Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The Iceman's Tale

The article below was sent my way (thank-you) and I thought it an interesting insight. At first it seemed to be a tale of Rudolph Valentino not paying his bills. Then it seemed to be a reinforcement of the “plum incident” George Ullman wrote about which I included in Affairs Valentino. According to Ullman, Valentino fumed over spending his actual cash on hand but if he could sign on credit he spent and indulged himself with little restraint.

After thinking about this anecdote as relayed in 1938 by the ice sculptor, I think his comment that Valentino was “lax” in payment meant he had to submit an invoice to Ullman to be paid. So what was the iceman's beef with Valentino? Was iceman Hansen jealous because Valentino had tables full of women/admirers enjoying the fancy ice work?





11 comments:

  1. I know my comment Will not be liked by many, but Rudy was no Angel either and I wouldnt judge so easily contemporaries Who critiseed him. If he was living nowadays, I'm sure many would have some not very nice things to say about his lifestyle. În a way, I am Glad that these other opinions of him are recorded, because it paints a more realistic portrait of him. (just think about the fact that if some celebrity from now would be seen with countless women and he would be not paying his bills or he would pay them relactantly, he would certainly have bad press or review)

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  2. The idea of actually handling money may have seemed a bit vulgar to Valentino at this point. Someone who is able to hold teas for the ladies on board and have tables custom decorated is not someone who reaches into his pocket and dispenses bills. That is what business managers are for; to take care of those little details. I'm sure once the ship docked, as an employee of the Leviathan, Hansen got paid. I agree with Ms. Zumaya. It does sound like his hatred stems from another reason, the same reason a lot of men hated Valentino. Color Hansen green.

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  3. Clearly something about Valentino didn’t sit well with the sculptor. Perhaps it wasn’t merely jealously. The plum incident Ullman describes tells us that at least upon occasion, Valentino was reluctant to dip into his pocket. Frankly I am sick to the teeth of the compulsion to sanctify him. We know from Robert Florey that Valentino whipped his dogs when they did not respond to his training techniques. We know from Ullman and the public testimony of his divorce from Acker that he struck both of his wives. We know from the dissertation of one of his distant relatives that Valentino was preoccupied with the notion that he was of noble ancestry and that he commissioned genealogy studies to prove it. These are not flattering aspects of his personality, but they are part of it nonetheless.

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    1. I agree there are facets to Valentino's character that are sobering, particularly the incidents of striking his wives. Honest study of any historical figure requires taking the bad with the good.

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  4. I don't believe Valentino had intentions of deliberately stiffing those to whom he owed money. He believed, as befitting a star, his own payroll included people employed by him to take care of those details. The plum incident is not so much Valentino refusing payment after a service, but rather it shows a chintzy Valentino unwilling to pay the amount of ten cents for, as he put it, "a prune." After he indignantly walked away from the plum vendor, Natacha gathered plums in a small bag and Ullman paid for them. Rudy then decided the fruit was worth eating, after all.

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  5. Italians are serious about buying fruit. Squeeze it, smell it and maybe buy it, Nobody likes to get ripped off no matter how rich you are.

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    1. Truth. I know wealthy people today who will drive 5 miles out of their way to save 2 cents a gallon in gas. They know what it was like before they had money and, most of the time, that frugality is ingrained in their character. Even though he was a frequent spendthrift for personal items, there may have been a lot of that leftover thriftiness in Valentino.

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  6. Despite Valentino's human foibles, I would say most all of the people who reminisced about him had positive memories to share. Iceman Hansen is an exception as well as Robert Florey. William Self told me the only person who ever had a negative thing to say to him about Valentino was Robert Florey but that, "was because Florey was the only person Rudy every personally fired". Who knows, maybe there was a problem Hansen neglected to reveal. But negative feedback from people who knew Valentino is rare I would say.

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    1. Yes, I am sure he was a Lovely charming Guy, and of course the instance included în the article was not big a thing, probably George Ulmann paid the bills as usual, but I just wanted to say that its normal for some People to dislike him or his lifestyle, and objectively I would say there are quite a few things that surprised me, not în a good way, about his life choices (IT seems to me that he lived his life pretty much like one of The celebrities în our days). Thats why we should not dismiss everything negative that has been said or written about him

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  7. Gotta say though - the fact that Valentino hosted teas for “coveys” of women on board the Leviathan and had hands on involvement in event planning with the highest aesthetic standards is pretty damn wonderful! And highly charming.

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    1. Perhaps Valentino was a bit too persnickety about the table decorations and the icy decor was just not "dazzling" enough to suit him. Now that would be an issue that would generate some very hard feelings from the sculptor. I just can't fathom how a late payment would cause the hatred Hansen admits he felt toward Valentino. There must be more to the story, because this sounds personal.

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