Rudy’s Birthday

Numerologically, two numbers in particular are keys to understanding the trajectory of Rudolph Valentino’s life, Eight and Seven.

I like to think of him as “Infinity Man” because the address of the house he was born in, Via Roma, 116, Castellaneta, Italy adds up to 8 which when turned on its side becomes the infinity symbol. And the cemetery where he is buried in Los Angeles uses that same symbol as its logo which, again, when turned upright becomes an 8. Alpha and Omega!

Rodolfo was born on 5-6-1895. (Happy Belated, RVG!) The number he is working, therefore, is 7.

“These individuals share their high vision and reveal new possibilities through their creative endeavors as they express truth and beauty. Their intense eyes and sparkling energy and their crisp, refined qualities reveal them as high-minded “angels” in human form. Having found unconditional, but not naive, trust in themselves and others, they see the inherent perfection and larger workings of a loving Spirit, even in the most difficult of circumstances. Inspired by a higher purpose, they find deep meaning in uplifting and moving others to a more refined, elevated sense of their own lives.” ~ excerpted from “The Life You Were Born to Live” by Dan Millman.

What a confirmation of how the public perceived and reacted to Rudy, his arc as an actor, public and private persona! And that was always his stated goal, that his pictures and the parts he played move audiences to a higher place, in other words, expand consciousness. Bravo, Rodolfo, for a life well-lived! ~ Wayne Hatford

Valentino’s Spirit Guides

As chronicled by a number of his biographers, Rudy had an avid interest in spiritualism and the information he received, whether intuitively or through participating in séances and automatic writing sessions, was instrumental, he would say, in conducting his life. In fact, during his marriage to Natacha Rambova they both pursued channeling as a tool for enlightenment, and it was by this means that Rudy wrote and Natacha edited “Day Dreams,” published in 1923.

The two most frequently cited spirit guides are ‘Black Feather’ and ‘Meselope.’ In channeling my contribution to his legend, the posthumous autobiography, “Rudolph Valentino The Untold Story,” I decided to solicit Rudy’s reflections on how they impacted his life, then and now. ~ Wayne Hatford

BLACK FEATHER (Native American spirit guide)

Black Feather was the type who would tap me on the shoulder prior to any important life decision, as if to say “Rudy, is this really what you want to do?” He was a validator, therefore, of last resorts. Not him per se, but his imploring me to reflect placed me exactly where I should be: on the hot seat as emperor of my own domain for we are our only final arbiters, in all cases. Black Feather’s presence in my life also injected instinct, a most important element of Native American lifestyle, what their survival often depended on. So I followed mine, and was encouraged to by him, in direct communication and not, within and without.

He was a mentor par excellence et je suis fort reconnaissant du rôle qu’il a joué, (and I am very grateful for the role he played) often center stage. Merci, mille fois! (A thousand thanks!) We work together now which you should not be surprised to hear, as comrades and compatriots.

MESELOPE (Ancient Egyptian spirit guide)

A different story, as he and I did know each other once in incarnated life whereas that is not the case with Black Feather. Meselope was a scholar who advised me, a sounding board in the position I held under Pharaoh Horemheb, that of Vizier, the one you (speaking to the author) are also familiar with, where we sometimes walked the halls at night seeking shooting stars. Later he moved up the ranks to keeper of my scrolls, master scribe, overseeing others. So that life-time left a strong imprint on my soul and I carried the energy inside and, as I expressed Rudy, some of it appeared. Meselope knows how to anchor. That is how he helped Natacha and I when we called out to spirits to respond to our questions, held automatic writing sessions to create our book. He, too, is a trusted comrade.

