Patrick O'Connor

Dressed For Success

Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino

By

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AT THE AUCTION sale of his possessions a few months after his death in 1926, Rudolph Valentino was found to have owned 51 suits, 111 ties, 60 pairs of gloves, 146 pairs of socks, 10 pairs of suspenders, 6 pairs of garters (with tassels) and 110 silk handkerchiefs. Among the jewellery was the platinum slave bracelet given to him by his second wife, Natacha Rambova. This was not the wardrobe of the average American guy, and it only confirmed the wor t suspicions of his detractors. Earlier that year, Valentino had been the target of a snide newspaper article headed ‘Pink Powder Puff’, in which the journalist had accused him of being one of the main culprits in undermining the masculine values of young Americans. Valentino had reacted by offering to take on the writer in a public boxing match. It all turned out to be good publicity for his last film, The Son of the Sheik. …

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