Rudolph Valentino

Rudolph Valentino

A few months before Valentino's death, a Chicago newspaper columnist attacked his masculinity in print, referring to him as a "pink powder puff." A lawsuit was pending when Valentino was fatally stricken. One of his last questions to his doctor was, "Well, doctor, and do I now act like a 'pink powder puff'?" His doctor reportedly replied, "No, sir. You have been very brave. Braver than most."

A portion of Irving Boulevard in Hollywood, California, was renamed Rudolph Valentino Street in 1978.

At the height of his popularity, Valentino went on a brief sojurn in his native Italy to visit friends and family and, in general, to get a much-needed rest. When he returned to Hollywood, friends asked him if he'd been mobbed by fans while on vacation. Valentino said no, explaining that, "over there, I look like every other Italian fellow on the street."

At the time of his death, Valentino was severely in debt, and his heirs could not afford a burial plot for him. June Mathis, friend and screenwriter of Rudy's hit films The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) and Blood and Sand (1922), graciously agreed to temporarily loan him a space in her family crypt at Hollywood Park Cemetery so he could be interred upon his body's arrival in Los Angeles following a coast-to-coast funeral train ride from New York. Mathis died the following year and Valentino's body was moved into her husband's space. He is still interred there today as all memorial plans fell through during the depression.

Considered to be the first male sex symbol of the cinema during the silent era.

Following his untimely death, a bogus, composite photograph of Valentino ascending up to heaven was released for sale, and was snatched up by his legion of fans.

For many years on the anniversary of Valentino's death, a mysterious woman, dressed all in black, was seen laying a wreath of flowers on his grave. Her identity was never established.

Had an Irish Wolfhound named "Centaur Pendragon" and a Great Dane named 'Kabar'.

He is responsible for bringing the Argentine Tango to America, first performing the famous dance in his film The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), and later in a successful American national dance tour with his wife, Natacha Rambova, who, like Valentino himself, was once a professional dancer.

He was voted the 32nd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

His father was Italian his mother was French. Valentino spoke at least 4 languages fluently (English, Spanish, French, Italian) and may have spoken more.

His name was mentioned once in Herbie Rides Again (1974).

In 1923 he recorded two songs, "Kashmiri Love Song" (from The Sheik) and "El Relicario" (from Blood and Sand) for Brunswick Records. Both recordings still exist and have been released on the CD "Rudolph Valentino: He Sings & Others Sing About Him".

In 2009 The Rudolph Valentino Society was created to honor his legacy.

In 2009, a novel, based on the idea of Rudolph Valentino living to the age of 110 was published as, "Conversations with Rodolfo" by Hala Pickford.

In 2011, 'Affairs Valentino' by Evelyn Zumaya was released by The Rudolph Valentino Society. The biography drastically repaints the life of Valentino with newly found court documents, accounting ledgers, and unpublished memoirs and memories by his manager George Ullman and Godfather Frank Mennillo.

In the 1930s, Sheik Condoms, named after his most famous role, were introduced and feature Valentino's silhouette on the packaging for years.

Is mentioned in the The Bangles hit song (written by Prince) "Manic Monday".

Is mentioned in the The Bongos song "Apache Dancing": "We like to tango like Valentino".

Pictured on one of ten 29¢ US commemorative postage stamps celebrating stars of the silent screen, issued 27 April 1994. Designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, this set of stamps also honored Clara Bow, Charles Chaplin, Lon Chaney, John Gilbert, Zasu Pitts, Harold Lloyd, Theda Bara, Buster Keaton, and the Keystone Kops.