Sunday, February 20, 2022

Yvonne's Contribution to Valentino's Legacy

In regards to letters and their importance in Rudolph Valentino's legacy, there are some more letters worth mentioning. These were letters written by Andre Daven to his girlfriend Yvonne Legeay. While Daven was in New York, attempting to smoodge his way into New York society on Valentino and Rambova's dime, he wrote to Yvonne back in France about his situation.

These letters would not see the light of day until Jeanne De Recqueville was asked to appear on a French television show on December 12, 1970, called, “Autopsie d'une légende - Pourquoi des millions de femmes l'ont-elles pleuré”, (Autopsy of a Legend – Why Millions of Women Cry”. She was invited to sit on a panel with other Valentino experts including Yvonne Legeay, who knew Valentino.

At the time Jeanne DeRecqueville was writing her Valentino biography and of course the two women hit it off. Yvonne Legeay gave Jeanne De Recqueville those letters from Andre to read and she cited them in her book.

Those letters told a story quite contrary to the phantasy laid out by, and still clung to by, the Valentino “mean-stream”. Daven complained to his lady love that Natacha got him a used typewriter and paid him 50$ a week to do some clerical work.

Bearing in mind the handyman at Falcon Lair, Lou Mahoney was paid $40.00. I think knowing those weekly salaries reveals a lot about the hierarchy and importance of the help in Rudy and Natacha's world. Daven was help.

The letters told about his hunting trip with Valentino where they killed and skinned animals. And all in all it was nothing so extraordinary. Except that later on we find out Valentino kicked Daven to the curb for stealing his money to the tune of some 35,000 dollars.

Well the point is that Yvonne Legeay contributed a substantial correction in Valentino's history. Andre Daven was no longer a priviledged guest and he and Valentino did not part ways over a "lover's quarrel". Renato added to Yvonne's contribution when he found some riveting articles in the French archives and translated them. They told a rather crazed account of Andre Daven's love life, messy break up from Yvonne and more. I excerpt the Andre Daven blog where we shared all this material at https://andredaven.blogspot.com/

and the posts about Daven's love life are mostly from December 2019.

I guess we have to feel grateful for that panel discussion back in 1970. Those ladies put it together. A bit in regards to Andre and Yvonne's love affair from the blog....

“Yvonne Legeay was seven years older than André Daven and would claim in court that when she met him, he was broke and working as a gigolo and that it was she who financed their home and supported him. They both had expensive tastes and their home was finely appointed. 

When they broke up, Yvonne moved out and into a new apartment on the Rue Magellan and André refused to allow her take their commonly-owned furniture. Somewhat remorseful, he agreed to pay for a year of her rent and agreed to assist her in furnishing her new apartment. They were off to Poiret's Maison Martine where they placed an order for some 45,000 francs worth of fabulous furniture including lamps, carpets, throw pillows, etc.

When the bill came due in the summer of 1926, André had just returned from a trek to Africa where he was bitten by a tse tse fly which infected him with a debilitating sleeping sickness. He slept for most of the summer of 1926 and would contract pneumonia which further complicated his recovery. Meanwhile Yvonne phoned Daven's office in Paris and his secretary agreed to write a note to the furniture designers assuring them André would soon be awake and pay the 44,860 franc invoice.

When André did wake up, he was livid with the news and said he had no intention of paying for the huge order. (Sounding reminiscent of his telling Valentino he owed him money for time lost) He and Yvonne fought, things turned ugly and both retained lawyers to set in for the long haul which it turned out to be. André's lawyer arguing he had only given Yvonne advice in her selections of the furnishings and Yvonne saying he bought it all for her.

Daven argued he gave Yvonne a ring worth 120,000 francs and she argued she never saw such a ring. So it went until 1932 with Daven determined not to pay for Yvonne's furniture. The case ground its way through all eight levels of jurisdiction in Paris with the court eventually ordering both Yvonne and André to pay Paul Poiret's house of design, 44, 860 francs.

Meanwhile, André had fallen in love with Danièle Parola; a beautiful performer at the Champs Élysées Theater. By the time he was embroiled in court with Yvonne and waking up from his tse tse fly slumber, he was already in bed with Danièle Parola and obviously very much in love with the young beauty because they would marry on June 21, 1927. Rolf de Maré acted as their best man and André and Danièle (below) would live together as husband and wife the rest of their very long lives.”



23 comments:

  1. Whoa...wait. Is this the same Andre Daven who the "leaders" of the revered Valentino Community claim was Valentino's greatest love? The Andre Daven who furtively went on a lovers' retreat with Valentino to Florida, a story touted by Leider in Dark Lover? The Andre Daven presented as the canny show business wizard, who discovered Josephine Baker? Thank you, Ms. Zumaya and Mr. Floris, for using actual research to find the real story of Andre Daven. The question is: will those who continue to promote the completely false tale of Daven and his importance to Valentino finally bow to the truth or will they continue to perpetuate the myths for their own agendas?

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    1. They will probably hit on the one tune piano key " Rudy was gay ", and keep calling us homophobes and RV widows because they have nothing better to do and no proof to offer otherwise m especially one insecure author whose comments on Twitter bore everyone. That goes to Sir Constable , Lord Terhune Cousin Cindy, who screams and yells " notice me "." I am the expert but offer no proof to go with it.

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  2. As the old saying goes With a friend like Daven yov don't need any enemies!

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  3. Daven figures prominently in Gloria Swanson's autobiography as one of her special flunkies-for-hire. He helped procure an abortion for her while she was in Paris. Apparently, there was no job too low for the eager Daven to perform, as long as the supply of francs didn't run out.

