Agnes Ayres

“My co-conspirator, for that is how we felt and even remarked upon while constructing the ‘Sheik’ films. We exchanged pregnant glances off set and sometimes on, when demanded by the director. Some would say my performance as the Sheik was eye-popping and it was that at times, again as the director so required. But, all in good fun!

Agnes was both very down to earth and quite a proper lady, though she also did not blush when there was a slightly risqué joke being shared. She and I discussed our roles a fair amount, especially during the second outing. I lament the chagrins she faced with her husband and personal life. Post-Sheiks, she apparently was high strung and had some difficulties reconciling her reality. This was not foreshadowed in our interactions; I was unaware of it at the time.

Agnes so graciously returned, as you know, for a small role in “Son of the Sheik.” I think our work together was solid and I shall forever be indebted to her for a great deal of my success or rather how I most impressed the public, which was in this vehicle, not my preferred means of conveyance but ultimately rather effective. There was never any romance between us yet we were able to play at that, hint of its existence in how we comported with each other. She remains in spirit but we are not in touch at the moment. Dear Agnes, such a formal name! She found herself in a position of great envy, breathing life into Mrs. Hull’s confection.” ~ Rudolph Valentino

(Excerpted from “Rudolph Valentino The Untold Story” ~ 2014)

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