Rudolph Valentino’s Falcon Lair
Rudolph Valentino, who rose to fame in the silent film era, became one of Tinseltown’s earliest sex symbols. Often known as the “Latin Lover”, he set hearts aflutter across America and around the world. At the height of his fame in the 1920s, he wanted to both escape his crazed admirers – the Beatles were not the first celebrities to inspire fan mania – and showcase his newfound wealth. So in 1925, he plunked down $175,000 – a fortune at the time – to purchase an estate in Benedict Canyon, LA.
Valentino named it the Falcon Lair, in a nod to his character from a 1924 hit movie, The Hooded Falcon. He modified and expanded the property to his liking. In homage to his home country of Italy, Valentino outfitted the property with Italian cypress trees, and an Italian garden. An accomplished horseman, he also built stables for his four Arabian steeds. He was seen on most mornings riding his horses around his property, which overlooked Beverly Hills and what is now the Rodeo Drive shopping district.