Natacha Rambova

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Natacha Rambova : biography

January 19, 1897 – June 5, 1966

The pair moved in together less than a year later but had to separate (or at least pretend to) as the divorce proceedings for Valentino’s marriage to Jean Acker began. Once the divorce was final, the pair married on May 13, 1922 in Mexicali, Mexico. However, the law at the time required a year to pass before remarriage and Valentino was jailed as a bigamist. Valentino’s studio at the time, Famous Players-Lasky, refused to post bail.Leider, Emily. "Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino" page 210 June Mathis, George Melford, and Thomas Meighan eventually were able to raise enough to post bail. Rambova had been sent to New York by the studio before Valentino’s jailing, and was informed at a stop in Chicago. Throughout the bigamy scandal she refused to speak to the press.Leider, Emily. "Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino" page 209 The pair had to wait a year to remarry (less risking Valentino being jailed again), forced to live in separate apartments with roommates. They legally remarried on March 14, 1923.

Though they shared similar passions, Valentino and Rambova held very different views when it came to home and personal life. Valentino cherished old world ideals of a woman being a housewife and mother, while Rambova was a feminist who wanted to continue to work and had no plans of being a housewife. Valentino was known as an excellent cook, while actress Patsy Ruth Miller suspected Rambova didn’t know "how to make burnt fudge," although the truth was she did occasionally bake and was an excellent seamstress.Leider, Emily. "Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino" page 198 Valentino deeply wanted children, Rambova did not.Morris, Michael. "Madam Valentino: The Many Lives of Natacha Rambova" page 177

Rambova did not get along with Valentino’s friends and family, with the exception of Paul Ivano. Rambova complained during their trip to Italy, and she never got along with either of his siblings.Leider, Emily. "Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino" page 279 She eventually sparred with Douglas Gerrad, June Mathis, and George Ullman; costing Valentino his friendship with Mathis. The marriage began to be strained as the press scrutinized Rambova and blamed her for Valentino’s failures. Actress Myrna Loy claimed that Rambova was unfairly criticized, that Valentino was like a little boy wanting to please people by saying yes to everything, while Rambova took the blame by going after these people and saying no. After signing with United Artists (which stipulated Rambova could not be present on Valentino’s sets or take part in his films), Rambova turned cold and ignored her husband’s 30th birthday, mocking him for staying home all day while she went to work (he was waiting for his contract to finalize), sparring with him in public, embarrassing him in front of Hollywood elite on the night of his ‘Rudolph Valentino Medal’ ceremony, and eventually cheating on him with her cameraman on What Price Beauty?Leider, Emily. "Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino" page336-340 Rambova left four weeks after Valentino began shooting The Eagle and announced the separation soon after, catching Valentino off guard.Leider, Emily. "Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino" page 344 The pair took to sparring back and forth in the press.Leider, Emily. "Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino" page 345 When Valentino suddenly took ill, Rambova was in Europe. At Valentino’s request, Ullman sent a telegram to Rambova. Rambova believed a reconciliation had taken place and the two sent telegrams right until the final moments of Valentino’s life.Leider, Emily. "Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino" page 381

Alvaro de Urzaiz

Rambova met Alvaro de Urzaiz on a trip to Europe in 1934. Urzaiz was a British educated, Spanish aristocrat. After closing her shop, Rambova moved with her husband to the island of Mallorca. When the Spanish Civil War erupted, Urzaiz was on the pro-fascists nationalist side, becoming a naval commander. Rambova fled to Nice, where she suffered a heart attack at age 40. Soon after, she and Urzaiz divorced.