The Hungarian Rhapsody – Vilma Banky

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Vilma Banky began her acting career in 1919 in Hungary. She was brought to the United States by Samuel Goldwyn in 1925 and was called “The Hungarian Rhapsody”. She had three talkies and out of her 24 films, only 8 exist in their entirety.

Her first film was The Dark Angel (1925) with Ronald Coleman. Coleman was her leading man in 5 films. She was paired with Rudolph Valentino in two films, The Eagle (1925) and The Son of the Sheik (1926). Valentino specifically chose Banky as his leading lady. Some of her other films include The Winning of Barbara Cooper (1926), The Night of Love (1927), and A Lady to Love (1930).

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Vilma Banky & Rudolph Valentino in The Eagle

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Vilma Banky & Rudolph Valentino in The Son of the Sheik

In 1937 Banky married Rod La Rocque in an expensive, extravagant and highly publicized wedding. They were married until his death in 1969.

Banky and LaRocque

Vilma Banky and Rod La Rocque

In 1933 Banky retired from films. She supported her husband’s career and even played in some golf tournaments. She died on March 18, 1991.

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