Rudolfo Nasanov

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Rudolfo Nasanov (1889 - 1928) was the most famous leading man of the silent film era, a male sex symbol of great power whose early death from appendecitis created world-wide grief. His films included The Khedive and Tango as well as The Lover.

Nasanov was an immigrant to Illinoise, his parents being immigrants from Czarist Russia. The studios claimed he was the illegitimate son of a member of the Romanov family, but in fact his parents were poor Jews. He himself, growing up a startlingly handsome young man, eventually moved to Chicago where he made a living (sometimes) as a gigolo. Rumors persist he was gay or at least bisexual, but the only real evidence (if you can call it that) was a certain feminine manner and the way he got along with openly homosexual men and women all of his adult life.

Originally under contract with Metropolitan Moving Pictures, Nasanov was eventually lured over to Apex Productions where he made his biggest hits. Just prior to his death, he had secretly become engaged to a secretary at Apex named Lilly Gisher. Apex did not want news of his engagement to reach the general public lest it hurt ticket sales.

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