George Valentin
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

George Valentin

The Artist

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About Him

Living… in Los Angeles in a dapper Hollywood Hills mansion. His butler, Clifton, chauffeurs him to work in a Jaguar roadster. Valentin’s successes in the film industry have made him a wealthy man – and the toast of the town.

Profession… silent film actor. Valentin is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood as the 1920s spill into the 1930s. When he walks in the room he immediately becomes the center of attention, for both his fame and his charisma. The man is a born entertainer – an actor, tap dancer, master of body language, and showman who loves nothing more than to ham it up for the crowd, and even the media. He is a particular hit with the ladies, who can’t get enough of his roguish smile and immaculately kept moustache.

Interests… his Jack Russell terrier. He keeps a picture of the dog in his dressing room alongside one of his wife. He takes his best friend everywhere, even on stage after a show to do some tricks for the audience. His dog is extremely well-trained, loyal and, intelligent, often displaying more common sense than Valentin himself.

Relationship Status… married to his wife, Doris. Despite his hordes of female admirers, Valentin doesn’t appear to have committed any infidelities. He keeps a picture of Doris in his dressing room, and showers her with jewelry to keep her happy.

Challenge… not getting passed by with the advent of sound films – “talkies.” Al Zimmer, head of Kinograph Studios, tells Valentin that his star might diminish unless he adapts to the trend. The studio head says that the “public wants fresh meat.” Valentin thinks talkies are a joke, a fad, telling Zimmer, “If that’s the future, you can have it!” He sets out to prove the lasting popularity of silent films by producing, financing, directing, and starring in an independent silent film: “Tears of Love.”

Personality… confident and charismatic. It is easy to see why Valentin is such a big star. He has that ineffable, magnetic charm; he has “it.” He wears his flat cap at a jaunty angle. He is jocular and personable, always making sure to shake everyone’s hand backstage. His fame has also made him quite egotistical. As he boasts, “I’m the one people come to see. They never needed to hear me!”

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