Daily News from New York, New York on November 18, 1923 · 74
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Daily News from New York, New York · 74

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 18, 1923
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SUNDAY NEWS, NOVEMBER 18, 1923. WHAT'S IN A MOVIE STAR'S MAIL BAG ? TAKE A PEEK INTO MR. VALENTINO'S 10 Letters With Love Lilt Predominate, But Variety Is Great ' What's in a movie star's mail bag? Suppose you could look over the shoulder of your screen favorite and read the day's mail the hundreds of tributes from worshiping fans all over the irorld! That's what the SUS'DAY SEWS offers an intimate peep into the correspondence that measures the success of a screen celebrity. With the co-oneration of the leading film favorites Richard Barthelmes, Charles Hay and Rudolph Valentino, idolized as romantic heroes; Lillian Gish, Mae Murray and Constance and Norma Talrnadge, feminine fascinators the original letters written to these stars have been examined. The most interesting portions of these appealing human documents are to be printed in this series of articles. All the world, so runs the ancient saw, loves a lover, real or imitation, and 3,000 letters sent each week to Rudolph Valentino give token of the interest the public has in the sheik man who has become famous through the screen as an apostle of the art of loving. What matter it if Paris cables that the hero of the movie fans of the gentler sex is really shy of thatch? What boot? it if his hair is thin? They see in him only the sentiment that comes creeping under the moonlight, and the ideal exponent of what a man ought to Bay to a woman he loves when nobody is looking. A vast majority of the thousands of letters to the late sheik come from young girls. .Surprising it is that few, very few, of the letters are what are called "mash" notes. Jlost of them have the ring that would have delighted old man I'lato himself. Intimate ' Thoughts. Humor and pathus, sophistication and sentiment, thread through the masses of white, blue, pink and lavender envelopes. Some tell of the writer's personal a?Tairs-.her anib.tions and trou-b'es as !nt::.y; as though the letter were addressed to a friend instead of to a far away movie tar. There's a stern, cold financial tide to the matter, too. It is costing the retired stage lover $15,000 a year to reply to the most enormous mail that has ever come to a motion picture star. It was required, under his film contract, that he should pay his own expenses f"r inail to his fans. And, when he was getting Sl,2i0 a week as a lover for the silver screen, it cost him $l.tiU a week for photographs and the mailing charges. Thousands of the messages that come through the mails to the ex-sheik carry the single note: "We are sorry for you. Rudy. Come bai k to us soon. Xo one can take jour place." F'or of such is hero worship, and hero worship has ever been one of erst) v.. --,s. The Sheik the strongest ties in all the world. Valentino, In retirement, still holds ihe record for amount of weekly mail received from fans. "I want to answer my fans," he says, plaintively. "If they are interested enough in me to write to me. they surely deserve the courtesy of a reply. Some of the finest criticism and most encouraging praise I g in this way. But 1 have got to eat, too. I cannot live on a delicit." Let U3 peek over the shoulder of the secretary who is reading his mail and see what the letters look like. "I would very much like," writes the first, "to write you a letter, if your wife does not object. If you only knew how we rave about you! . . . I also would like to become an actress myself. 1 just love to act in plays, hard ones, too. I have been in quite a few school plays and had lots of compliments on my acting. Now please don't think I am bragging, because I am not." "Dearest Valentino," writes a Florida girl, I am one of your followers indeed, almost a worshiper. You are a real lover, and I certainly admire your wife's choice of men." "This is the first time I have written to a movie star, and I am ba.