Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Whose Eyes?

In thinking about her role as an artist, I share two of Natacha Rambova's sketches (see below)...whose torso is this? Whose eyes has she drawn? Some of her most captivating sketch work can been seen in her Egyptian notebooks. Although Mark Hasselriis was her official epigrapher, she sketched continually throughout her field research days. Some of her colorful sketches from her Egyptian notebooks are included in Beyond Valentino which Michael Morris negotiated permission to use from her archive in Yale University. 

I found these particularly well done. 

Below... Mark Hasselriis when Natacha hired him in Egypt. There are a few more pictures of him in the book. In Egypt Natacha was called, "Sitt Muder" or great leader which Mark said was a high compliment because few women ever were referred to in that way.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Motif Number One

These photos of Natacha Rambova appeared in a Spanish magazine but I would venture to say they were not taken while she lived in Spain as a resident of Mallorca. She changed her style to drastically when she lived on Mallorca. But perhaps these were early poses before her great transition from Hollywood glamor icon to academic. 

They are not of the highest quality, but still the coats! I think we have seen the first one before but the second one with the squares is certainly unique. 

Thank you to the reader who sent these to me. It is always great to share Natacha and/or Rudy's photos. What fabulous motifs!


Monday, August 29, 2022

Making Waves

I have activated comments again after a respite and will do my best. I am sure readers of this blog know by now that those trolls/haters/nobodies.... those who shun and censor us and our work... will be sending in their millions of heavy insults and within minutes of this post.

Despite their false complaints that I do not publish comments which disagree with me, their comments are never a difference of opinion... they are malicious personal insults sent to trigger anguish in me. There is no hiding their purpose and their comments are censored here because they are cruel provocations, counter productive to any discussion.

To them I say... you waste your time. I read as few words as possible of your sadistic comments before deleting them. In almost every case they are not read in their entirety. So do they even exist? Like the proverbial question of whether a tree that falls in the forest makes a noise if no one is there to hear it. Sad you all sit and watch this blog and spit your venom at me within seconds. If you think about it is actually flattering. I guess I made a wave big enough for you to be very concerned about.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sans Darts

 It is rewarding to hear from you all with your thoughts and insights on Mae and Rudy. I think I made it clear in the podcast that I was not taking it further than her departure on January 6, 1926. My focus in the podcast was to track their movements and clear that up.

I feel I did, however, contribute to Mae's story after January 6th, 1926, because she was not nine months pregnant at the time. As she and Rudy played coy for the press and slipped in and out of Berlin, Paris and London with great finesse, no mention was made of her being about to give birth. It certainly would have been. Because women in those days barely left the house when they were that heavy with child. 

I am not taking up the cause of Mae's child, Koran's paternity. I spent a decade and more investigating Jean Valentino's paternity. I remain 100% convinced he was Rudy's child but considering all the shite I took for daring to present that, why would I ever follow that path again? The subject of any further love children will be left to other sleuths and best of all luck with your discoveries. 

For me the fascinating story of Rudy and Mae, and Pola and Prince David will always be about Mae's dress. She knew exactly when she had to marry, because a month later that sleek little waistline, sans darts, would never have worked. 

I am not convinced to date that Koran was Rudy's child but his being on that short list of Mae's paramours makes it an interesting possibility. The other day someone commented on this by saying that celebrities could and still can get away with anything. 

What an intriguing story. (see below)

Saturday, August 27, 2022

A Pink Outline

Over the twenty-three years I have been researching and writing about Rudolph Valentino and Natacha Rambova, I accumulated countless documents. I say “countless” because I am not about to count them. Guesstimating I would say thousands... including the one thousand plus of the Ullman appeals case file, all the records we pulled here in Italy and in the U.S. and add to that the archives of the Mennillos, the Ullmans, Michael Morris and my archive.

In every case when I do share the documents, the haters/trolls/ “jealous mainstreamers”, I am not sure what they want to be called now....used to be the “team”... they swear to all that I forged them. They feign absurdly their babbling/fake scientific points but are absolutely full of it because not a single document has been altered or created by yours truly.

