Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Empty Stalls

And for the record, Alberto "bought" the car on credit from Rudolph's estate. And as he later held Ullman responsible for the disbursement, in essence he tried to get Ullman to pay for the car. Just kind of an odd twist. A poignant commentary from legendary publicist Russell Birdwell. 


An Explanation Why

I take this opportunity to address, David Spurr Bret to tell him that I no longer open his comments for this blog. Neither Renato or I read them, giving them no meaning, no audience and they fall on our deaf ears as the expression goes.

I am saving his many comments, unopened and perhaps will share them at some point... the perfect opportunity has yet to present itself.

He is sending comments every day. The first few we did read were vicious name-calling, insults, hysterical lies, frantic accusations and his usual delusional cruelty.. all in the hopes I will share them with you. I choose not to because this blog is not his bully pulpit.

It's a new day, with a new direction. 

The Fishing Trips

I always liked this eulogy (see below) and as I read it again today, I realized something. On his death bed, Rudy invited Dr. Meeker on a fishing trip.

I got to thinking about Rudy and his love of going on a fishing trip with a pal, a buddy, someone he wanted to converse with and know more. He wanted to sit and cast his line into the water and hang out with a friend. 

So it seems more evidence he loved to go fishing and considered it an honorable and enjoyable thing to do with comrades.

It really emphasized to me, how sad it is that Rudy's love of a fishing trip has been contorted into something farcical and false. Of course I am referring to the innuendo ridden accounts of his fishing trip with Andre Daven. The fishing trip with Daven imo was the same gesture as it was with the invite for Dr. Meeker; something Rudy enjoyed doing with a comrade.

If Rudy had lived and Dr. Meeker accepted the invitation to that fishing trip... oh let's say to Florida...would this also be presented as a sex-fueled orgy between Rudy and Dr. Meeker by those ever projecting porn fantasists/serial liars? How absurd.

It would have been an honor to be invited to go fishing with Valentino. It sure seems he considered it an honor.

I do not have a date or citation for this one:

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

"Won't Share 'Valentino' "

I found this little bit (see below) and had to wonder what Rudolph Valentino would have thought about his own brother doing essentially the same thing. This is from The New York Times, November 19, 1922. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

He "Argued Her Into It"...

This quote (see below) from Natacha Rambova is excerpted from a longer article, but I found this comment insightful. She says Rudy “argued her into” taking credit for her work in his films. What a contrast to the cruel portrayal of her as a grasping woman using the situation to her professional advantage. As has been discussed and commented on here previously she was the star when they met and their marriage destroyed her career entirely.

If Valentino's possible insecurities have been discussed here, I think Rambova was 100% confident and needed no feeding of her ego. I think she had an executive type personality which really is obvious in her Egyptian expeditions. But this was because she was highly organized and not because she wanted glory.

Did Rudy argue her into taking credit for her work? And the last line where she mentions her being known for the work “independent of her marriage”, reveals the problem I think. That became impossible.

Monday, October 11, 2021

A Commentary From Renato Floris

Recently Donna Hill, on her site, added some sort of clause to what she claimed initially to be an exhaustive list of everything written and published about Rudolph Valentino.

She qualified her first statement by declaring her list is not so exhaustive as she previously claimed and I excerpt her qualification verbatim:

The list here is not a wholly complete list of all books published worldwide about Valentino. "

Here she qualifies that she does not include books which are not to her liking and does this without an explanation.

This, in my opinion is an intellectually dishonest approach by someone who claims to be an expert on the life and works of Rudolph Valentino and books which have been written about him.

So Ms. Hill takes pains to point out that the books I have published over the past nine years are not worthy of being on her list and she does so without even giving a reason.

