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Virginia Rappe


harlow1085
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I first learned of Virginia Rappe when I visited the Hollywood Forever cemetery in California a few years ago, and since then have tried to find out what I can about this young actress who died so so tragically young. Unfortunately, the only info I can find on her is about her death and the aftermath, with Fatty Arbuckle being tried for her murder. Does anyone know of any books or websites that talk more about her (I did find one Virginia Rappe website, but it was German I believe, and the translation didn't work well at all), or if any of her movies are available anywhere?

Thanks so much,

Carrie

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Hi Harlow!

 

I think one of the reasons it has been hard to find information on Virginia Rappe prior to Fatty Arbunkle is because she really hadn't experienced much career success before she died - her roles were small. Not to be gruesome, but it's sort of like how Ron Goldman became a household name during the O.J. trial ... I do have two good sources of info to point you to:

 

#1) www.crimelibrary.com - If you look under the "Celebrity" section there is lengthy coverage of the trial - plus a section on just Virginia.

 

#2) www.newspaperarchive.com - This site is GREAT!! You have to join, though. It has newspapers online dating back to the 1880's - put Virginia Rappe in the search engine and dozens of newspaper articles will come up.

 

As for the availability of her movies, I'm sure that someone here who is far more versed in silent films than I am can help you with that ...

Have Fun!

Madge

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Hey Harlow,

 

I don't think Virginia Rappe had a big career in film. All these years I've always imagined her as a bit player who was much for famous for her off-screen job (ie "working" girl).

 

There's lots of talk that Maude Delmont (sp) really as a madame and VR was one of her girls.

 

I'm sure if you google her and Fatty Arbuckle you are liable to find a plethora of sites.

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There is a very good book on Fatty's life and the Rappe case called Frame-Up: The Untold Story of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle by Andy Edmonds. It is probably out of print now but worth looking for. It offers a persuasive argument that, as the title suggests, Arbuckle was innocent. Furthermore, the book presents evidence that Miss Rappe was not a sweet, virginal young thing and that she was seriously ill before she even came to the party.

 

Another, newer biography has just been published called Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle: A Biography of the Silent Film Comedian, 1887-1933 by Stuart Oderman. This one may be more readily available. I haven't read it, though, so I can't recommend it.

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To Harlow,-(LOVE THAT HANDLE!)

 

I must confess, I do not know a lot about V. Rappe. Other then the norm, that most have likely read. Among the most "DISGUSTING BOOKS" though is "Hollywood Babylon" & it's sequel, or by now sequel(s)?

 

However, the motel I stay at when in Hollywood, is only blocks from: Hollywood Forever Park that you cited. As you know it borders: Paramount & old RKO Radio Studios-(though they don't seem to like to remind tourist of this fact?)

 

I've been to this cem. a couple of times, but never got a photo of her final resting place.

 

However, if I stumble upon anymore info, I will send it onto you-(HARLOW!!!)

 

(P.S. I do recal, the 4 star magazine "Films of the Golden Age" & it's older brother: "Classic Images"-(just punch those in for SEARCH & it has a good site) I think they did cover the girl before & you can send 4 back issues)

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Hi, everyone,

 

Thank you all so much for the info! I will definitely check out the books, websites and magazines you suggested.

myidolspencer, I've heard about the "Hollywood Babylon" books, and you're right, they're disgusting! I actually flipped through one out of curiosity and was horrified to see photos of Jayne Mansfield's car right after her accident; it made me sick. I have also heard that the book says horrible untrue things about Clara Bow, a fave actress of mine. I'm sure whatever those books had to say about Virginia would be mean and disgusting.

I did know that the Hollywood Forever Cemetery was near Paramount and RKO; the people at the cemetery didn't mention that, but I was surprised when they handed us this very nice booklet listing where every star was buried! Forest Lawn tells you nothing about anyone buried there!

Well, thank you all again for the info, and please let me know if you happen to come across a place where her films are available (of course, they may all be lost, I'm not sure.)

Carrie :-)

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  • 10 years later...

Hi, everyone,

 

Thank you all so much for the info! I will definitely check out the books, websites and magazines you suggested.

myidolspencer, I've heard about the "Hollywood Babylon" books, and you're right, they're disgusting! I actually flipped through one out of curiosity and was horrified to see photos of Jayne Mansfield's car right after her accident; it made me sick. I have also heard that the book says horrible untrue things about Clara Bow, a fave actress of mine. I'm sure whatever those books had to say about Virginia would be mean and disgusting.

I did know that the Hollywood Forever Cemetery was near Paramount and RKO; the people at the cemetery didn't mention that, but I was surprised when they handed us this very nice booklet listing where every star was buried! Forest Lawn tells you nothing about anyone buried there!

Well, thank you all again for the info, and please let me know if you happen to come across a place where her films are available (of course, they may all be lost, I'm not sure.)

Carrie :-)

Hello,

This post is about 11 years late, I'm sorry, but if you're still interested in Virginia and her films, you can find a lot of good videos online and on youtube if you google something like, "Fatty Arbuckle scandal" you will get some clips from television shows about it etc., though even today, some drift from the facts.

As for Virginia's films, you can watch Isle of Love (1922) for free on youtube. It was originally filmed in 1918 and called Over the Rhine, but was not released. Both Miss Rappe and Rudolph Valentino were in it, though both were relatively unknown at the time. In 1920, the film was recut and released as An Adventuress. The next year, Virginia Rappe died. However, Valentino became famous the same year, so in 1922, the film was once again changed and released as The Isle of Love. The movie capitalized not only on Valentino's fame, but also on the ongoing scandal or Virginia's death.

So if anyone's reading this, I hope it helped :)

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Hi, everyone,

 

Thank you all so much for the info! I will definitely check out the books, websites and magazines you suggested.

myidolspencer, I've heard about the "Hollywood Babylon" books, and you're right, they're disgusting! I actually flipped through one out of curiosity and was horrified to see photos of Jayne Mansfield's car right after her accident; it made me sick. I have also heard that the book says horrible untrue things about Clara Bow, a fave actress of mine. I'm sure whatever those books had to say about Virginia would be mean and disgusting.

I did know that the Hollywood Forever Cemetery was near Paramount and RKO; the people at the cemetery didn't mention that, but I was surprised when they handed us this very nice booklet listing where every star was buried! Forest Lawn tells you nothing about anyone buried there!

Well, thank you all again for the info, and please let me know if you happen to come across a place where her films are available (of course, they may all be lost, I'm not sure.)

Carrie :-)

The motel I stayed in on all (3) trips to HOLLYWOOD was literally within 2 to 3 blocks from that cemetary & though I visited there a few times, I 4-got to locate her

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There is a very good book on Fatty's life and the Rappe case called Frame-Up: The Untold Story of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle by Andy Edmonds. It is probably out of print now but worth looking for. It offers a persuasive argument that, as the title suggests, Arbuckle was innocent. Furthermore, the book presents evidence that Miss Rappe was not a sweet, virginal young thing and that she was seriously ill before she even came to the party.

 

Frame up is a fantastic read,with lots of details,,out of print for many years,it is worth looking for.

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