Meselope carries the scent of ancient Egypt, incense, perfume, and along with that, the consciousness, great order and purpose of that society. For me, in that incarnation, it was truly a wonderful place to be alive. Oddly, he has an even stronger connection with Natacha having once been her father and then again her prince. His was an exemplary role in each of our lives. I remain eternally grateful to him and here we do also converse. What a solid, constructive force in the Universe, this is Meselope!” ~ Rudolph Valentino

 

Rudy’s Career Roller Coaster Ride

Rudy’s experiences with the major studios he once called home can be likened to a “montagne russe” (roller coaster) in terms of propulsion and up and down motion. Universal was his first important employer, and four of the films he did there, along with his respective leading ladies (Carmel Myers and Mae Murray, each X 2) helped launch his career, their popularity at the time providing heft. In these movies, Rudy got to explore his playful side, even experimenting with pratfalls in “All Night.” He was also cast as a non-ethnic, certainly not the case later on.

Then, following a string of small roles and bit parts, Rudy signed with Metro to star in the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” an unqualified hit and the first instance of million dollar box office. Here Rudy was at the top of his game, the pieces coming together to create one of his most memorable roles. All that, and the tango too!

In a move one could only deem blasé, the studio then cast him in a series of lackluster, though at times interesting, follow-up films where his innate luminescence always ended up transcending the material. In truth Rudy probably would have created interest with the visual equivalent of reading a phone book; such was the magnetism he projected. Personally I like everything he did on screen, all his roles to greater or lesser extents, because they exuded magic, an ephemeral, quixotic spark.

Metro’s indifference soon translated to Paramount’s gain, as he started working at Famous Players-Lasky where they immediately cast him in what was to be his seminal part, Ahmed the Sheik. Loads of interest and box office cash resulted and Paramount knew they had a phenomenon on their hands. Unfortunately, they, like Metro, did not follow up very well. Several decent pictures ensued but only one other really notable one, “Blood and Sand.”

Rudy’s final employer was United Artists, the studio founded by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffin. His last two films were quality projects, and each allowed him to shine, again at the top of his game. By all accounts, he was delighted with his work in “The Eagle” and “Son of the Sheik” the latter providing an opportunity to reprise Ahmed, this time père et fils (father and son.) The roller coaster ride ended on a high point, and Rodolfo left this world at the peak of his fame, a level of renown that continues to this day! ~ Wayne Hatford

A Rudy Postscript to “The Untold Story”

My most recent book, “Rudolph Valentino The Untold Story,” examines many of the personalities that surrounded him, his exploits, relationships, films and more. And it provides the reader with context, how Rudy perceived those people and experiences at the time, reflected in the mirror of NOW. The following comments were given to me recently, as a postscript. ~ Wayne Hatford

Vengono scritti già in questo secolo, anche nel passato, diversi libri che danno occhio alla mia vita, la persona che ero, e sempre sono, nel’Al di là...(Both in this century and the last a number of books have been written that examine my life, the person I was, and still am, in the Great Beyond.)

Has everything been explained? Did the authors detailing that life-time get things right? Yes and no. Each perceived it through their own lens, perhaps not so surprising. As a result, they have tended to ignore or fixate on certain aspects, sometimes both.

Did I want to tell all in “Rudolph Valentino The Untold Story” whose title implies that I did? No, Signori, perche questo sarebbe stato troppo facile. Invece, vi voglio far pensare, riflettere(No, because that would have been too easy. Instead, I want to make you think, reflect…)

But what this book reveals is a significant tranche of my essence as well as sanguine bits of insight and information. Not only that, it confirms and refutes conclusions that have previously been drawn. E più di nulla, sono molto lieto e volevo farvi capire questo. (And most importantly, I am, by nature, an ebullient individual and wanted you to understand that.) Some claim I was often despondent or melancholy, no, only rarely so. Sopratutto nel corpo di Rodolfo, ho bevuto la vita copiosamente, goccia per goccia. (Especially in that incarnation, I drank of life copiously, savoring every drop.)

Somehow I knew there was little time to waste!” ~ Rudolph Valentino

Nita Naldi

Nita played many roles in Rudy’s life, the most important of which were co-star, friend, and intimate. Excerpted from “Rudolph Valentino The Untold Story,” here are some of his observations on their personal rapport, also her impact on movie-goers.

