Author - historian - Research


One of the most alluring, enigmatic, and simply irresistible movie icons of all time, Rudolph Valentino continues to inspire generation after generation of moviegoers. In Rudolph Valentino, The Silent Idol: His Life in Photographs, author Donna Hill retells the story of Valentino s life using a treasure trove of rare photographs. Drawn from the author s extensive collection and those of generous fellow collectors and archives, most of the images in this volume have not been seen since the 1920's; many have never been released publicly until now. Rudolph Valentino was more than the sheik of one of his most famous films. He was more than the legendary star who died at a tragically young age. For long-time fans as well as curious newcomers, these remarkable images candid snapshots at home, traveling, on film sets reveal the glamour and charm of the man who continues to beguile and inspire movie lovers to this day.


Available in a softcover as well as hardback (imagewrap or dustjacket) direct from the publisher at www.blurb.com.  Dimensions 8x10", 244 pages, 400 images and essays covering the arc of Valentino's life.


"Rudolph Valentino, The Silent Idol: His Life in Photographs by Donna L. Hill is a beautiful paperbound book, all the more impressive because it was self-published. Hill, who runs the website rudolph-valentino.com, has spent the past thirty years researching her subject and gathering rare and revealing pictures. As Emily W. Leider, author of Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino, points out in her foreword, The pictures tell us that long before he appeared in films, Valentino displayed a love of finery, a propensity for posing before the camera, and a preoccupation with his own image. An actor in life before he became one professionally, as an underemployed immigrant he would don a tuxedo and spend money he didn't have on a New York studio photographer in order to be able to send home a likeness of himself that looked prosperous, upper class, and elegant. The photographs reveal much more, as we follow the trajectory of the Italian-born screen star s thirty-one years of life. We see his natural, friendly smile an interesting contrast to the poses he would strike for Hollywood cameramen. We observe him at work, at play, with friends, family, pets, costars, and lovers. Hill's straightforward text places each picture into a time frame, and her book reminds us just how much a single photograph can convey, especially if we understand its context. This chronological gallery is akin to a visual biography, and it s clearly been assembled with love and care."

- Leonard Maltin --Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy


Originally published in June 2010, Rudolph Valentino the Silent Idol - His Life in Photographs, the reception and sales has exceeded even my modest expectations for this volume.  The response has been effusive in praise and exceedingly gratifying.