Except perhaps by my early notes which I scrawled in pencil on some pages of the appeals records copies. The “team” knows I did not touch or create the documents but continue in a desperate pursuit to suppress those documents by hurling personal insults at us as fast as they can and as often. 

But is it not ultimately a total loss for them to make a claim I forged documents which are publicly housed and available? Most all of the documents are online by now. It is also kind of wildly hypocritical that they accuse me of faking documents when they are sitting on a case file of straight up stolen probate records and the whole world knows that. Where records are concerned I would think in their situation, they might want to shut that down.

Considering that most all of Rudolph Valentino documents (stolen and not stolen) are held/hidden away forever and in the secret hoards of collectors, the fact I have so many official copies of those originals makes them desperate to dispute what I have. I feel like celebrating every single Valentino document we find by sharing it immediately because that is where Valentino's true story lies.

They also cry forger/fake because I know many, many stories about how those Valentino documents came to be in the hands of collectors and its not always a pretty story. It is so shady and bad.

If you think about it, isn't it a really cheesy way to react to someone who has bested them with documents? Mudslinging is not something most people respect at all. And my god the idiotic idea that I could or would fabricate thousands of pages of Valentino records is ridiculous and no one believes it.

I have shared a great deal and will share more. And if I watermark something it is because if I do not, it appears on the mainstream bandits' forums with their credit/ego all over it. I do not claim ownership, I claim discovery. If they gave me credit for discovery, a watermark would not be necessary. They are really upset by my watermark and gee I do not wonder why.

Their rejection of the content we have discovered, and their telling people to ignore us and our work... proves in all instances that they have no genuine interest in knowing more about Valentino and no real interest in sharing new information about Valentino with the members of their forums.

Here follows a potpourri of relics from my archive and to me they all are precious art. These are exactly how they were copied from the file housed in San Francisco (with the exception of my adding a pink outline). More about this in Affairs Valentino and in the Affairs Valentino Companion Guide of Documents. 

(Below) From the Falcon Lair expenditure itemization which was submitted as part of the court ordered audit preformed by Harry Baskerville, covering some of the time frame of six months before Valentino's death; Club Dues, Dentist, Doctor, Jewelry and Publicity. 

Twenty-Two Years Later, I Write the Following...

I have been asked a few times what I found to be the most unusual thing I learned about Rudolph Valentino. My answer to that has stayed the same over the years; that he was so young when he died.

The books he inspired, the movies, the myths, the lives he affected.... the stories to be told, the mysteries to be solved, and in our case...the love loved because of Rudolph Valentino. So I have not changed my answer to that question posed...not at all. What a prodigy he was in life.

I am so glad to be moving past this droll time of the Valentino year. Its just morose no matter how much they try to gussy his death up with festivities and cool pictures for Instagram.

I have turned off comments and explain it thusly..... here's to you haters...Boom. You are all nobodies now.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Visiting Rudy's Neighborhoods

News to share about Professor Aurelio Miccoli's appearance as the honored and notable guest at the memorial tribute to Valentino in Castellaneta this week:

"The program of events begins on August 22, 2022 at 6.30 p.m., with a walk to Rudolph Valentino memorable sites. Starting from the monument dedicated to this icon of silent cinema, professors Antonio Ludovico and Aurelio Miccoli will accompany participants to the houses where Rodolfo Guglielmi , a.k.a. Rudy Valentino, spent his early childhood.

After having visited some neighborhoods of Castellaneta from the late nineteenth century, participants will be welcomed to the magnificent historic center. The tour will conclude with a visit to the Rudolph Valentino Museum, where Prof. Aurelio Miccoli will present his book entitled "Valentino and the Professor", Scorpione Editrice." (link below) to the Castellaneta local report on the event with guest Professor Aurelio Miccoli.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

What if....

So many times while discussing Rudolph Valentino, the inevitable question is posed..."What if he had lived?" I disagree with those who believe his accent would have kept him from having a career in movies with the advent of sound. I think he would have always been loved and appreciated on screen. 

George Ullman relates how during the filming of The Son of the Sheik, Valentino told him he wanted to direct, work behind the camera and even move to Spain and studying bullfighting. Whether these were musings of the day or serious plans we will never know. 

