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Rudolph Valentino - A Barbary Coast Tale

Rudolph Valentino's time in San Francisco has not been thoroughly documented.  I have an interest in Valentino and in my local history, obviously.  So here I am trying to tie up a few threads and recount a tale by one of Valentino's good friends, cinematographer Paul Ivano.

Valentino first came to San Francisco after leaving the touring company of The Masked Model in Utah.   The Masked Model played at The Cort Theater, but, Valentino (or Mons. Rudolph as he was billed) was not named in the cast in the reviews in from San Francisco newspapers, unlike the earlier cities on the tour. Why Valentino decided to leave the show and travel to San Francisco without a job or good prospects is not known.  Was he fired?  Was he tired of the grind of the show?  We may never know the precise answer.


 We know he arrived in San Francisco in May of 1917.  He registered as an alien with regard to the draft On June 1, 1917.  He lived in our fair city for a few months before entraining to Hollywo…

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