Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand


Marilyn Slater,

August 25, 2014


Rudolph Valentino was more then a very sexy man, who died August 23, 1926 at 12:10 pm in New York City; he was so much more.  Once a year a memorial service is held to acknowledge his contribution to the film industry; his was a rather short movie career.  The stories of his prowess as a paid dance partner (taxi dancer), $5 a day film extra and June Mathis casting him in ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ are told and retold. 1914 to 1926, IMDb lists 39 credits and yet the pilgrimage has been made to honor the Italian “Latin Lover” each year. His crypt is at the Cathedral Mausoleum number 1053 on the grounds of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

He has been embraced by his fans, both male and female, some have never seen him on film only in photographs and others know each frame of his films. He had great understanding of his fans; he was the canvas on which dreams of love were painted.  


So again we gathered for the 87 annual services; not a gloomy or mournful day but one of sun and red rose petals. It is amazing that new stories are still told, this year they were of his homes, the visit by Michael DiGiuro to Valentino’s birthplace in Castellaneta, Italy and Christopher Riordan sad report of Falcon Lair, the trees cut down, plants destroyed and yes the house pulled down, all gone.  Valentino had studied agriculture in Italy, his passion for the living growing world gone.  


Our Tracy Ryan Terhune had made a visit before the house was destroyed and we saw the video he made. Valentino was the author of a book of poetry “Daydreams” which Allison Francis beautifully recited selections.  Garrett Bryant  read from a newspaper preview of the 1926 auction, the visitors walked through Falcon Lair looking at items just as Valentino had lived with them, Tracy brought cases full of these items he has assembled that where once at Falcon Lair. 

The videos were created by Labrador Productions and Vince Morton created a lovely mood with his music. The Wegter Family preformed “Shooting Star” and “If I Had A Man Like Valentino.” The Valentino Memorial Committee member Chanell O’Farrill welcomed the nearly standing room only gathering and Stella Grace, another committee member closed with the 23rd Psalm.  And we were together as a community remembering and sharing.


And I think I have told you before that Mabel Normand was at the funeral. And yes, I went to the Day of Remembrance with the author of the “Destiny’s Consent” Saga, Laura Shepard Townsend, who has written a wonderful impression of the assembly.   




The Rudolph Valentino 87th Day of Remembrance

Saturday - August 23, 2014 - 12:10 pm

Hollywood Forever Mausoleum

(6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, east of Gower Street & north of Paramount Pictures)


The theme for 2014 Remembrance will be Valentino’s homes.  Tracy Terhune has planned to start his program with Valentino’s birthplace in Italy and ending at Valentino’s Falcon Lair.  There will be a video which will include “A Last Look” made from Tracy’s last tour inside Falcon Lair before it was torn down.  Songs, poetry and reflections regarding Valentino will be part of the DAY.  There will also be personal items shared from Valentino’s home.


For more information: http://valentinoforever.blogspot.com