This woman was one of the best foils any actor could ever have! We were opposites but that allowed us to compliment each other. Attractive but not pretty in a conventional way, she could convey the most nefarious mannerisms, vamp-like behavior that was thoroughly, and morally, bankrupt. Nita and I were great buddies and the rumors are true. We did once explore when everything seemed new. Then we had a laugh about it later, curiosity having paid its due. Without Nita to support me, I could not have mastered those roles as effectively as I did. She was an icon and, of course, the women in the audience were not threatened by our kisses, knowing that we would not truly succumb.

Nita was the archetype of temptation every time we appeared together on screen. In real life, however, she was blasé, never took Hollywood too seriously, yet grateful that her look, and demeanor, were so perfect for the moment. I remember her fondly. Love, Rodolfo.” ~ Rudolph Valentino

Rudy Plays Twenty Questions

“Short Artistic and Sentimental Review” is the title of this unattributed Q & A, twenty questions that were posed to Valentino in 1922, soon after the release of “Blood and Sand.” His answers are both revealing and a reflection of the image he wanted to create in the minds of movie-goers at that time. This document was on display in 2009 at the Museum of Cinema in Turin, Italy, as part of an exhibit dedicated to Rudy’s life and career. Please note that strictly speaking not all of his answers fully align with the facts.

1. Your regular first and last name? Rodolfo Valentino; in English, it’s Rudolph.

2. Your nickname? Rudy

3. What is the first film you made? “The Married Virgin,” directed by Joseph Maxwell.

4. What is your favorite role? The one I played in my last film, “Blood and Sand.”

5. Do you like criticism? Yes, a lot.

6. Do you have a fetish? Yes, my wife.

7. What is your favorite color? Black Iris

8. What is your favorite perfume? Maharajah

9. What are your defects? I am irascible and nervous. I have a quick temper, plus many more.

10. Do you smoke? Yes, lots of cigarettes.

11. Are you a gourmand? Not really.

12. What is your motto? “Post Tenebras Lux.”

13. Are you faithful? Yes, very.

14. What is your ambition? For the world to like me.

15. What are your good points? I think I have one or two small ones, but I don’t know what they are.

16. Your favorite authors? D’Annunzio, Dante, Carducci, Maupassant, Hugo, Baudelaire.

17. Are you superstitious? No.

18. Your favorite composers? Mozart, Puccini, Mascagni, Wagner.

19. Your favorite artist? Raphael.

20. Your favorite photo? The one I give you.

 

 

 

 

Leo Rising ~ Valentino’s Birth Chart

Rather than attempt a full-blown analysis of Rudy’s astrological birth chart, I would like to focus on a few key elements. First of all, Rudy was born at 10:03 AM on May 6, 1895 in Castellaneta, Italy. This is the time indicated on his birth certificate, on display at Museo Valentino in Castellaneta, whereas the internet gives it as either 3 AM or 3 PM. With a 10:03 AM birth time, Rudy has 2 degrees Leo rising.

Think about it, the magnificent carriage, innate radiance, warmth and charm, all befitting what is commonly thought of as Leo energy interfacing with the world! These traits were Rudy’s calling cards, the lens through which he appealed to his fans.

Let’s also take a moment to note what sign is on the opposite cusp in his chart, the house of relationships, which in this case is Aquarius. Natacha Rambova, above all, fit the profile: she was strong, independent, creative, unusual, avant-garde, and at least as much of a friend as lover. Indeed, people who have Aquarius in the 7th house want friendship to be an important ingredient in any sexual relationship.

A couple of other crucial elements: Mars conjunct Jupiter in Cancer in the 12th house and Moon in Libra in the 3rd house.

The Mars/Jupiter connection created the exquisite sense of tenderness Rudy was able to convey in his screen characters, as well as providing him with strength and stamina. Mars in Cancer alone in the 12th would indicate a retiring nature. However, with Jupiter conjunct it and a Leo ascendant, he was wired to be an extrovert, even though he did require some alone time every day to re-charge his emotional batteries.

