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Valentino, Rudolph 1895-1926 Italian-born film star
After four years as a Hollywood bit-part player, he won the lead in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) and was instantly a star. To his American female audiences he represented exotic sensuality, mystery and illicit eroticism in a potent compound of passion and melancholy. His subsequent box-office hits were The Sheik (1921), Blood and Sand (1922) and Monsieur Beaucaire (1924). News of his death met with unequaled fan hysteria.