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    1. We found several instances where Daven was not so loved in business, where he fired people without just cause and took credit for other's work. Some of that is documented on the Daven blog. I know David Bret claims to have some personal connection to Daven and have some letters from him. Since he has never posted a line from those letters nor ever proven he had a thing to do with Daven, I say just more from the World's Greatest Liar. I am sure there are family who loved Andre on a personal level, but from what survived historically about him, I can not warm up to him at all. The entire myth that he was some great love of Valentino is only based on Daven being handsome and if he looked like Slim Pickens I doubt any of this would have happened.

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    2. There is a crass word for people like Daven, who cunningly manage to ingratiate themselves into the life of a famous celebrity.

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    3. The fact that Daven brokered Swanson’s abortion is just damn creepy. Can one imagine Valentino doing such a thing on behalf of one of his hundreds of “dear friends?” Daven was clearly intimately acquainted with the seamier side of life, with a speciality in the particular complications that women must work their way through. We know enough about this sleazebag to understand that he offered help to Swanson as a cold blooded opportunist, not as a friend. And to my eye, he wasn’t handsome in the least.

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    4. Ha. Points well made and "creepy" indeed that he would have expertise in abortion.

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    5. Daven was sleazy at the most and an opportunist at best. Cannot imagine Rudy being mixed up with him.

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    6. It was written that Gloria Swanson regretted the abortion do not know if that is true or not.

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  4. I don’t care about Swanson and her private life. But I am curious about Daven’s insinuation into that private life when he detected a profitable opportunity for himself when Swanson was vulnerable. I wonder how Swanson repaid him for his abortion facilitation services.

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    1. According to Swanson, she first met Daven in Paris when he, as a drama critic for a French paper, interviewed her in her hotel room. Apparently, Daven was a fast worker, because Swanson recalls in her autobiography, "About an hour with Andre Daven, I trusted him perfectly. Small, intense, and extremely handsome, he spoke excellent English and KNEW MORE ABOUT MY PICTURES IN DETAIL THAN I DID. (Emphasis added.) From then on, he was attached to her elbow as long as she stayed in France. In fact, Daven introduced Swanson to her next husband, the Marquis de la Falaise de la Coudraye.

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    2. The fact that Swanson make no allusion whatsoever to Daven having been a friend or even acquaintance of Valentino is very telling. If the two men had had an important connection, wouldn’t this have been top of mind when Swanson met Daven for the first time? Also, how stupid was Swanson to have trusted Daven within an hour of knowing him? This must have occurred well after Daven fleeced Valentino and Ramobova, correct?

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    3. Swanson does not mention Daven's connection with Valentino at all. She met Daven in 1924, so it must have been shortly after he returned from the States and the dissolution of the association with the Valentinos. I'm sure Daven would have made no bones about his great friendship with Valentino, if that had been the case. He comes off in Swanson's book as very unctuous. He practically goads her into having the abortion, telling her, "Leave it to me. I will arrange everything." As if that were not enough, he actually drove her to the abortionist and waited until it was over, kissing her on the forehead as she awoke from the anesthesia.
      This is one sketchy man.

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    4. Well it is sickening to me that the "Valentino Studies Community" and those "mean-stream" cultists, have reinvented Daven as some suave, ridiculous clown. He is what he was and it was not that difficult to find out what he was about. But "they"/cultists are not about to change course and embrace anything factual because their phantasies are more satisfying. Daven was an opportunist, a thief and mediocre in everything and even in being a mediocre jerk. He was mediocre. Lets face it. And Valentino was an underwriter to many an aspiring star and in this case it went south. Way south.

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    5. It's funny that the Swanson autobiography is quoted extensively throughout the "VSC," yet, I have never seen one comment on Daven's role in Swanson's third marriage to Henri, Marquis de la Falaise.
      "

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    6. Do you think Rambova had a lot to do with the decision for the Valentinos to take Daven under their wing in an attempt to make him a star? She was also influential in jumpstarting the careers of other notables, such as Myrna Loy and Adrian.

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    7. I think Daven was 100% Rambova's big idea. I can not see Valentino so eager to care. Rambova was frivolous in this but she really had an eye for talent. I think Daven was one of her missteps.

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  5. It is fascinating that Swanson’s autobiography has been cited on the Valentino forums for its insipid description of Swanson’s horseback riding excursions with Valentino (yawn). But this harrowing tale of the Daven sponsored abortion has never been mentioned. I wonder why. Even if Swanson preferred to spin it otherwise, Daven clearly played a darkly sinister role in her life (kissing her forehead as she awoke from anesthesia? - this ghoul was a necrophiliac!). Valentino would never, ever have approved of such a man. Indeed, the portrait of Daven which Swanson unwittingly paints corroborates the schemer he is richly recorded as being through every facet of his life. Thank you Evelyn and Renato from bringing forth the truth of this uniquely awful man.

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    1. Well of course "they" could not be touting Daven's expertise in abortions. That would imply he was having sex with women and knew how to manage that unwelcome result. How else? Of course that would not play into their hoax that Valentino was gay and Daven was too. I do not see one tad of evidence either Valentino or Daven was gay. And if anyone puts out that homophobic claim that they had gay business and personal relationships... I will scream. Enough of that tired old, "gay by association" theory. One's sexual orientation is not contagious so enough of the Daven and Valentino hoax based on that alone.

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    2. Swanson confided about her pregnancy to Daven before she even told her fiancé. Think about how long Daven held this juicy morsel of information over the head of his one-time champion, Swanson. No doubt until the day he died.

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    3. And I think Daven had some nerve to push Valentino after his big rip-off. Valentino did not make this public and only told Ullman and Hebertot, etc. It would have embarrassed him to admit publicly he had been had. Outrageous Daven. Mediocre outrageous Daven. And the more the VSC claims otherwise, the more mediocre they appear too.

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