Rudolph Valentino was born on 6 th May 1895 in Castellaneta, Italy. The middle child of three children, he was spoilt by his mother and this resulted in him becoming a bully that was expelled from a number of schools. He ended his education at the Academy of Agriculture where he obtained a certificate in the Science of Farming.
After this, Valentino enjoyed a range of adventures. He spent time in Paris, where he took up Apache dancing and then, after claiming an inheritance of several thousand pounds, he headed for New York in 1913. Here is continued to learn dance, whilst undertaking a variety of jobs such as busboy and even gigolo.
The year 1917 saw Valentino head for Hollywood, where he was given small dancing parts and bit parts as a villain. However, Metro finally cast the budding star as the lead in ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ and it was this movie that rocketed Rudolph to stardom.
In 1922 Valentino met Natacha Rambova, with whom he was really taken, and they eloped to Mexico. Alas, it was discovered that he was still married and he was fined a hefty sum and jailed for bigamy. Following his release from jail, he dated Polish actress Pola Negri.Rudolph Valentino died in New York on 23 rd August 1926, aged just thirty-one years. He died from blood poisoning resulting from a perforated ulcer, and tens of thousands of mourners lined the streets of New York on the day of his funeral, almost causing a riot. Another funeral for the young star followed in California.
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