But as I wrote in Affairs Valentino, in The Son of the Sheik, Valentino gives us a glimpse into what would have been his old age. And he wore it well I think. Just uncanny. 

Monday, August 22, 2022

A Few Podcast Sources

A few of the documents (see below) we used to source the podcast... The first one is the ship manifest for the S. S. Majestic sailing from Southampton on January 6, 1926.  Mae Murray is a passenger one day after the birthdate given to Koran. 

 Here (below) Mae is a passenger aboard the S. S. Tuscania leaving France for New York on September 24, 1926. 

Below the entry form for Koran in August of 1927. 

Rudolph Valentino & Mae Murray - Their European Affair

Sunday, August 21, 2022


Imagine my thrill to find this page (see below) in Ullman's papers... With a small article he outlined himself. 

Proof positive.

Friday, August 19, 2022

High Integrity

How dear is this photo (below) to me. To think I was so privileged to have known and worked with that little boy on Rudy's lap. To think he would be the one to push me to find the court records and the one who analyzed them so meticulously. Robert Warren Ullman was an entertaining and interesting man. He was proud of his Navy service, proud of his success as a tennis pro, and proud of his many years as a mortgage banker. 

He did not like anything Hollywood because of what it did to his father. He made a point of saying that. He had read all the Rudy bios and had to know the truth about his father. When I met Bob they told me he had two months to live. But he lived two more years and long enough to read the final chapter of Affairs Valentino two weeks before his passing. I spoke at his memorial service. 

Bob loved orchids which filled his home's beautiful patio. He was a no nonsense man, a stickler for details which I guess is what would make someone a good banker. 

I have my Bob Ullman memories. 

One: After his first read of the court records (all 1000 pages) he said, "Who were these judges?" And he commented on Alberto's suing his Dad as, "a hyena biting the hand that was feeding him". Those two comments stuck in my mind. 

Two: He used the tiniest font in his e-mails that I have even seen any one use. His last e-mail to me, in tiny letters read, "Better get down here sooner than later."

I say in tribute to the beautiful little toddler in the photo below...on that magical day sitting on Uncle Rudy's lap... I thank you for your magnificent contributions to the Valentino history. Uncle Rudy would be proud. 

*I had to add Bunny to this "High Integrity" post. She had not read all the Valentino bios, but her mother lived with her for the last years of her life and she heard all the stories. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Very Nice, Thank-you!

We received a comment submitted for the post, “Dear Gerry..” which I published on that post. We translated the Spanish from the original comment and share that here:

“All My Support and Respect for Ms. Evelyn Zumaya; as well as for Mr. Renato Floris.

Two Great Researchers and Writers on the Subject of the Actor Rudolph Valentino.

In all my years studying and trying to know a little more about the Valentino Theme; I have not found Two People more Committed to the Truth and the Desire to make it known, than the Two of them.

This Site, Their Books and Youtube Page, are a Testimony and a Clear Proof of the Seriousness and Responsibility of Ms. Evelyn Zumaya and Mr. Renato Floris, who handle the Rodolfo Theme with great respect for Valentino and for the admirers of the Actor.

They are of great help and support for all of us, because they not only teach us, they make us see the different possible sides of the unknown life of the Actor Rudolph Valentino; his wives, his family, his friends, etc.; those of us who really want to know and know more. We sincerely appreciate all of this.

Wishing you the best.

Greetings from the City of Mexicali, BC. Mexico!!!”

Below, the original comment in Spanish:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post ""Dear Gerry...":

Todo Mi Apoyo y Respeto para la Sra. Evelyn Zumaya; así como tambien para el Sr. Renato Floris.
Dos Grandes Investigadores y Escritores sobre el Tema del Actor Rodolfo Valentino.
En todos mis años estudiando y tratando de saber un poco mas sobre el Tema de Valentino; no habia encontrado a Dos Personas mas Comprometidos con la Verdad y el Deseo de darla a conocer, que a ellos Dos.
Este Sitio, Sus Libros y su Pagina de Youtube, son un Testimonio y una Prueba Clara de la Seriedad y de la Responsabildad de la Sra. Evelyn Zumaya y del Sr. Renato Floris, que tienen y que manejan con mucho respecto el Tema de Rodolfo Valentino y para los admiradores del Actor,
son de una gran ayuda y apoyo para todos nosotros, pues no solo nos enseñan, nos hacer ver los diferentes lados posibles sobre la vida desconocida del Actor Rodolfo Valentino; sus esposas, su familia, sus amigos, etc.; los que deseamos realmente conocer y saber mas; Agradecemos Sinceramente todo esto.
Deseandoles lo Mejor.
Saludos desde la Cd. de Mexicali, BC. México!!!”

