The Truth About The Curse Of Rudolph Valentino's Ring

Silent film actor Rudolph Valentino became a star with 1921's "The Sheik" (via Biography). Audiences reportedly fainted when the sultry and sensual Valentino appeared on the screen. As the Latin lover's career was fairly brief, it can be argued that his unexpected death at the age of 31 truly cemented his status as an icon. History reports that Valentino died from a ruptured ulcer on August 23, 1926. However, some believe that a cursed ring is what really sent him to his grave (per Film Daily).

According to Ripley's, Valentino found the item, called the Destiny Ring, at a store in San Francisco. The shopkeeper purportedly told him that he had no intention of selling the ring, as it was supposedly cursed. Valentino would hear none of it and bought it anyway. Per Rick Wayne, the actor wore the tiger's eye crystal ring while he filmed "The Young Rajah," a film that turned out to be his only flop. After the premiere of his next movie, Valentino collapsed and eventually died while getting surgery for what was wrongly thought to be appendicitis. It's believed he was wearing the ring at the time of his death. Though Valentino was perhaps the ring's first victim, he would not be the last.

The ring's current location is unknown

According to Film Daily, the ring was given to Valentino's lover, actress Pola Negri (pictured above in center). Shortly after, her Hollywood career swiftly came to an end, and she became ill (via Here There Be Monsters). Thinking the ring might actually be cursed, Negri gave it to singer Russ Columbo. Days later, he was shot and killed by a friend. Columbo's possessions, including Valentino's ring, then went to Joe Casino. Casino was a good friend of Columbo and put the ring on display. Believing the curse was nothing but a fabrication, he eventually decided to wear it. Per Rick Wayne, Casino died when he was hit by a truck shortly after. His brother, Del, inherited it and kept it locked in his home.

Ripley's states that Del's home was robbed, and the thief took the ring. Before he could make his escape, the police arrived on the scene and shot him dead. The ring was still in his pocket. Later, a film director requested the ring for Jack Dunn, a figure skater who was being considered to play Valentino in a biopic. Dunn wore the ring and died of a blood disease weeks later. It was then placed in a Los Angeles bank vault owned by Del. However, the bank also encountered a bout of misfortune, including robberies and fires. Our Community Now reports that the ring's current location is unknown. A portrait of Valentino, Negri, and the ring sold at auction in 2017 for nearly $200,000 (via Bonhams).