Some time ago I heard that those "Ullman detractors" were trying to blame him for encouraging Alberto Guglielmi to have his nose surgically altered. This absurd theory is just that and I share an account of the inspiration for the nose jobs in Alberto's own words. For the record, (see below). I have transcribed the article, or page of the article I have, because my copy is poor. I included the copy below the transcription.
From The Literary Digest, September 21, 1929
Tragedy of Valentino's Brother's Nose
De Bergerac's poesy and wit would be needed to celebrate worthily the
tribulations endured by Alberto Guglielmi, in pursuit of nasal
betterment. Guglielmi calls himself Valentino, because that was the
screen name under which his brother Rudolph became famous.
tale of his martyrdom on the altar of pulchritude comes out of
Hollywood apropos of the news that his little son, Jean Valentino,
has arrived at that metropolis of beauty culture, having traveled
from Italy in the company of Tito Schipa, the operatic tenor, who is
to sing in the talkies.
Jean, age thirteen, is to be groomed, we are told, for a screen
career. He is said to resemble his famous uncle whom Mr. Mencken once
credited with having been 'catnip to women'.
the family group shown on this page little Jean stands beside Rudolph
and our readers may judge for themselves to what extent he promises
to recapture some of the magic that once went with the name
relates Florabell Muir of the New York Daily News, under a
Hollywood date: There is rejoicing in the home of Alberto Guglielmi,
who also calls himself Valentino, because he sees in the young son
the embryo of the fascinating sex-appeal that was the magic of
Valentino. The proud father has concluded that a film career for
himself is impossible, but with his eyes on his son, he is able to
look back on the four years he devoted to whipping his nose into
shape, with a less tragic air.
this tale of a modern Cyrano, which he relates himself with much
humor, as we shall see serves to enlighten us on the problems that
may beset a family blessed with a prize beauty, male or female.
emulation enters into the picture and one or more members of the
beauty's family are sure to be seized with a noble ambition to live
up to the aura of the enchantment that has descended upon the tribe.
when ambition is fortified by dreams of a dazzling reward of fame and
fortune, even torture may lose its terrors. As Miss Muir tells us:
Rudolph Valentino died, his family were loath to lose the spell of
fame the handsome young screen idol had cast over them. Eagerly they
reached out to catch some of the glory, in the hope of keeping it
alive. The most determined in this endeavor was Alberto Guglielmi,
Rudolph's eldest brother.
torture he underwent to have his nose fashioned into the beauteous
one displayed by his brother was recalled with the arrival of his
thirteen-year-old son Jean. He discussed it with me almost merrily.
This is how it came about that he tried to fit himself to play the
was talking with Sylvano Balboni, husband of the late June Mathis,
scenarist who created the role in The Four Horsemen of the
Apocalypse that made
public idolizes your brother. It would receive you with open arms in
pictures. You look like him, all but your nose', Balboni paused.
what must be done?' demanded Guglielmi. 'I have my nose. I have no
other. Perhaps you could tell me how to change it.'
are ways,' said Balboni, 'Jack Dempsey had a nose the camera did not
like. It was remodeled.'
how', urged Guglielmi.
surgery,' whispered Balboni, he gave the whisper the importance of
sesame for Guglielmi's entrance into the motion pictures.
surgery?' echoed Guglielmi, 'You mean cut the nose to fit?'
exactly said Balboni.
modern Cyrano did not hesitate but followed his nose into an
establishment for the reparation, mitigation and renovation of human
features. What followed is best conveyed in his own words:
agreed it could be done. I am ready. It begins. Painful. Well not
pleasant, but I do not care. The nose it is not pleasant either. I am
expectant. You can think what you like. A new nose to look upon. The
days of the bandages are long. Then what happened? Horrible. My nose
sticks up. It is too short. I return to the doctor. Something must be
done. I said, the nose, it is more unpleasant than before. I ask that
you give me a nose that will photograph. I do not demand a pure
Grecian nose, just one that the camera will like. It is not as good
as before. The superior part is always good.....