As a reminder of Evelyn and my honest and onerous work, I list below the books which are banned by Inquisitor Donna Hill, to ensure she cannot claim she doesn't know about their existence:

2 Day Dreams by Rudolph Valentino with a foreword by Evelyn Zumaya, published on 4/23/2013

3 Affairs Valentino A Companion Guide, by Evelyn Zumaya, published on 7/ 4/ 2013

4 Affairs Valentino – A Second Edition, by Evelyn Zumaya, published on, 8/26/2013

5 The S. George Ullman Memoir, by George Ullman, with annotations by Evelyn Zumaya, published on 10/21/2014

6 The Infancy of the Myth, by Aurelio Miccoli, published on 12/8/2014

7 L'infanzia del Mito, by Aurelio Miccoli, published on 12/12/2014

8 L'affare Valentino by Evelyn Zumaya, Italian translation by Renato Floris, published on 2/18/2014

9 Affairs Valentino - A Special Edition, by Evelyn Zumaya, published on 4/1/2015

10 Beyond Valentino - A Madam Valentino Addendum by Michael Morris & Evelyn Zumaya, published on 7/15/2017

11 Astral Affairs Rambova by Evelyn Zumaya, published on 12/3/2018

12 The True Rudolph Valentino by Baltasar Fernandez Cué, English translation by Renato Floris, published on 5/6/2019

13 Rudolph Valentino - In English by Jeanne de Recqueville, English translation by Renato Floris, published on 4/27/2020

14 The Rudolph Valentino Case Files -The Research Discoveries of Evelyn Zumaya & Renato Floris with included the English translation of “Inoubliable, Inoublié Rudolph Valentino Survives his Legend” by Robert Florey, published on 6/16/ 2021

15 Looking for Valentino by Leonard De Fonte, published on 5/6/2021

1 Buddha's Tooth and Morphine by Lord Wilde (pen name of Evelyn Zumaya), published on 10/ 2/2012. This was the very first book I published which is a lovely dedication to a dear friend of ours who was victim of a hateful attack because he is homosexual.

I did send Ms. Hill a kind and professional message, in which I asked her the reasons for our exclusion from her list. She did not dare to answer, leaving the task to one of her malevolent buddies, Tracy Ryan Terhune, who responded on the blog he runs under the title of Evelyn's book.

What a shame for the world of Valentino, this painful situation!

The Facts As I Know Them to Be

Since the subject of my reporting how Donna Hill told me the stolen court records were exchanged for one of Valentino's shirts by Jeanine Villalobos, has been misrepresented and questioned....

I file my report as the facts as I know them to be.

I did not solicit this specific information about the missing Rudolph Valentino probate case file from Donna Hill. I never asked her if the court records were exchanged for a shirt by Jeanine Villalobos.

I did ask collector William Self about the case file's location and because of an e-mail he sent to me, (see below) by the time Donna Hill confessed this to me...I knew the file had already been returned to Jeanine Villalobos from the collector who had them in their possession. According to Self and Donna Hill, the collector was Jim Craig. Self did try to negotiate my access to the records when Jim Craig still had them, but it did not happen. Self did not tell me about the shirt exchange.

Donna Hill volunteered the information to me, in front of a third party, admitting that the case file was exchanged for one of Valentino's shirts.

She never asked me not to report what she said, never said it was classified.

She knew I was searching for those missing records at the time and of course this was a very important bit of information which she certainly knew I would include in the book.

I did not use her name in the book and felt this was a wise thing to do then.

I did not cost Donna Hill “friends she had for 20 years”. She did. Oddly, Cindy Martin has accused me of the same thing when I know for a fact she was not around in the Valentino world 20 years ago.

Reporting on this as factual is not bullying but reporting on a story and defending myself. Over the years, Donna Hill has actively aided Tracy Terhune and David Bret in their campaign against us.

While Donna Hill knew about the existence of the stolen case file, I was being accused of lying about its existence and even forging it. She said nothing in my defense.

I did identify Donna Hill in a blog post sometime in the fall of 2011, when she began to openly contribute to the bullying attacks by Tracy Terhune and David Bret. Recently when Renato sent her a formal request asking why she refuses to include any of our books on her extensive Valentino book list, she did not answer but instead passed the request on to David Bret and Tracy Terhune who posted about it on the hate blog they run under the title of Affairs Valentino.

