A Beautiful Friendship

 August 2, 1927
When Rudolph Valentino died without a burial plot, one of Hollywood’s most powerful women, screenwriter June Mathis, stepped up and volunteered space in her own crypt in the Cathedral Mausoleum at what is now the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Mathis had "discovered" Valentino, literally plucking him from a chorus of extras to star in her Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in 1921.  The two adored one another, though their friendship suffered a rocky period after Valentino was critical of one of her treatments.  However, the good friends were reconciled at the Los Angeles premiere of The Son of the Shiek, shortly before Valentino’s death in August 1926.

As Valentino’s body was interred, Mathis supposedly said, "Rudy, you can stay there until they place me in it."

Sadly, this turned out to be a little sooner than anyone had expected.  While attending a play in New York City on July 26, 1927, Mathis suffered a fatal heart attack.  Her body was transported by train to Los Angeles, just as Valentino’s had been less than a year before.

Today, Valentino’s former agent announced that his body would be moved from Mathis’s crypt and into the space reserved for her husband, Italian cinematographer Silvano Balboni.  Mathis’s body was laid to rest on August 5, and rests there next to Valentino to this day.
Harry Carr wrote of Mathis in his Lancer column, "June Mathis, who died suddenly in a New York theatre, had one of the finest motion picture minds ever connected with the industry.  Perhaps it is just as important that she was one of the kindest, most generous, most thoughtful women who ever breathed."