RUDOLPH "THE SHEIK" VALENTINO - CONTRACT SIGNED 01/30/1924 - HFSID 73235
Sale Price $3,230.00
AFTER A CONTRACT BATTLE, VALENTINO ASSIGNS HIS EARNINGS TO HIS WIFE
RUDOLPH VALENTINO. Typed DS: "Rudolph Valentino", 1p, 8x10½. No place, 1924 January 30. On his personal letterhead in letter form to Famous Players-Lasky Corp., New York City. Begins: "Gentlemen". In full: "In consideration of the advance to me by my wife, Natalie Guglielmi, I desire to assign, and do hereby assign to said Natalie Guglielmi any earnings which may accrue to me under the contract entered into and signed by myself on January 15th, 1924. Any salary due me is to be made payable to my wife, Natalie Guglielmi." Also signed: "John J. Barry" as Notary Public. Romantic film leading man Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926), born Rodolpho Alphonso Raffaelo Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguolla, signed this request in 1924 for the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation (later Paramount) to remit his earnings to his wife, former actress Natasha Rambova. At this time, Valentino was filming Monsieur Beaucaire, his first film after settling his 1922 contract dispute with Jesse Lasky. Valentino's main issue involved his salary in comparison to a lesser star at Paramount. His "mere pittance" of $1,250 weekly was one-third the example he gave, and, as Valentino pointed out, the studio made millions in profits from The Sheik (1921) and Blood and Sand (1922). Upon settlement, Valentino received $7,500 every week until he finished two films. Valentino's wife controlled many aspects of his career, including script choices, costumes and publicity. However, extensive publicity appeared without her approval. Born Winifred Shaughnessy, Valentino's second wife, a dancer like her husband, changed her name for acting, and became known as Natalie Guglielmi (she took on Valentino's real surname after their marriage, which lasted from March 14, 1923-January 19, 1926). During his absence from the screen for nearly two years, Valentino's prior films drew a devoted following, making him a legend in his own time. His sudden death on August 23, 1926, the month after the premier of The Son of the Sheik, imbued him with an everlasting mystique; he was frozen in time as the swarthy Latin lover. Valentino is rarely encountered in film-related correspondence, especially involving his financial affairs with his famous second wife. Lightly creased with folds, light vertical fold at the "ph" of Rudolph. Slightly soiled at lower margin at folds. 2 pinhead-size holes at upper left corner, tackhead-size hole at upper right corner. Lasky film company stamp and ink notes (unknown hand) at upper right margin. Overall, fine condition. Framed in the Gallery of History style: 32¼x21½.
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