Rudolph Valentino (Rudolph Valentino)

Rudolph  Valentino

Actor. Born Rodolfo Alfonzo Raffaelo Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguolla in the small town of Castellaneta, Puglia, Italy, he originally had no intention of becoming an actor. He tried to enlist in his country’s Royal Naval Academy but was rejected because his chest size was an inch too small. When he was 15 he attended the Royal Academy of Agriculture and graduated with a certificate in scientific agriculture. Becoming restless with life in his small town, he left to find a better life in America. He sailed to New York aboard the “SS Cleveland” and arrived on December 23, 1913. Speaking no English and having little money, he worked as a busboy, then as a waiter. Soon after, he became a professional host to wealthy women, and would dance with them at Maxim’s restaurant. He moved to Hollywood, but because of his dark looks, was usually cast in bit parts as a villain. He met screenwriter June Mathis who suggested he be cast in the lead role of “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” which featured him prominently in the legendary tango scenes. The movie became a success, allowing him to later get the title role in the 1921 film “The Sheik,” starring opposite ofAgnes Ayres. The movie was an even bigger success and gained him legendary star status. He was married twice, first to actress Jean Acker in 1919, then to set designer Natacha Rambova in 1922; both marriages ended in divorce. He was in New York in August 1926 to attend the premiere of his new film and sequel to “The Sheik” entitled “Son of the Sheik,” when he collapsed in his hotel room on August 15. He underwent surgery for a gastric ulcer and ruptured appendix. The operation was performed, but he later became ill due to peritonitis. His health deteriorated over the next week and he died a little after noon on August 23rd at the age of 31. It was estimated that over 100,000 people filed past the bier at Campbell’s funeral parlor, where his body was. Riots broke out as mourners waited in line to pay their respects and have one last look at their film idol. His body was laid to rest in California. 

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Born

  • May, 06, 1895
  • Italy

Died

  • August, 23, 1926
  • USA
  • New York

Cemetery

  • Hollywood Forever Cemetery
  • California
  • USA

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