Vilma Banky

Vilma Banky
Associated Press


Vilma Banky
Film: North side of the 7000 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Koncsics Vilma on Jan. 9, 1898 in Nagyrodog, Hungary
Died March 18, 1991 in Los Angeles, CA

Vilma Banky, known as the "Hungarian Rhapsody," was a leading lady for silent screen stars Rudolph Valentino and Ronald Colman.

The star of European and Hollywood silent pictures, Banky could not overcome her Hungarian accent to make the transition to talkies.

She was married for 42 years to the late actor Rod La Rocque in what was regarded as one of Hollywood's happiest marriages.

Their 1927 wedding was produced much like a movie by her boss Samuel Goldwyn, and included several film executives and top stars as participants and guests.

Goldwyn gave the bride away, Cecil B. DeMille was the best man, and Hollywood columnist Louella O. Parsons was matron of honor. There were so many fans in front of the church that 400 police officers were required to control them. Western star Tom Mix arrived in a coach drawn by four horses.

Banky made 13 feature films in Europe before her arrival in Hollywood. She was introduced to American audiences in "The Dark Angel" in 1925 with Colman.

She went on to play opposite Valentino in his final two pictures, "The Eagle" in 1925 and "Son of the Sheik" in 1926.

Reunited with Colman, she starred in "The Winning of Barbara Worth," "The Night of Love" and "The Magic Flame," all in 1927, and "Two Lovers" in 1928.

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