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Memo to My Haters

Dear Haters,

Considering all the abuse you three idiots have heaved my way, all the defamation whispered/broadcast behind our backs, considering all the evidence I have posted on with all of that documentation of your hateful, unending meanness and wildly unsupported arrogance... it is the most baseless thing that ever was a baseless thing... for you to feign being victims.

I realize as the sadists that you have proven yourselves to be, you take some joy in this post thinking I am upset. Do not misread these words. This is not hate, it is defiance. It is pride.

As hard as you try to convince your world that we are people we are not and that our books are not worth a look and our podcasts not worth a have never nicked the quality we bring to our work and lives in the tiniest bit. Your efforts are wasted because you could never make us the people you accuse us of being... bearing in mind those people you describe us as being... would, in every case, be yourselves.

So in regards to your deeply debasing insults and childish provocations, here's the facts... you spend all day and night glued to this blog and you know well I am not writing those brilliant comments I do post. Every single comment you send in just reinforces the fact that you can't hide your slavish obsession with me and your absolute love of this blog. 

On the Subject of that Surname

It has been brought to my attention that “Team Terhune Captain”, Tracy Terhune responded to a question on his Facebook group which I address here. As Renato and I are not only banned from that group, but blocked... a good Samaritan sent me the exchange between Ms. Mirella Guglielmi and Tracy Terhune. Terhune informs her that Alberto changed his name legally “in honor of his brother's untimely death.”

I went back and looked at the documents I included in Affairs Valentino and found the following for Alberto:

This was in 1936, so then he was still legally Guglielmi and  as an aside...(known as Valentino) and note that he signed his legal name as “Guglielmi”. If he ever did change it later on legally, I have never seen proof of that. Terhune neglected to tell Ms. Guglielmi that Rudolph himself never legally changed his name to Valentino. He was Guglielmi until his death.

And in ”honor of his brother's untimely death” is a stretch when it was still not changed ten years later. I also recall reading an article where reporters questioned Alberto why his luggage had the Valentino initials on it when he arrived after Rudolph's death. I wonder if other star's who used a stage surname such as Cary Grant had their siblings changing their names. I think history has revealed why Alberto adopted Valentino so fast. 

Jean also used Guglielmi at least until the 40's. Terhune should know that all of the probate records and subsequent litigation refer to Valentino as Rudolph Guglielmi, a.k.a. Valentino. And using your stage name initials on stationary and luggage, etc. is not proof of a legal name change. 

Sunday, August 14, 2022

To Be Blessed

I am blessed to have a beautiful home and the love of a close family, an oasis of love and comfort in a rather dystopian city.

I am blessed to have my love Renato, making a mess in the kitchen while happily cooking a roast. 

I am blessed to have my fur babies well and fed and all napping at the moment.

I do not live in a hateful environment, I do not need to be hateful at all. It is one of the most mystifying call to arms in the war v. Evelyn... to call me hateful. Nope, not. I am chill, perhaps too chill. 

Comments have been pouring in from the Satanic side of the Valentino world. I do not call it that lightly. 

I will advise them that you do not have to use a person's first and surname to be guilty of criminal identity theft. A great deal of legal consideration is made as to the context and intent of the use. I was shocked frankly to see the comment come in under the name of "Renato". Because how idiotic is that? Delivered on a silver platter. 

Thank you to all of our supporters, thank you for your understanding and for sharing your thoughts. 

A thought from Renato:

"This is what guides us: intellectual honesty, the choice and verification of sources, the care of the story, but first of all the respect of the reader who must not be deceived with misleading stories."