Moon in Libra speaks to an affable nature, friendly towards all, which Rudy, by all accounts, most definitely was. And it was in the 3rd house of his chart, ruled by Gemini and reflexively, communication. No wonder Rudy was so facile with languages! His thinking was often deep and complex as indicated by his own writings and musings. His was a lively wit, and he knew how to turn a phrase to his advantage, meaning he always gave people something to think about!

Finally, there is Venus in Gemini in the 11th house. Rudy had a huge number of friends and acquaintances, and he was intrigued by all of them to greater or lesser degrees ~ another reason why it was so easy for him to relate to people. However, he only allowed a few to enter the inner circle, the arena where he gave himself permission to be vulnerable. He approached both beauty and love with great curiosity, a hallmark of Venus in Gemini and formidable asset in his work as an actor.

Mr. Valentino, quite a multi-faceted individual ~ as we all are!

~ Wayne Hatford

Rudy on his French Roots

Let’s stipulate that I am/was half French to begin with and my mother had strongly embraced that language and culture, brought them to Italy with her, saw them as a trophy throughout her life. She delighted in speaking French to us as children. It was our own flavor, our refuge, something she thought would make us more able in the world. This is not to say that she did not love Italy, Puglia in particular. Anyway, French, in all its ramifications, seeped into our lives and we thought it grand, saw our capability with it as an entrée. (Door-opener.) So when I went to Paris during my teen-age years to, in fact, sow wild oats, try out the boulevardier (man about town) premise, I summoned my French parts, made them shine, and gathered my forces which later translated to the continental flair I was known to display as aspects of screen characters I embodied.

That we read in French, novels and history in particular, was a really nurturing part of my upbringing. Did I like the precision of French in composition? Not so much as a boy yet I was a sponge. I knew that language inside out, and admired the elegance inherent in the culture. Le Comte (Count) Valentino, perhaps an alter ego? Oh the excesses I knew while in the thrall of my first visit to Paris! How dandy it all was!” ~ Rodolfo Valentino

“Rudolph Valentino The Untold Story”

Am delighted to announce that my new book, “Rudolph Valentino The Untold Story” is now for sale via Amazon.com.

Who better to comment on the life and times of Rudolph Valentino than Rudy himself? Recollections from one of the greatest screen icons of all times, as told to Medium Wayne Hatford. Their third collaboration, this book sheds new light, quells rumors, addresses speculations, corrects the record ~ ‘write’ from the horse’s mouth! And Rudy delivers with wit and panache, the same magnetic charisma he displayed in films.

Read what he has to say now about his leading ladies, family, friends, lovers, wives, colleagues, films and more, his most cherished memories and adventures. A wealth of tantalizing tidbits and reveals, here is Valentino pulling back the curtain posthumously, testifying on his own behalf.

http://www.amazon.com/Rudolph-Valentino-Untold-Vincent-Hatford/dp/0983343667/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416018086&sr=8-1&keywords=rudolph+valentino+the+untold+story

 

 

 

Rex Ingram

Two peacocks loathe to groom each other, this was the essence of my interaction with Rex. He could and probably also should have been an actor, as well as a director ~ so multi-talented was he. Directing me in “The Conquering Power,” he wanted “parco” instead of passionate, for me to be dryer ~ a bit more of a twit too – the spoiled boy who has to try harder to adapt. But I saw the part as I saw it, and though he thought I tried to upstage Alice, (Alice Terry, Ingram’s wife) I did not, which you, the viewer, will agree, upon screening the results. Rex imagined what was not. Alice and I had excellent rapport but we were not physically attracted to each other. And, there was also a smidgen of resentment on both our parts. He felt he should have received more praise for “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” and I thought he was trying to crimp my style, turn down my voltage, on our second outing. Karmic disturbances that have now been adjusted and regulated ~ mere bagatelles, my friends! Nothing all that much of consequence to report about our very minor tugs of war.” ~ Rudolph Valentino