In 1916, she headed west to San Francisco in efforts to further her career as an artist's model. Once there, she met dress designer Robert Moscovitz, and soon after they became engaged. Tragedy again touched young Virginia's life. Not long after the couples engagement, Moscovitz was killed in a streetcar accident. Unable to stay in the city where she had found her true love she moved onto Los Angeles. In the early part of 1917 she found work as an actress, a step up in her career.
|Director Fred Balshofer gave Virgina a role in his Paradise Garden opposite popular screen star Harold Lockwood...Balshofer would employ Virginia in one other film.|
Things seemed to be going positively for her. However not even a year later, in 1918, she gave birth to a child; she gave the child up for foster care. No longer out of the loop of actresses that could be hired, Balshofer hired her again to costar with an early drag performer by the name of Julian Eltinge as well as then newcomer Rudolph Valentino in Over the Rhine.
|Virgina was to be awarded the title "Best Dressed Girl in Pictures". *The film was not released until 1920 when Balshofer recut it and released it under the title An Adventuress and later in 1922 as The Isle of Love.|
The beginning of the end.
There seems to be a gap after the information I was able to gather, however it is known that Fatty asked his friend Bambina Maude Delmont to bring Virginia to the party he was throwing to celebrate his 3 million dollar contract. The party occurred on Labor Day 1921 at the St. Francis Hotel (now known as the Westin St. Francis). Virginia would die in San Francisco. In one of the rooms rented out for the party (1219/1220)the beginning of the end happened.
The cause of death is listed as a ruptured bladder after a short illness.The scandal portion comes in the form that Fatty Arbuckle was reported to have raped poor Virgina while he was in a drunk rage. No one truly knows for sure, but you can read more HERE...if the whispering reports are true, it was a savage and despicable act indeed.But it was never proved and eventually Fatty was found innocent. No matter how it happened, it was truly tragic and very untimely as she was only 26 years of age and just beginning on her Hollywood journey. Not only was Virginia in many ways blamed for her own death, as she was reported to be a party girl, famous for taking her clothing off and therefore asking for trouble, which in itself is so tragic to have said about you after your passing, even though it appears from many reports to be true, but it also ruined the career of Fatty.
|A plain wooden coffin, within the Hollywood Cemetary was the final resting place of Virginia.|
|Obviously someone cares enough to leave tokens for Virgina.|
I wish I could say that Virginia finally found happiness on the other side of the grave, but that sadly is not the case. Virginia's ghost is said to wonder around the area she is buried and weep. Loud sobs are heard, broken hearted over her lost life and career. One could hardly blame her.
To read more about the story of the happenings leading up to her death, the trial of Fatty and the outcome...follow these links...
A slide show of photos of Victoria Rappe
The mini biography of Fatty Arbuckle