Natacha Rambova, or Mrs. Rudolph Valentino

rudolph valentino-natacha rambova

Do you wish your name was Natacha Rambova? Good news… it can be yours. Ms. Rambova hasn’t used it since 1966 and it wasn’t hers to start with. Born Winifred Shaughnessy in Utah, she was kind of half Irish Catholic with a dash or Mormon, despite her exotic sounding name.

Natacha Rambova isn’t exactly a household name these days, but she was an intriguing silent era figure. She did some costume designing, set designing, artistic directing, screenwriting, producing, and a wee bit of acting. She is probably best well know for being married to Rudolph Valentino. She even took a bit of public heat for Valentino’s failings, kind of like 1925’s answer to Yoko Ono. And once she ditched the movie biz, she added fashion designer and Egyptologist (of things) to her CV.

Why am I talking about Natacha Rambova? Because today is her birthday, silly! And because Natacha Rambova is interesting… the kind of lady who makes the whole silent era of filmmaking interesting to us. Really, go check out some of her biography which includes not only Egyptology and couture, but things like spiritualism and controversies over photos of Valentino dressed as a faun-like god. Ms. Rambova is like a flapper poster child, and for that I salute her!

Find out more about Natacha Rambova:


And here’ s a slightly creepy slideshow from YouTube:

About prettycleverfilmgal

Social media consultant, blogger for hire, and lover of classic movies and silent films. I often watch, consider, and write about movies when I should really be doing other things.

Posted on January 19, 2012, in Genre, Silent Film and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I know Natacha Rambova from designing the sets/costumes for Alla Nazimova’s SALOME (basing them on Aubrey Beardsley’s drawings for the Wilde play). She was also Nazimova’s lover. There’s something echt 1920s in Rambova’s ‘look’; it’s hard to imagine her past 1929.

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