1895 – Rudolph Valentino born. Italian actor and an early pop icon.
A sex symbol of the 1920s, Valentino was known as the “Latin Lover“, and starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and The Son of the Sheik.
His death at age 31 caused mass hysteria among his female fans, further propelling him into icon status.
1915 – Orson Welles born. American actor, director, writer and producer who worked extensively in theater, radio and film.
He is best remembered for his innovative work in all three media, most notably Caesar (1937), a groundbreaking Broadway adaption of Julius Caesar and the debut of the Mercury Theatre;
The War of the Worlds (1938), one of the most famous broadcasts in the history of radio;
and Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the all-time greatest films.
1992 – Marlene Dietrich died. German actress and singer.
Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically.
In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films. Her performance as Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel, directed by Josef von Sternberg, brought her international fame and provided her a contract with Paramount Pictures in the US.
Hollywood films such as Shanghai Express and Desire capitalised on her glamour and exotic looks, cementing her stardom and making her one of the highest-paid actresses of the era.