Donna Hill told me about the deal between Jeanine Villalobos and the collector willfully and with no qualifications.

I think it was a very important thing for her to share and at the time I admired her candor. But as she has proven again and again she wants to destroy the “messenger”.... I have lost respect for her as would anyone in my position.

Maybe those “friends” she lost were not so worth the keeping. In my opinion, they are all a band of shady and cruel people whose egos have long since replaced any sense of decorum and decency.

She might hide her involvement with the lot of them, but she has never fooled me. It was never necessary for her to vilify me because of their horrible behavior.  I share Self's e-mail to me about this (see below) and I add that when he tells me he was not interested in buying the shipping case...fact was he already owned it. I excerpt this specific e-mail to illustrate my point made here.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

A Great Connection Made

While I was writing Affairs Valentino, I worked with a literary agent in New York. He was an exceptionally influential person in the creation of the book and the development of my research. He called me one day to say he was at a party in Manhattan the previous evening where he told people he was working on a book about Rudolph Valentino. Someone overheard him and gave him a story. The eager contributor was the then owner of the Gotham Book Mart, Andreas Brown.

Andreas Brown knew Frances Steloff, the iconic owner of the book store,

Steloff was a fascinating woman who knew Rudy and Natacha well and I believe was the source of most of their book collection. In telling me about their friendship, Steloff's friend and successor as owner of the Gotham Book Mart, Andreas Brown made an important contribution to Affairs Valentino. Frances Steloff told him how she helped Rudolph Valentino and Natacha Rambova find quiet time together in her store while they were being stalked by detectives in the winter of 1922-23.

Mr. Brown referred me to the book, Wise Men Fish Here: The Story of Frances Steloff and the Gotham Book Mart by W. G. Rogers, and sent me a letter which I treasure. I am grateful to Andreas Brown for our conversation, for being there at that moment in that party many years ago and for overhearing my agent talking about Affairs Valentino. So what were Rudy and Natacha doing while hidden in those mountains of books? Oh the trolls hopped on this story when Affairs Valentino came out, but I say what prudes! Leave these two lovers alone. 

The Gotham Book Mart is no longer in existence.

I excerpt Affairs Valentino:

Natacha and Rudy's friend, Frances Steloff in the 1970's. She lived to be 101 years old. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

What the "Stars" Thought of Him

Renato has discovered and translated a quip from the 1923 French press as it appeared in:

The Hard Liner - August 18, 1923 by George Fronval

It reads:

"What do our artists think of the handsomest man in Los Angeles?

Rudolph Valentino, idol of all American women, arrived among us, in the company of his charming wife, Natacha Rambova, the day before yesterday and by plane. He certainly passes for the most beautiful man in the cinema. We asked several of our "stars" what they thought of this reputation.

Here is what they told us:

Geneviève Félix - “Rudolph Valentino is not only handsome by himself but he is also by the way he acts.”

Gina Relly - “Rudolph Valentino well personifies the young first Hispano-American.”

France Dhelia - “What I like about Valentino is his gaze.”

Ginette Maddie - “I only saw him in one movie, Blood and Sand. I was thrilled by him and he is a talented actor.”

As we can see, Rudolph Valentino already has many admirers with us.

George Fronval

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Natacha Rambova Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Rudolph Valentino

Natacha Rambova was the best thing that ever happened to Rudolph Valentino. People who knew them said the same and agreed for a few years they were happy and very much in love. What went wrong, of course, is the subject of endless debate. In my opinion, they would have had more life together as a couple had he not died. I think I provided some new and compelling evidence to that. (see Astral Affairs Rambova and The Rudolph Valentino Case Files)
The weak and jealous may try to demean their love. They fail. One of my favorite photographs...


Tuesday, October 5, 2021

"He seemed ill at ease..."

In thinking about the comments made here regarding Valentino's insecurity, I remembered this item. It is not the highest of quality but Jesse Lasky adds some insight into the “ill at ease” star. (A full transcript can be found below) The story goes that a piece of paper was found in the rubbish which turned out to be Valentino's contract for Moran of the Lady Letty. (see below)

It is interesting to think how many valuable documents from Valentino's life ended up in the trash; or sold to the highest bidder and shipped off into oblivion.

