Friday, June 11, 2021

"Phantom Fame"

On p.42 of Affairs Valentino, I relate the story of a Mr. T. R. Zan and how this was a publicity stunt orchestrated by Harry Reichenbach.

Reichenbach is also credited with being the inspiration for Rudolph Valentino's beard.

Curiously, in this account of “Rudy's” Party (see below), J.D. Williams' publicity man, Bill Yearsley is present. Was this a collaboration between Yearsley and Reichenbach? How much of that beard was a publicity hoax? To me it hardly seems plausible and could have been an attempt by the PR agents around Valentino to exploit his own decision to grow the infamous beard.

The ingenuity of these PR agents can scarcely be disputed but I doubt the beard was forced upon Rudolph and Reichenbach, Yearsley and their ilk seized upon the opportunity the moment they spotted that goatee.