A dozen Michael Jackson fans committed suicide after the King of Pop expired unexpectedly, prompting Jesse Jackson to implore the rest not to "self-destruct." Being a celebrity of that magnitude can be deadly just ask the ghost of Rudolph Valentino, who probably would have survived complications from a perforated ulcer had his doctors not dallied before operating on "The Sheik." Two of the thousands of fans outside Valentino's hospital attempted suicide right then and there, and the annual procession marking his passing on Aug. 23, 1926, still attracts fans to Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Hollywood Heritage believes life is better than death, and "A Birthday Tribute to Rudolph Valentino" finds author Donna Hill (Rudolph Valentino, the Silent Idol: His Life in Photographs) presenting a slide show of candid images of the star, many not seen since the 1920s, plus a display of Valentino artifacts in the lobby. Feature film Blood and Sand, as well as Rudolph Valentino and His 88 American Beauties a clip in which Valentino judges a coast-to-coast beauty pageant will be screened. (Wish they'd throw in The Sheik's Physique, a gratuitous short in which Rudy parks at the beach and languorously changes into his swimming costume.)
Wed., May 11, 7 p.m., 2011
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