The bits and pieces which survive being destroyed, being offed for a price or secreted away forever in a collector's vault become all the more precious I think.

An insecure Valentino proposing marriage on a daily basis? An insecure Valentino tentatively asking Jesse Lasky for a job? How and why did he become so “ill at ease”?

Jesse Lasky Recalls How Ill at Ease Screen Hero Appeared

Clearing bits of rubbish from a lawn near 1811 N. Las Palmas Ave., the other day, J. Linder, freelance writer, newspaper vendor and World War veteran, picked up a crumpled wad of paper and smoothed it out.

The date on the aged and slightly torn stationary was Aug. 30, 1921 and the two signatures at the bottom were “R. Valentino” and “Jesse Lasky”.

It was a six-paragraph contract between Rudolph Valentino, the handsome Italian actor, who overnight had skyrocketed to screen immortality by his dashing performance in the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” and Famous Players Lasky Corp., 1330 Vine Street.

“You are to play the leading male role in the production, 'Moran of the Lady Letty' to be directed by George Melford which production it is contemplated will start on or about September 26, 1921, the brief document read.

“For your services... we agree to pay you the sum of Seven Hundred Dollars ($700) per week.”

Today Lasky viewed the Valentino memento and verified its authenticity, although puzzled as to where it had come from and in whose hands it had been since that Aug. 30, 18 years ago when the future 'Sheik' walked into his office.

“He seemed ill at ease,” recalled Lasky. “I congratulated him on his performance in the 'Four Horsemen' and then he said, “I'm looking for a job”.

It was as if today Clark Gable or Robert Taylor were to walk in and calmly announce they wanted a job. I didn't let him leave the office. The contract was dictated and signed right there.”

Later Lasky recalled a more formal five-year contract with yearly options which raised Valentino's weekly salary to an eventual $2000, was drawn. Lasky and Valentino separated over contract differences before the expiration of the agreement.

In just five years less one week, the most famous of filmdom's matinee idols was dead.

He died Aug. 23, 1926.  

Monday, October 4, 2021

Anabel Henderson Tells All

In the continuing documentation of the first-hand testimony of women who were Rudolph Valentino's lovers, we present Ms. Anabel Henderson. Her identity is valid as she checks out in ship registries and census records. The first article posted (see below) reveals some of her history, i.e. her divorce at 17 from a fake “Lord” who danced the tango in New York at the same time Valentino was doing the same.

Anabel wrote her account in “Love Revelations” magazine published in 1941. I am able to share some of the first installment (there were five) which is worth the read! She was a beautiful, young heiress who would certainly have been Valentino's “type”.

I think the best way to read the pages would be to download them, so “Buona Fortuna!”... and Enjoy. 

Saturday, October 2, 2021

"A Small Appetizer" by Renato Floris

Not long ago a "Good Samaritan" sent me a screenshot of a post by David Bret in which he exalts the book "Dark Lover" by Emily Leider with the following words: “The Valentino Widows hate it, which means it must be good!”

Driven by Bret's song of praise, I make some considerations. I begin with the title of the first chapter: "Mercurio".

In Italy, Mercurio is a surname and also the name of a poisonous and heavy metal which at room temperature reverts to a silvery liquid form. The word is translated as “Quick Silver” or “Argento Vivo”. The young boys in Italy with very active temperaments are called “Argento Vivo” and never “Mercurio”.

Perhaps Leider took this misstep in translation from My Private Diary where the pseudo-Valentino defines his nephew Jean as “Mercurio”. No one in Italy would attach that nickname to a lively child. “Argento Vivo” is what is meant and is the commonly used nickname in this instance.

Moving onward:

Some of the mentions concerning both the origin of the Guglielmi family and the events regarding the parents of Rodolfo Valentino are significantly wrong.

