“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, March 14, 1923, Lake County Courthouse, Crown Point, Indiana

Finally. Hollywood heartthrob Rudolph Valentino (actually Rudolpho Guglielmi of Apulia, Italy, 27) and his beloved, Natacha Rambova (actually Winifred ShaughnessyHudnut de Wolfe of Salt Lake City, Utah, 26), are legally married.

Natacha Rambova and Rudolph Valentino

They did this once before, last year in Mexico. Only to come home to Los Angeles and find that, in California, Valentino had to be divorced for a full year before he could remarry. He was arrested for bigamy.

The year wait ended yesterday. But Rudolph and Natasha are on an extensive tour of the United States and Canada, and if they get married in Illinois, where they are currently performing, they still wouldn’t be legal.

So they have crossed over the state line to Indiana and this town with such liberal marriage laws that it is known as the “Marriage Mill.”

Lake County Courthouse, Crown Point, Indiana

Valentino is spending the year on this so far successful dancing tour rather than making movies because he feels badly treated by his studio, Famous Players-Lasky. They didn’t even put up bail money when he got arrested!

Rudolph has been using promotional stops on the tour to vent his frustration with the studio system. On a radio broadcast in St. Louis he spoke about “What Is Wrong With the Movies?”

Valentino is also exploring other ways to express his creative spirit. His series of articles entitled, ‘”My Life Story” is appearing in Photoplay and this month’s issue is their biggest seller yet. Movie Weekly magazine has asked Valentino to author another series, “My Private Diary.”

Right now, he’s just glad to be married. Although the show is crossing the country in a luxury Pullman coach—in Chicago they are comfortable in the Blackstone Hotel—he and Natacha are performing two and three shows a day in 88 cities. The tour’s sponsor, Mineralava Beauty Company, is holding beauty contests at each performance to promote their products.

When the newlyweds come out of the judge’s chambers, the crowd of fans outside gives them an ovation and shouts their congratulations.

No time for a honeymoon yet. Back to Chicago to keep on dancing…

Poster for the Mineralava tour

You can see Valentino and Rambova dancing on tour here:

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available at Thoor Ballylee in Co. Galway, and as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA. They are also on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This summer I will be talking about F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.


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