Funeral Of A "Latin Lover" Rudolph Valentino Created Chaos In New York

Date March 6, 2018 18:06

The silent film actor Rudolph Valentino is considered to be an icon of the 1920’s era. He became famous after his unforgettable roles in many films, including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, and The Eagle. Being called the “Latin lover,” Valentino was a sex symbol of the 20s.


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He was a dream man for thousands of women. When he suddenly died at 31, his funeral created a massive hysteria. This only confirmed the iconic status of the actor and made it a unique event in Hollywood history.

© The Son of the Sheik (1926) / Feature Productions

The rise to fame

Rudolph Valentino, real name Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguella, was born in Castellaneta, Italy. He immigrated to the United States when he was 18 years old.

Valentino soon was short on money and had to survive on the streets of New York. He took the most underpaid job he could, just so he could live another day, but he was dreaming about a career in cinema.

© Beyond the Rocks (1922) / Paramount Pictures

After landing a role in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which became one of the highest grossing silent films of all time, the Italian-born actor tasted the fame for the first time. He quickly became one of Hollywood's first heartthrobs, which earned him a reputation of "Latin lover."

© The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) / Metro Pictures Corporation


Sudden death

In August of 1926, silent film star was suddenly taken to a hospital due to a ruptured ulcer. He passed away a week later. His funeral created a massive hysteria.

Thousands of fans flooded the streets of New York, and more than 100,00 people showed up outside the church where the funeral ceremony was taking place.


People were smashing windows as they wanted to take the last look at the “Latin lover’s” body. Polish actress Pola Negri, with whom Valentino was having an affair at that time, claiming to be his fiancée, fainted while she was standing near the open coffin.


The actor’s crypt remains in the city which made him famous - at the Hollywood Forever Cemetry in Hollywood, California.

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