After exhaustive – and exhausting – digging into the last weeks of Valentino’s life, as well as Cellini, the film he was unable to appear in, I felt this post should be something much calmer and less stirring. And what could be much calmer, and less stirring, than a talk about Foxlair and the man who created it: Richard Hudnut.

Foxlair was, of course, the secluded private residence to which Natacha Rambova, and then Rudolph Valentino and good friend Dougie Gerrard, retreated, in the midst of the Bigamy Trial brouhaha of 1922. And while there are several references to it in a variety of Valentino-focused publications, none really go into any depth about the place itself. Hudnut, like his home (of many homes), is, likewise, under investigated. (Can someone please write his biography?)

The recording that I add here, by Elizabeth (Ann) Clarkson-Hudnut, was sent to me a few years ago and is now ten years old. In it the author pays tribute to the museum at which she was speaking; before talking about her wonderful book, An Adirondack Archive: the Trail to Windover; the story of the Hudnut brothers; and lastly, Natacha, her mother, and Rudy. Though we have only the audio and none of the images, I think it’s still a lecture which illuminates. And despite a smattering of obvious errors, and the sudden abrupt end, I know it will be enjoyable for anyone, like me, who is unable to ever know enough about Valentino. Enjoy!

There should be no issues with listening if you simply click on the word here. If you do, for any reason, have problems, try this link:



6 thoughts on “Foxlair

  1. Thank you Simon for another informative blog. I find the Hudnut family history most interesting. Particularly, because I love cosmetics and collect antique perfume bottles. I really enjoyed listening to Elizabth Clarkson-Hudnut talk about Foxlair. I esspecially loved hearing about the few weeks that Rudy spent there in 1922. I too believe this was one of the happiest times in Rudy’s short life. I look forward to your next installment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was quite interesting. I love history of things and places (not to mention people) and this just fit the bill! Natacha Rambova and I are distant relatives. She and I are related to Priddy Meeks via different lines; Natacha through the Kimball line, and I am through another line (son – James Meeks) via my biological family when they married into the Meeks family. It is all VERY confusing. Meeks (who had many wives and children … settled in the Utah valley) was an interesting man, a doctor. So, I guess I was related to Rudy, by marriage, for a short time! The information you give with this recording adds more information to my own story! I found the history of Foxlair fascinating, and I love to learn. Thank-you for providing this recording for us. I, also, believe that this time visiting Foxlair was the among the most enjoyable times that Rudy and Natacha spent together.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s