Saturday, August 13, 2022

How Much of a High Roller

How much of a gambler was Rudolph Valentino? We know he gambled with his luck but my question relates to money; did he enjoy gambling with cash?

Robert Florey writes how Rudy did not like to gamble and relates the anecdote of Valentino losing money to Fatty Arbuckle; fifteen dollars rolling dice. Florey relates how Valentino was furious and could not stop regretting and fretting over the money lost.

We know the myth Valentino gambled on his first sail to America and lost all the money his mother sent with him is false. This because the money was awaiting him in a bank in New York City.

We also know the myth Valentino gambled as a teenager to be false because he was too young to be allowed entrance to the casino mentioned in that anecdote.

I think the most compelling insight into this subject would be George Ullman's story told in his 1975 memoir; the night Ullman, Bee Ullman, Natacha and Rudy drove to Tijuana where Rudy gambled and lost. From The S. George Ullman Memoir, p. 48 – 49.

“One afternoon, on a whim, Rudy decided that he would like to visit the Coronado Beach Hotel. He couldn’t be dissuaded and Natacha and my wife and I piled into his Voisin Roadster and in about three hours we were there. After dinner his real objective came to light. He wanted to go to Tia Juana, then a wide open gambling town in Mexico, but only about an hour’s drive from the Coronado.

That’s where we went again in Rudy’s automobile. But by this time Rudy was a bit high on the few drinks we had had at the hotel and was a little belligerent and loud. A few more drinks and a few losses in the casino and we had all we could do to make him quiet down.

I warned him several times to keep his voice low because I noticed a Mexican policeman close by watching, and I told that to Rudy. He said something to the effect of, “To hell with the police.” And the officer moved in and said, “What did you say?” I had a tight hold on Rudy now and whispered in his ear to shout, “Viva Mexican police!” which he did.

The policeman moved away and Rudy again became abusive so there was nothing I could do but to hit him in the jaw, not too hard but enough to partially sober him up. Natacha got some coffee and made him drink it. Then after a while, he agreed to let me drive back to the hotel. He was angry at me then but the following morning he sheepishly apologized and all was well again.”

**What do you think? I think Valentino liked to gamble but hated to lose like anyone else. Renato thinks it is a myth he liked to gamble and goes with Florey on this one.


 "2016" is online @    

I began this website (above) because I began to think many people do not realize how very long this has all gone on. And I think many people can not imagine how overwhelming it all has grown on every level. This is the history in as brief a narrative as possible, year by year illustrated by screenshots excerpted from thousands. 

This is a work in progress and I will be updating soon. 


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

"A More Stirring Life"

This little mention (see below) is worth sharing I think; a revelation that Valentino said he was a Fascist and supporter of Mussolini. Renato pointed out that Valentino would have said this because in 1925 for an Italian to oppose Mussolini, well this would have been a sure professional suicide.

It is obviously something Valentino changed his position on and Mussolini's treatment of him is well known. But isn't it more interesting Valentino mentioned he, “wishes he could lead a more stirring life on the real stage of war or politics.”

Imagine that. Rudy as a battlefield general or a barnstorming candidate for governor. There is something awful about life that in November of 1925 he made this statement so full of great ambition yet he would face death within nine short months.

Since I began writing on Rudolph Valentino, I have always dreaded this time of year... the “August” event = death. It is so awfully grim to think of him dying with that "stirring" life ahead of him. I can not dive into that particular and morbid memory of Valentino with enthusiasm. It just feeds the nightmare, contributing to that tiresome stigma attached to Valentino...the one which he is so well known for... his death.

From The Dundee Courier, November 30, 1925:


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The Whereabouts of That Tape

When I interviewed Rudolph Valentino memorabilia collector Bill Self in 2003, he mentioned that he interviewed Bee Ullman, the wife of Valentino's closest friend and trusted business manager S. George Ullman. Bill Self told me he recorded Bee's interview and I asked him many times if he could let me listen to the interview.

He stalled and said he would look for the tape. He told me one thing from the interview; that Bee commented how Valentino always had a beautiful woman on his arm. Well I never did get to hear the tape as the Valentino family spokeswoman told Self not to speak with me any more. As much as my detractors like to say Self slammed the door on me, etc. he did no such thing. He was sad to tell me the family told him he could not speak with me any more and visibly so. We enjoyed our "Rudy" conversations which were always lively and rewarding.

