Jean Acker: Wikis

  
  

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Jean Acker
Born Harriet Acker
October 23, 1893(1893-10-23)
Trenton, New Jersey,
United States
Died August 16, 1978 (aged 84)
Los Angeles, California,
United States
Other name(s) Mrs. Rudolph Valentino
Occupation Actress
Years active 1913–1955
Spouse(s) Rudolph Valentino (1919-1923)
Domestic partner(s) Chloe Carter (?-1978)

Jean Acker (October 23, 1893 – August 16, 1978) was an American film actress with a career dating from the silent film era through the 1950s. She was perhaps best known as the estranged wife of silent film star Rudolph Valentino.

Contents

Early life and career

Acker was born Harriet Acker in Trenton, New Jersey where she attended school. She performed in vaudeville until she moved to California in 1919.[1] After arriving in Hollywood, Acker became the protegee and lover of Alla Nazimova, a film actress whose clout and contacts enabled Acker to negotiate a $200 per week contract with a movie studio. Acker appeared in numerous films during the 1910s and 1920s, but by the early 1930s she began appearing in small, mostly uncredited film roles. She made her last onscreen appearance in the 1955 film How to Be Very, Very Popular, opposite Betty Grable.

Marriage to Valentino

After meeting and befriending the then-struggling actor Rudolph Valentino at a party, they entered a two-month courtship and married on November 6, 1919. Acker quickly had regrets and locked him out of their hotel bedroom on their wedding night.[2][3] The marriage was reportedly never consummated.[4]

After filing for divorce, Valentino did not wait the requisite period for it to be finalized before marrying his second wife, Natacha Rambova, in Mexico, and he was charged with bigamy when the couple returned to the United States.[5] Acker then sued Valentino for the legal right to call herself "Mrs. Rudolph Valentino." Valentino remained angry with her for several years, but they mended their friendship before his death in 1926. Acker wrote a popular song about him soon after he died called "We Will Meet at the End of the Trail".[6][7]

Acker had an affair with the actress Alla Nazimova. Nazimova included Acker in what was dubbed the "Sewing circles", a group of actors who were forced to conceal the fact that they were lesbian, bisexual, and romantically and sexually attracted to women, thus living secret lives.[8]

Death

After divorcing Valentino in 1923, Acker met Chloe Carter, a former Ziegfeld Follies girl with whom she would remain with for the rest of her life. The couple owned an apartment building together in Beverly Hills.[9] Acker died of natural causes in 1978 at the age of 84,[10] and is buried next to Carter in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

Selected filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1913 Bob's Baby Bob's Cousin
1915 Are You a Mason? Alternative title: The Joiner
1914 The $5,000,000 Counterfeiting Plot Helen Long
1919 Never Say Quit Vamp
1920 The Round-Up Polly Hope
1921 Brewster's Millions Barbara Drew
1922 Her Own Money Ruth Alden
1923 The Woman in Chains Felicia Coudret Credited as Mrs. Rudolph Valentino
1925 Braveheart Sky-Arrow
1927 The Nest Belle Madison
1933 No Marriage Ties Adrienne's Maid Uncredited
1934 Miss Fane's Baby Is Stolen Friend of Miss Fane Uncredited
1935 No More Ladies Nightclub Extra Uncredited
1936 San Francisco
1937 Vogues of 1938 Extra Uncredited
1939 Good Girls Go to Paris Bit Part Uncredited
1940 My Favorite Wife Postponed case witness Uncredited
1942 Obliging Young Lady Cousin Uncredited
1944 The Thin Man Goes Home Tart Uncredited
1945 Spellbound Matron Uncredited
1946 It's a Wonderful Life Uncredited
1947 The Peril of Pauline Switchboard operator Uncredited
1948 Isn't It Romantic? Townswoman Uncredited
1951 The Mating Season Party guest Uncredited
1952 Something to Live For Wife Uncredited
1955 How to Be Very, Very Popular Undetermined Supporting Role Uncredited

References

  1. ^ Leider, Emily W. Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino. New York City, Farrar Straus Giroux, 2003. ISBN 0374282390. p. 100.
  2. ^ "Jean Acker of Metro Weds". Motion Picture News. 1919. pp. 3774. 
  3. ^ Donnelley, Paul (2005). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. Omnibus Press. pp. 935. ISBN 1-844-49430-6. 
  4. ^ Donnelley, Paul (2005). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. Omnibus Press. pp. 7. ISBN 1-844-49430-6. 
  5. ^ Madsen, Axel (2002). The Sewing Circle: Sappho's Leading Ladies. Kensington Books. pp. 103. ISBN 0-758-20101-X. 
  6. ^ Newman, Ben-Allah (2004). Rudolph Valentino His Romantic Life and Death: His Romantic Life and Death. Kessinger Publishing. pp. 50. ISBN 1-417-91464-5. 
  7. ^ Briggs, Joe Bob (2005). Profoundly Erotic: Sexy Movies that Changed History. Universe. pp. 30. ISBN 0-789-31314-6. 
  8. ^ Jean Acker at Find a Grave
  9. ^ Shearer, Stephen Michael (2006). Patricia Neal: An Unquiet Life. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 391. ISBN 0-813-12391-7. 
  10. ^ Donnelley, Paul (2005). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. Omnibus Press. pp. 8. ISBN 1-844-49430-6. 

External links








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