In reference to Valentino's mother, Marie Berthe Gabrielle Barbin, whom Leider claims was known in Castellaneta by the nickname of “Donna” Gabrielle;

In Italy, the appellation “Donna” was and still is only given to notable women of the upper class, such as the spouses of the presidents of the Republic. But Gabrielle was the wife of a veterinarian who was not considered a high bourgeois. I think this was a strategy by Leider to elevate the family socially.

Emily Leider, among other things, tells us that Castellaneta was part of the province of Taranto. This is incorrect because at the time of the birth of Valentino the Province of Taranto did not exist. That territory was part of the Province of Terra d'Otranto, with the capital Lecce. The Province of Taranto, came into existence as it is known today only in 1951.

Marie Berthe Gabrielle Barbin was born on May 8, 1856, in France in Lure, in the province of Haute-Saône. She was not born, as Leider claims, in Vosges near the town of Domrémy, where Joan of Arc was born. This is false.

Leider, perhaps in an attempt to "ennoble" Valentino's ancestry, defines all the women of the family with the nickname “Donna”, including Grazia Ancona, Rodolfo's paternal grandmother, a person who died quite young and was of humble origins and illiterate.

Some of the more erroneous aspects of Leider's family history are those about Gabrielle's life before the wedding.

As mentioned Gabrielle was born on May 8, 1856, and her father died in 1868, when Gabrielle was 12 years old.

After the death of her father, Gabrielle, along with her mother and sister Léonie, returned to France for a brief while. They went to the area of origin of the Barbin family in Picardy. From this location it is extremely unlikely that they were in Paris during the Franco-Prussian war at all. It is also equally extremely unlikely that Gabrielle was fed dead rats. She was living during that short time with relatives.

Another absurd aspect in this regard in Leider's narrative is that Gabrielle, when barely a teenager at 12 years old, made the decision herself to stay in Taranto when her father died. Perhaps if Leider consulted a good calendar she would have understood something was wrong with that statement.

Regarding Valentino's father Giovanni, a veterinary surgeon and director of the civic slaughterhouse of Castellaneta, it can be stated that Leider is factually wrong in reporting he was part of the anti-brigandage militias. This was a violent rebellion which was crushed in 1865. Leider could not have done the math here because Giovanni was born in Martina Franca on January 8, 1853. I can't even imagine a 12-year-old boy fighting ferocious brigands.

Giovanni was also never an artillery non-commissioned officer at the Royal Military Academy. On his military conscription, on November 18, 1873, he was enrolled in the 1st category private in the District of Lecce, Taranto district to serve regular compulsory military service. In this regard, I recommend she and all readers, carefully read Aurelio Miccoli's books, especially “The Infancy of the Myth”, a well-documented book which dispels these ridiculous and inaccurate myths.

As you can see, a full analysis of her narrative would be complex. I will just say this is but a small appetizer of Leider's assumptions and incorrect data.

If I were to compare “My Private Diary” to “Dark Lover”:

Michael A. Romano wrote in the introduction to his publication of My Private Diary, that the book was intended for the “shop-girl and debutante”. While Dark Lover shares the exact same information, she feigns sophistication. Leider attempts to sell the same content which was intended for flappers of the 1920's, to an audience she imagines as being gathered in some elegant parlor, sipping a cup of tea while conjuring their image of Valentino.

A Good Vetting is Long Overdue

I apologize for my absence the past day or so; extenuating circumstances. But Renato is doing some deep fact checking on Dark Lover which I will be posting here. David Bret enjoys accusing me of "hating" the book. I would not go that far but I think a good vetting is long overdue. 

I have previously written how Michael Morris was upset his book was not included in Leider's bibliography. And Bill Self told me he could not finish reading the book because it was "the same old thing" and he did not like the title. 

"They" beat me over the head with Dark Lover when I knew the actual story she entirely missed about the man. And I also was surprised she relied on endless movie magazine fodder and My Private Diary. I found so many factual errors which are forgivable to me because they are in all books.

What I did not find forgivable was her pandering on the "bisexuality is always an option", etc. Based on nothing but innuendo and David Bret's tired old fantasies. 

So stay tuned.