But where is that tape of Bee Ullman being interviewed by Bill Self. I am sure it is still in existence but its not being shared is rather telling I think. I have little doubt Bee Ullman had plenty to say about the legal persecution of her husband by Alberto Valentino as this was something her children told me she felt strongly about. And no doubt her narrative did not support the theory that Valentino was a closeted homosexual. Why else would this very valuable tape not be shared openly and eagerly?

Bee's family knew about the tape but had never heard it themselves. And as proof of its existence I share the following letter. (see below) The letter is written by William McGuire.

Mr. McGuire was then writing a book on Natacha Rambova and according to this letter, at one point he awaited a “transcription” of the tape. According to Michael Morris, McGuire knew and interviewed Bill Self and I venture to say that McGuire never got that transcription. If he had, Michael Morris would have had access to the contents which he did not. I know this for the following reason.

When Bill McGuire learned Michael Morris was also writing a book on Natacha, he came to Berkeley to visit Michael and gave him all of his notes and materials. The transcription of the taped interview of Bee Ullman is not in the archive and Michael did not have access to Bee Ullman's interview on tape as we talked about it being missing many times. 

McGuire's book on Rambova never happened. I think this is a shame because he would have focused almost entirely on her time with the Bollingen Foundation of which McGuire was very much a part of (see below).

How very valuable the tape of Bee Ullman would be and what a great contribution to the Valentino history. I think she probably talked about Alberto's litigation and this is why Self kept it hidden. And perhaps now the issue is more about her speaking of Valentino and his women which is keeping it buried.

William McGuire wrote me a letter before he passed away which I will find in my files and share. Michael Morris told him about my Valentino work and Affairs Valentino and he wrote me a short but supportive note. The book McGuire authored on the Bollingen scholars is brilliant and I highly recommend reading it. It can be found here:

I also found this little bio blurb:

William McGuire was born in Florida in 1917. He began his work with the Bollingen Foundation as a freelance editor in 1948. Later he became the managing editor of all of the Bollingen Series and Executive Editor of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung. He served as the editor of The Freud/Jung Letters, and of several volumes of Jung’s seminars as well.”

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Smart Lady

When I mentioned in a previous comment that I was "required" to study and understand Natacha Rambova's Egyptological work, I did not mean by anyone else but myself. Of course Renato and I have all the artistic license in the world in creating our books. But we set our standards as high as we can and our motto is pretty much how we work: "Rem Tene, Verba Sequentur". Basically meaning if you know your stuff.... the words will come. 

In the case of Rambova's Egyptological material, I needed to be knowledgeable enough to talk about the work with the contacts Michael made who were Egyptologists. This for two reasons: one because Michael was negotiating their contributions when he passed away and two, because I had to choose 100 pages of Rambova's master work. Michael set up the permission to reproduce it, but the entire work is 12 volumes long. Hence my choosing a selection of 100 pages. There were three Egyptologists I spoke with on several occasions about Rambova's field work. 

I will not claim I understand much but I find it a science with many intriguing scenarios in regards to Rambova. I imagine her with her team inching along in the pyramid's darkened passageways, meticulously recording the heiroglyphs. 

Below the page three from the letter I shared in the previous post. Below that, some serious notes as a report back to the Bollingen home offices. 


Friday, August 5, 2022

Her "Impression of the Place"

When I began to finish Michael Morris' posthumous book, I did not know much about Natacha Rambova's Egyptian years. In completing Michael's negotiations to publish some of Natacha's life thesis, I was required to read and understand her work.  I found her Egyptological field studies to be challenging but most definitely a fascinating time in her life. 

Because her work in Egypt was sponsored by the Bollingen Foundation, her communications with them, as detailed reports about her field work, survived. She wrote long, long letters which are at times only decipherable to an Egyptologist but at other times they are beautifully written descriptions of her life there in the late 1940's and early 1950's.

