He was an early pop icon, and a sex symbol of the s, who was known in Hollywood as the Latin Lover a title invented for him by Hollywood moguls , The Great Lover, or simply Valentino. His father, Giovanni Antonio Giuseppe Fedele Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguella, was Italian ; he was a captain of cavalry in the Italian Army, later a veterinarian,  who died of malaria when Rodolfo was 11 years of age. As a child, Rodolfo was indulged because of his exceptional looks and his playful personality. His mother coddled him, while his father disapproved of him. After living in Paris in , he soon returned to Italy. Unable to secure employment, he departed for the United States in Arriving in New York City, he supported himself with odd jobs such as busing tables in restaurants and gardening. While he was living on the streets, Valentino would occasionally come back to Murray's for lunch and the staff would slip him some food.
Valentino Garavani was born in Voghera, Italy, on May 11, Valentino studied fashion design from a young age, completing his formal training in Paris and starting his own line in Rome in By the mids, Valentino was a favorite designer of the world's best-dressed women, including Jacqueline Kennedy. Among his signatures is a particular fabric shade, known as "Valentino red. He began working in the fashion industry at a young age, apprenticing under local designers including his aunt Rosa. Valentino left Paris in to open a fashion house in Rome. He modeled his business on the grand houses he had seen in Paris.
The death of silent-screen idol Rudolph Valentino at the age of 31 sends his fans into a hysterical state of mass mourning. In his brief film career, the Italian-born actor established a reputation as the archetypal screen lover. Tens of thousands of people paid tribute at his open coffin in New York City, and , mourners lined the streets outside the church where funeral services were held. He immigrated to the United States in and worked as a gardener, dishwasher, waiter, and gigolo before building a minor career as a vaudeville dancer. In , he went to Hollywood and appeared as a dancer in the movie Alimony.
What attracted me to Valentino as documentary subject was, in fact, something altogether different. In I was dispatched to Rome to write a magazine story about the greatest of the Italian artist-designers. I have to admit that the piece was not one I was particularly excited about: All of the press I had read about Valentino pointed to a routine assignment about a very talented and successful gentleman, but not much new appeared to be on the radar. As famous as Valentino has been for 50 years, the real and very remarkable tale of his personal and professional partnership with Giammetti had never been explored. The whole time I was reporting the magazine story, I was, in effect, seeing a movie in my head.