Each year, on August 23rd, we commemorate the anniversary of Rudolph Valentino's death (May 6, 1895 - Aug. 23, 1926).
Rudolph Valentino, whose given name was Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi D'Antonguolla, was born in Italy and immigrated to America when he was 18 years old. In America, he became a silent film star who rose to fame in the 1920's as a sex symbol and exotic "Latin Lover".
On August 15, 1926 Valentino collapsed and was taken to the hospital. He was suffering from appendicitis and a ruptured ulcer. Emergency surgery was performed and Valentino was thought to be on the mend, but within days his condition worsened as he developed peritonitis and pleurisy. On August 23, 1926, without being apprised by the doctors of the seriousness of his condition, Rudolph Valentino slipped into a coma and died a few hours later. He was 31 years old.
News of Valentino's death spread through America like a shock wave. Valentino's fans were devastated. Some distraught fans actually committed suicide upon hearing of his death.
Charlie Chaplin said of Rudolph Valentino - "I believe there was a fine tenderness in his acting. His ability as an actor, seldom given credit, is the great reason for his success."