It amazes me what some people write about Pola Negri on their websites–they simply repeat things that aren’t true. From “The Queens of Vintage” website:
“Born Barbara Apolonia Chalupiec to a poor Polish family, Pola Negri was one of the greatest Hollywood stars of the Twenties and at one point the wealthiest woman in the film industry. A master of self-promotion, her hysterical behaviour at Valentino’s funeral and her supposed feud with rival silent movie actress Gloria Swanson kept her on the front pages as much as her acting and femme fatale looks.
The woman sobbing hysterically and ‘fainting’ several times at film star Rudolph Valentino’s funeral was his ex-lover, Hollywood actress Pola Negri. Just days before she had caused a media sensation when she announced they had planned to marry. As a publicity stunt she had followed the train that carried his body from New York City to Los Angeles, posing for photographers at every stop.
Negri allegedly kept Valentino’s picture on her bedside table until her death, always insisting he had been the great love of her life, however her outrageous behaviour alienated most of Hollywood as well as her fans. It was the end of her Hollywood career, the era of the vamp was over.
Having already alienated her fans and studio bosses with her erratic behaviour and publicity stunts, Negri lost much of her fortune in the stock market crash of 1929. She also failed to make an impact in talkies due to her heavy Eastern European accent. Once the Hays Code was introduced in 1930, prohibiting ‘lustful kissing’ and ‘scenes of passion’ in film, Negri’s Hollywood career was well and truly over.”
It’s the same BS over and over: Valentino’s funeral, her heavy European accent and the Hays Code spelled the death of her popularity and movie career. I DON’T THINK SO. As previously noted on this blog, these reasons are historically inaccurate and just plain mistaken. Yet would-be “scholars” continue to repeat them as the gospel truth, undeservedly slandering Miss Negri’s reputation. Such an exercise serves no other purpose than to cloud a history which is actually quite clear.