his female fans and further propelled him into iconic status.
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