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

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