The Italian Almanac

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Rudolph Valentino

Italian News - May 4

The 111th birthday of silent screen legend Rudolph Valentino will be marked on Saturday with the presentation of this year's Magna Grecia Awards, in the Latin Lover's home town of Castellaneta. The awards will go to composer Luis Bacalov, who composed the Oscar-winning score for Il Postino, screenwriter Vincenzo Cerami, who co-wrote Roberto Benigni's Ocar-winning film La Vita e' Bella, actor-author Paolo Orlandelli and actor Emilio Solfrizzi.

A statement from the Magna Grecia Foundation said the awards will be given out after a theatrical presentation of poems written by the screen legend .Castellaneta has been highly active in promoting a series of initiatives to recall its most famous native son, including efforts to bring home Valentino's earthly remains.

According to supporters of this initiative, Valentino's body would draw scores of visitors to the town, here in the instep of the Italian boot, which has already set up a museum and erected a statue in his honor. If Valentino s brought home to rest, the screen idol, whose real name was Rodolfo Guglielmi, would be placed in his family's giant mausoleum, next to his beloved sister Bice.

Valentino died of a perforated ulcer and blood poisoning at the age of 31. An estimated 80,000 mourners attended the funeral in New York before his body was taken back to California by train, the casket mobbed at every stop along the way.