Though this actor passed away at such a young age, at the tender age of 31, almost a century later, his impact on cinema is felt. In 1972, the Rudolph Valentino Award was created to commemorate the beloved actor but to also celebrate his legacy. The award itself shows a gold figurine of Valentino from his memorable role in “The Sheik.” Every year until 2006, the award is handed out to actors who have obtained a high level of international success.
Other winners of the award include Elizabeth Taylor and Leonardo DiCaprio. Interestingly, the Rudolph Valentino Award stopped in 2006. This award accredited much success to Leonardo DiCaprio – something which the Oscars obviously didn’t. Maybe the Rudolph Valentino Award panel knew something the Oscars committee didn’t.
A Twisted Funeral Performance
Actors are known for their dramatics. In fact, what would actors be if they weren’t dramatic? One actress who took making a scene to a whole new level was the Polish performer, Pola Negri. The actress had been romantically involved with Rudolph Valentino before his passing. And she gave him quite the send-off. First, the actress ordered a huge floral display of blood-red roses circled by white blooms. They spelled out the name, POLA.
Second, the actress made quite the performance, weeping and fainting over his coffin. Perhaps, Negri’s passion was understandable as the actress let slip that she and Valentino had been engaged before his passing. That said, her performance at his funeral was quite memorable.
Animal’s Best Friend
Rudolph Valentino didn’t only leave behind his friends and family members. It was well-known that Valentino was a great animal lover. Of course, he loved all animals, but he had a great affection for dogs and horses. The actor absolutely loved pooches. After a fan gave him an Alsatian Doberman puppy, Valentino took him everywhere even when the actor went away on road trips or stayed at snazzy hotels.
His dog, a Doberman pinscher called Kabar, mourned him deeply after his passing. At the time of the actor’s death, almost 3000 miles away, Kabar started howling uncontrollably. Alberto, Valentino’s older brother, tried to console and take care of the broken-hearted hound. Kabar was constantly sick and passed away roughly two years later after Valentino’s own passing.
Reconciliation With an Old Friend
One of the greatest great collaborations in Hollywood comes from the silent-film era, namely screenwriter, June Mathis, and acting legend, Rudolph Valentino. The two just gelled and when they worked together, there was something special in the works. Not only were they great collaborators but very good friends. Valentino’s marriage to Natacha Rambova drove a wedge between him and Mathis, causing them to fallout over a script. The two were able to repair their friendship on the set of “Son of the Sheik.”
When Valentino passed suddenly, Mathis allowed the actor’s remains to rest in her family crypt at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The following year, Mathis also passed away. Her husband arranged for her remains to rest in the crypt next to Valentino. In death, the two were reconciled.
An “AHS” Tribute
Fast forward to the very much “talking” generation of movies and tributes are still made to the silent actor Rudolph Valentino, even though most of us haven’t seen a silent film once in our whole lives. Most of us have seen “American Horror Story.” If we haven’t had the guts to watch any episodes, we’ve probably heard of the killer series franchise.
Though “AHS” is the last place you’d find a tribute to Valentino, during season 5, starring alongside singer/actress, Lady Gaga, Finn Wittrock brings the legendary silent actor to screen. But he’s not silent in the “AHS” season. He’s very much talking. And “AHS” gives us a chance to visit his last resting place in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.