-hful," is the naive beginning of a girl from Maine, The Confession. Cut every once in a while a member of the fair sex is daring enough" to confess a secrerVme: "Rudolph, you have such a strange fascination over me. I think of you const?' "y. I cannot banish you from my mind. 1 know it is absurd for me to entertain such loving thoughts of ferAf.N and his wife. a you wiu.ii i know you are married and have such a darling wife. Would that God had made two of you, adorable one. 1 remember the first picture 1 saw of you. You were in a bathing suit sitting on the sand 'twixt two fair ladies and held a little tousled dog in the fold of your bathrobe. Right away I thoua-ht, 'I could love him.' It was your smile, 1 think. I pray that some day I may really know y-- " "You are the idol and lover of America," writes another girl, "not only, of young America but all America. You have many imitators, Rudie but, ah, yes they are on'y imitators. Bah! We want you and only you! I am waiting, Rudie, like many others, for a speedy return to Ve movies, and many pictures from you Rudolph Valentino my idol!" "Rudolph, I love, I love you!" is the declaration of one feminine correspondent who writes a suspiciously childish hand. "I love to see you act in love pictures. Please send me half a dozen of your photographs." Careers in Movies. Here's one that might be called the typical flapper letter, though it comes from a small town in Kansas: "I "think your picture is the elephant's eyebrows," coquettes the modern girl. "I had 'Sheik' painted on the hood of my little racing car. Say, how in the dickens can vou remember your address? I never can. TOMMY'." Then, of course, there are the continual appeals for Valentino's help in starting a career in the movies. "Y'ou remember the beauty contest held here? I was in the contest, but I did not pass, due to being a bashful little girl, and of course lack of experience, but I surely would like you to try and help me get a career in the f: Rudolph Valentino receives 3,000 letters movies. As you know, everybody tells me I'm good looking, but of course that doesn't get you anywhere; it must be brains, too. Of course, you told me here I was good looking. Do you remember the little girl with the coat suit on, with bobbed hair?" "Dearest Rudolph," pleads another would-be movie star, "I hear you are looking for a leading lady. I have beautiful blond curls just hke Mary Fkkford's, big brown eyes like Norma Talrnadge, natural red lips and cheeks, and I can change the expressions on my face, one minute you cry, another you ,auh-" . . , , At the other extreme are the devoted admirers who insist on presenting their idol with fancy work, pet animals, jewelry or elaborately drawn portraits of himself. "1 have had my heart set on giving you some pillowcases," declares a girl from Wisconsin in a closely written letter -of eight pages. "I have put my whole heart and soul into the making of them; every stitch on them has been made with the deepest sincerity and 'affection that one can feel for a very dear friend, and to refuse to accept them now will only touch upon my tender feelings very deeply and I shall indeed feel real hurt about it. Don't worry about my devoting so much time to them; if a person is doing something for a friend whom they think a great deal of they never tire over the time spent." Left-Handed Compliment. Compliments are sometimes left-handed in the fan mail. A California boy writes: "In spite of all the harsh criticisms that are often made about you, I stick up for you. And I don't think it's right for people to call you Rhubarb Vaselino." Rudolph has a great many masculine admirers in the Philippines, a week. who express themselves in picturesque phrases: i "I will not let these days pass without expressing my sincere congratulation and appreciation in your screen success. Simple and short as this letter will be, yet I hope that you will appreciate its untimely arrival." "I took the opportunity of sending this poor little letter of mine to you with all respects t-nd great hope that this will not disturbed you nor will it makes you angry or something like that. With all thanks and best regards to your kind family, mother, father, brothers and sisters, may you be please to have me as your new friend and admirer." Delightful Plea. Some of the most interesting letters come from children, who worship the screen star as a fairy prince. Here's - a thoroughly delightful plea of a little girl: "I heard that you were going to Italy and never come back again. Oh, Mr. Valentino please don't do that because if you go away from the United States it would be just as if you were dead. And to have my favorite star seem dead. would make me feel awfully bad. Wally Reid was my favorite star. And if you went away I'd never pick another favorite because something always happens to them. Oh, I hope it isn't true, I think I'll die if you never come back. 1 wish you and Mrs. Valentino would let me call you "Uncle Rudy" and "Auntie" ... I hc.ie Mrs. Valentino doesn't care'' . . I hope you'll both remember me as your most true friend. Heaps and heaps of kisses for both." (R: 1923: By THE NEWS. S. T.) Mae Murray, dainty, blovd star, receives the adulation of many brvnet Romeos. Next week tha SUSDAY NEWS will present th messages from them that reac her mailbag.

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