As mentioned last time, the December 1922 Photoplay devoted space to Rudolph Valentino and his wife Natacha Rambova (some sources indicate they may not have been actually married at the time, but they would marry later). They were a glamorous couple whose visages adorned many a periodical.
- Below, James Abbe’s famous 1923 Vanity Fair portrait of Valentino and Rambova.
- A similar composition may be seen on the September 1923 cover of Motion Picture magazine.
- The December 1922 cover girl is Nita Naldi. Naldi had starred in that year’s sensation, Blood and Sand, with Rudolph Valentino.
- More of the Valentino effect: the December issue also includes “The Story of Mrs. Valentino”, namely the multi-talented set and costume designer Natacha Rambova. She was quite a mover and shaker in early Hollywood; more on her in a future post.
- Here’s a great photo of Nita Naldi from the always excellent Classic Cinema Images blog.
- The June and July covers break with tradition. First, the June cover has a mirror shot instead of the standard portrait shot.
- The June issue contains a profile on “The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful” by Adela Rogers St. Johns. The too beautiful girl in question? She’s not on the cover (that’s Mabel Ballin admiring herself) but it’s Barbara LaMarr, who had a banner year in 1922 with starring roles in Arabian Love, Domestic Relations, The Prisoner of Zenda and Trifling Women.
- And the July issue has an even more unusual cover–for the first time since the May 1916 issue ( D.W. Griffith), a man is spotlighted on Photoplay’s cover! It’s none other than Rudolph Valentino, in the famous portrait by Tempest Inman.