I share one page of a letter written in February of 1947, on the advent of her first expedition into the Valley of the Kings. The letter is written from Luxor to Jack Barrett of the Bollingen Foundation. The letter is seven pages long and here Natacha describes the many changes in Cairo because of the World War. She then begins her detailed report of the impending trek into the desert.


Thursday, August 4, 2022

Looking for Valentino!

On this day twenty-one years ago, Leonard De Fonte passed away. He left behind a loving family and his personal memoir. Today I celebrate his life and send all love to his family and friends. His was a life guided by Rudolph Valentino and a man who attended the Valentino Memorial Service every year. Cheers to you Leonard! Rest in Peace. Thank you to his beautiful grand daughter, Teresa (pictured) for her guardianship and love. 

He Was Not Without

Michael Morris was always convinced that June Mathis was in love with Valentino. It was one of his favorite topics to ponder. I was never so convinced but I do think the positioning of Mathis as a major influence, a  'mother figure" to Valentino is based in misogyny.  

Mathis is historically cast as the "matronly type" because she was not tall, thin or glamorous. For this she has typically been the woman in Valentino's life relegated to the status of a,  "motherly figure". I allege that is solely based on her physical appearance and had nothing whatsoever to do with her mothering Valentino. 

The notion Valentino was even looking for a "mother figure" is problematic for me because he had a mother throughout all of his childhood. He had a mother until he was into his twenties, a mother he loved. He was not without.

He should have been, by circumstance looking for a father figure. Who would that be in the cast of his life's characters? 

Was Michael Morris right? Did June Mathis fall in love with Valentino and at some point realize she did not stand a chance? Did she hope to be more than a friend and patron? If she looked like a gorgeous movie star, would she still be referred to as his "matronly, mother figure"? 

Of course not. She was just objectified. 

Rudolph with June and Rex Ingram:

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

A Note From Sant'Ilario

An excerpt from, Revelations on the Beautiful Valentino as a Boarder at Sant'IlarioPublished in Nuova Stampa Sera, Turin, December 8th and 9th, 1950. An insight from Valentino's old friend, Luigino and a gesture of Valentino's memorable generosity. (From The Rudolph Valentino Case Files):

"Nostalgia for S. Ilario

At the end of October 1912, after two years of affectionate friendship, Rodolfo and Luigi parted ways. The following year Guglielmi was preparing to leave for America where after some misery during his early years, he was also employed himself as a gardener showing his diploma as a 'rural agent' obtained at this Agricultural School.

'Goodbye, Luigino!' he shouted from afar the day he left the Institute, 'I will not forget you.'

And in fact, on a splendid sunny morning in 1922, (It was 1923) when his very name was sending shivers of emotion all over the world, Rodolfo Valentino stopped with an enormous American car just a few steps from Luigi Marsano's house. He was traveling with his girlfriend Natacha Rambova. (She was his wife by then) He had visited Paris where the welcome was triumphant and now he was going to visit his family before leaving for New York. But his heart longed for the scent of the gardens of S. Ilario and the smile of his dear friend Luigi Marsano.

'I told you I wouldn't forget,' he said hugging Luigi. And Rodolfo turned his almond eyes around to focus on the sea, which was as sweet and calm as a lake. Rodolfo was emotional as he spoke about so many past things with his old teacher. Then he rose saying Natacha was waiting for him.

'Let's go have a coffee, Luigino. The Director no longer has anything to say!'

But Luigino was dressed in rags befitting the countryside and did not feel like going with the splendid young gentleman to the places where people would have flocked to see him. He replied how you respond to a friend you meet at the market or on the train,

'Thanks, maybe another time.'

Then Rodolfo slipped a five-hundred bill into Luigi's pocket.

'You'll drink it yourself ', he said and left.

Four years later, Valentino died suddenly and, according to some, mysteriously. Luigi was amazed and even today he laments,

'If he had lived,' he sighs, 'he was so good …'

Until 1932, Marsano kept the black woolen collegiate cape which Rodolfo gave him as a souvenir when he left the Agricultural School. Luigi defended the cape from all the assaults of collectors. Even a lady who came from America with the intention of buying it. But in the end, an Italian, who almost every day climbed up to see Luigi and who had also offered him a kiss, won the game.

