In the 1920s, Rudolph Valentino, famous for both his on and off screen affairs, suddenly died affecting many fans. This guide provides access to materials related to "Rudolph Valentino” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
Italian-born actor Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926), also known as Rodolfo Valentino, shot to superstardom with the silent film The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He was best remembered on the screen for The Sheik, but made headlines off camera for his tumultuous personal life, marrying Natacha Rambova, also known as Winifred Hudnut, before his divorce with his first wife, Jean Acker was not yet official. After experiencing a career decline due to conflict with studios, Valentino briefly mounted a comeback with The Son of the Sheik just before his unexpected death in 1926. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
The release of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in March propels Valentino to stardom.
Valentino’s best known film, The Sheik, premieres and plays into 1922.
Valentino marries Natacha Rambova, also known as Winifred Hudnut, but is arrested for bigamy.
Valentino’s next hit Blood and Sand, released in August 1922.
Valentino goes on strike against his studio Famous Players-Lasky.
Valentino and Rambova successfully marry in Indiana.
Rambova and Valentino divorce in late 1925.
August 23, 1926
Valentino dies after a sudden deterioration of his health just before the release of final film The Son of the Sheik. Reports claim he is engaged to fellow star Pola Negri.