logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Clairvoyance: 08:00 PM

Full Schedule
g
g Classic Film Site

BellaOnline's Classic Film Editor

g

The Lady in Black

Guest Author - Amber Grey

"Valentino Is Dead"! was the top headline splashed across the country on August 24, 1926. What started as an emergency appendectomy turned into a developed case of peritonitis. Although doctors were optimistic about the actor's condition, Valentino slipped into a coma, thus ending the "Latin Lover"'s life at 31 years old. Once the news broke, hysteria ensued. Two fans tried to take their lives right in front of the hospital where a large group of Valetino's followers had camped out in order to know firsthand of his progress. Over the following hours, many other fans would attempt suicide at the loss of their idol. Two funeral masses were held, both of which topped the estimates of nearly 100,000 people each in attendance. At the first mass in New York, a riot broke outside the church and it is said a decoy dummy was placed in the coffin to prevent a kidnapping.

As a result of the New York riot, the second mass held in Lost Angeles was by invitation only. But that did not stop fans from crowding the streets surrounding Hollywood Memorial Park. The crypt at Hollywood Forever Cemetery was supposed to be temporary but ended up being Valentino's permanent burial next to his lifelong friend and film producer June Mathis. Then suddenly on the one year anniversary of his death, a mysterious woman in black appeared at Valentino's crypt to leave a single rose behind.

Some suspected to be actress Pola Negri who was inconsolable at the funeral, having flung herself onto his coffin in hysterics. Negri had claimed that they were engaged to be married at the time of her death but denied being the Lady in black.

On the second anniversary of his death, it is reported that press agent Russel Birdwell hired a girl to dress in black and appear at the crypt as a publicity stunt. The appearance caused such a stir that the girl loved the attention and decided to do it again the following year. But once the girl arrived, there was another a girl already clad in black standing by the crypt. Each year an unidentified woman would arrive at Valentino's crypt to place a single red rose in honor of the actor's memory.

But it seems the original "Lady in Black" was Ditra Flame. Ditra only came forward when her yearly ritual became a superficial event for attention-seekers. When she came forward, Ditra related the story of how she met Rudolph Valentino while she was a very ill little girl in the hospital. The charismatic actor brought her a single red rose and told her, "You're not going to die at all. You are going to outlive me by many years. But one thing is for sure, if I die before you do, you please come and stay by me because I don't want to be alone either. You come and talk to me." Ditra recovered and when Valentino passed away, she remembered what he had said.

By the 1950s, Ditra was frustrated by the theatrics involving her personal connection to The Sheik and thus was forced to stop visiting his crypt. In 1984 she passed away with her tombstone identifying her as the Lady in Black.

Recently, a short piece was done by Ben Manckiewcz on Turner Classic Film channel about the Lady in Black. In the piece, he interviewed the current reigning "Lady in Black", Karie Bible. She is an avid film historian and Hollywood Forever Cemetery's tour guide. She pays tribute to both the memory of Ditra and Valentino by placing a red rose on the crypt on the anniversary of the actor's death.
Add The+Lady+in+Black to Twitter Add The+Lady+in+Black to Facebook Add The+Lady+in+Black to MySpace Add The+Lady+in+Black to Del.icio.us Digg The+Lady+in+Black Add The+Lady+in+Black to Yahoo My Web Add The+Lady+in+Black to Google Bookmarks Add The+Lady+in+Black to Stumbleupon Add The+Lady+in+Black to Reddit




The Woman Who Discovered Valentino
The Decline of John Gilbert
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Classic Film Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Amber Grey. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Amber Grey. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Eliana Isabella Radu for details.

g


g features
Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor