Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926) was considered one of Hollywood’s greatest silent movie stars. Valentino died of a perforated ulcer at the age of only thirty-one. Some blame his early demise on a ring he purchased from a jeweler in 1920. The ring had a gem called the tiger’s eye embedded in it.
The legend goes that Valentino showed the ring to a close friend immediately after he bought it and his friend said he saw a vision of a pale and deathly Valentino. Regardless of what his friend did or did not see, Valentino’s next few major pictures flopped at the box office and he died within six years. But Valentino wasn’t the ring’s only victim: his lover Pola Negri became gravely ill after wearing the ring, so much so that her career had to be put on the back burner for years and it never fully recovered; Russ Colombo, the actor hired to play Valentino in the biopic of his life wore the ring and was killed in a shooting accident some days later; and the gangster Joe Casino bought the ring and refused to wear it until the curse had faded. After several years he finally put the ring on—and was dead within a week due to a motoring accident. The list goes on… But since the 1960s the ring’s whereabouts have remained unknown.