(17 March 1923 - 19 January 1926) (divorced)
Rambova met Valentino on the set of "Uncharted Seas" in 1921. They began working together on the set of "Camille" shortly after. The pair did not hit it off instantly, as by Rambova`s own account she thought he was dumb as he was constantly goofing off and telling jokes...then forgetting the point to them. However she soon realized he just lonely and trying to be liked, and she took pity on him. They began to take picnics together and attended a costume ball together. They formed a relationship based on a love of reading, art, antiques, and the finer things in life.
The pair moved in together less then a year later but had to separate (or at least pretend to) as the divorce proceedings for Valentino`s marriage to Jean Acker began. Once the divorce was final, the pair married on May 13th, 1922 in Mexicali, Mexico. However the law at the time required a year to pass before remarriage and Valentino was jailed as a bigamist. Valentino`s studio at the time, Famous Players-Lasky, refused to post bail. June Mathis, George Melford, and Thomas Meighan eventually were able to raise enough to post bail. Rambova had been sent to New York by the studio before Valentino`s jailing, and was informed at a stop in Chicago. She reportedly broke down in tears. Throughout the bigamy scandal she refused to speak to the press. The pair had to wait a year to remarry (less risking Valentino being jailed again), forced to live in separate apartments with roommates. They legally remarried on March 14th, 1923.
Though they shared similar passions, Valentino and Rambova held very different views when it came to home and personal life. Valentino cherished old world ideals of a woman being a housewife and mother, while Rambova was a feminist who wanted to continue to work and had no plans of being a housewife. In fact Valentino was known as an excellent cook, while Patsy Ruth Miller suspected Rambova didn’t know `how to make burnt fudge`. Valentino deeply wanted children, Rambova did not. Nita Naldi, a close friend to the pair, claimed Rambova had 3 abortions. Though this is impossible to prove, Rambova said herself she would see to it she never had children.
Rambova did not get along with Valentino`s friend and family. Rambova complained during their trip to Italy, and she never got along with either of his siblings.She eventually sparred with Douglas Gerrad, June Mathis, and George Ullman; costing Valentino his friendship with Mathis. The marriage began to strain as the press scrutinized Rambova and blamed her for Valentino`s failures. After signing with United Artists (which stipulated Rambova could not be present on Valentino`s sets or take part in his films) Rambova turned completely cold to Valentino, forgetting his 30th birthday, mocking him for staying home all day while she went to work (he was waiting for his contract to finalize), sparring with him in public, embarrassing him in front of Hollywood elite on the night of his `Rudolph Valentino Medal` ceremony, and eventually cheating on him with her cameraman on "What Price Beauty?" Teresa, and a friend of Valentino`s both tried to mediate but the marriage was broken beyond repair. Rambova left 4 weeks after Valentino began shooting "The Eagle" and announced the separation soon after, catching Valentino off guard. The pair took to sparring back and forth in the press. Valentino hoped for a reconciliation, but Rambova announced she would be heading to Paris to seek a divorce. Valentino became suicidal soon after.
When Valentino suddenly took ill, Rambova was in Europe. At Valentino`s request, Ullman sent a telegram to Rambova. Rambova believed a reconciliation had taken place and the two sent telegrams right until the final moments of Valentino`s life.