'I couldn't take it anymore,' says Luigino with irritation, “and she managed to snatch it from me in 1932 for five hundred liras. Well, it was in bad shape anyway! I still have his memory inside me and around me, in these gardens where I still seem to see him.”

(below a few memories from the school...)

Kookie Rabble

Moving forward, I will be posting the comments sent in to provoke and incite on a new blog:

These comments have nothing to do with opinion or respect and they will not be posted here. I am not posting all the comments that have previously been sent, because as of today there is a total of 925 in the "Awaiting Moderation" file. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Every Saturday Morning

A few days ago, we had to hear one more time the idiocy that Natacha Rambova “ruined” Valentino's career, left him in tatters, and how he barely managed to survive her, etc. etc. I have written about this before but offer here some food for thought. I doubt it will jar her hater's convictions because brain washing is a tough thing to turn about.

Nevertheless, if the comparison is made between Rudolph's career and earning power when he met Natacha and when they parted ways.... it is stunning evidence of her powerful and extremely beneficial influence on her love.

Despite his success and emergence in 1921, he was not being paid well and there was the issue of the request for that fifty dollar a week raise from Metro. He was paid not so much more to film The Sheik. But Natacha came into his life and contributed/demanded a higher level of respect/pay for Rudolph and those who worked with them commented on her influence in a positive light. Here, Joseph Henabery comments after he worked on Sainted Devil and Cobra with Natacha:

“Mrs. Valentino became a major factor in Rudy's success. She was a smart woman and had good ideas of what was suitable for him. Some late-day writers have indicated she had too much influence. I am sure she incited him to rebel. Still, but for her influence, he would have suffered poor stories, low budgets – and ended up discarded and forgotten. It's because of Mrs. Valentino's foresight, determination, and intelligence that today he is remembered as a great star. She had her faults, but fewer than stated by those who disliked her because they had to submit to her demands. By sniping and, as they say in boxing waiting for openings, they tried to cut her down to size.”

George Ullman recounted her influence as follows:

“And it is only fair to say that her culture, which she painstakingly but subtly communicated to her husband, was one which others recognized and which in my opinion put him forever in her debt. He was truly, and in the highest sense, elevated by his association with Natacha.”

How can anyone argue he did not wildly benefit from Natacha in many regards. He went from living in small apartments around Los Angeles and borrowing suits from Doug Gerrard, etc. when he met this:

The money he would be earning by the time they separated and divorced was astounding. The contract with United Artists tells that story. While she was being wedged out the door of their business partnership, his earning power was as high as it could be then. From Affairs Valentino:

“In addition to Rudy's impressive fifty percent of the profits, he would receive a salary of $100,000.00 per film. He would receive this $100,000.00 as follows; for the first of these two films he would receive $50,000.00 cash upon signing the contract and another $50,000.00 upon completion of the film. For his work in the second film, he would receive a weekly paycheck of $10,000.00 which would be deposited in his bank account every Saturday morning.

Upon the completion of the second film, if Rudy’s salary totaled less than $100,000.00, the balance would be paid in full. Rudy would also receive an additional $50,000.00 if production costs for each of these films totaled less than $400,000.00.”

Putting that into perspective, by today's exchange rate x 15, he received a salary of one and a half million dollars a film, receiving $750,000 on signing, another $750,000 on completion. For the second film he would receive a weekly paycheck of $150,000 which he would receive every Saturday morning.

And in the court records I recovered in 2003, the following excerpt cites the value of those last films as recorded in the court ordered Baskerville Audit:

Natacha did extremely well by her man and the numbers tell the story. How ever ephemeral their life together was or the personality and cultural clashes they suffered, they reunited in the last hours of his life and... fact... she made the man. 

    We can thank her for all her brilliant contributions.

* I am aware that Tracy Terhune, emcee of the Valentino memorial service and David Bret, Valentino porn fiction writer are compiling a list of all the names they have been called on this blog. Is that not the height/absolute pinnacle of thin-skinned hypocrisy? If I were to make a list of all the names they have called my dear husband and myself over lo these many years, it would take me months... and involve going through thousands of posts and tweets. I can not even fathom how many there would be.

But I thought I would give them one to add to their list.

They are both wicked, shameless bullies.