“It’s Hollywood hype — it’s what Hollywood was built on!” Hollywood’s Honorary Mayor Johnny Grant described Monday morning’s scene at Rudolph Valentino’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6164 Hollywood Blvd. near El Centro Avenue.
As six musicians played a tango and two dancers strutted their stuff, a “lady in black” placed roses on Valentino’s star.
Grant recognized her as soon as she stepped out of the Rolls — she is Gloria Rhoads, onetime cigarette and photo girl at Ciro’s on the Sunset Strip.
The tribute group were there to celebrate Valentino’s birthday (born May 6, 1895) but were there on assignment from Bernard Hoffman Jr. who has written a treatment for a DVD (feature) in tribute to his father, Bernard Hoffman Sr.
His son, 71-year-old Bernard Jr., sez his father taught Valentino the tango for the memorable scene in “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” (1921). He also taught dancing to stars of the era including Pola Negri and Gloria Swanson and he danced in 47 movies.
Hoffman Jr. says Valentino lives on in the likes of Tyrone Power, Tony Curtis, John Travolta and the current craze of “Dancing with the Stars.”
“Lady in Black” Rhoads also does the roses tribute on the anniversary of Valentino’s death, Aug. 23, 1926, at his crypt at Hollywood Forever (Hollywood Memorial Park) which she says she also helped sell — she’s also a realtor.