Why wasn't the title of the book the same as the title of the New York Times Sunday book review: Rudolph Valentino and the Deflowering of America.
That's not just because deflowering is a more evocative and powerful word, which speaks of his smouldering good looks and his prototype as an icon. No, it's also because if books are still being released about an actor who died in 1926, then he isn't really dead, is he?
That and two of the first three sentences begin with "Sexual intercourse ... " I'm trying to remember if any other actor or musician has put their face to a pack of condoms? KISS did. But why am I thinking of this? Apparently, in honor of his last film, "The Son of the Sheik" - though years after it was released - Valentino appeared in profile on "Shiek" condoms. That's not quite the same as Jerry West on the NBA logo is it? And probably not as enduring.
New York Times Book Review. Link here.
The picture accompanying the article also starts to show why he is still "fondly" remembered by women of a certain age. He was 31 - my age - when he died.
LA Times review: A Stardom Doomed By Expectation. Link here.
It seems in short that Valentino, perhaps the first movie "star," gets a thoroughly modern celebrity treatment in Emily Leider's book.