Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth
'''Rita Hayworth''' (born October 17, 1918) was an American film actress and dancer who attained fame during the 1940s as one of the era's top stars. She appeared in 61 films over 37 years and is listed as one of the American Film Institute's Greatest Stars of All Time.


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The Love Goddess
Margarita Carmen Cansino
Brooklyn New York
United States
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Rita Hayworth (born October 17, 1918) was an American film actress and dancer who attained fame during the 1940s as one of the era's top stars. She appeared in 61 films over 37 years and is listed as one of the American Film Institute's Greatest Stars of All Time.

Rita Hayworth Biography

Early Life and career

Young Rita was on stage by the age of six as a member of The Cansinos, a famous family of Spanish dancers working in vaudeville. At age sixteen, she attracted the attention of film producers as part of "The Dancing Cansinos" and was signed by Fox Studios in 1935. She is recognised as one of the first and most successful Hispanic actresses in Hollywood. After her option was not renewed by Fox, Rita Cansino freelanced at minor film studios before signing with Columbia Pictures in 1937.

Rita Hayworth Whats In A Name

In 1937, Margarita Carmen Cansino became Rita Hayworth. After two more years of minor roles, she gave an impressive performance in Howard Hawks' Only Angels Have Wings (1939), as part of an ensemble cast headed by Cary Grant. Her sensitive portrayal of a disillusioned wife sparked the interest of other studios. Between assignments at Columbia Pictures, she was borrowed by Metro Goldwyn Mayer for George Cukor's Susan and God (1940) with Joan Crawford and Warner Brothers for Raoul Walsh's The Strawberry Blonde (1941) with James Cagney.

Meteoric Rise to Stardom

While on loan to Fox Studios for Rouben Mamoulian's Blood and Sand (1941) starring Tyrone Power, Hayworth achieved stardom with her sizzling performance as the amoral and seductive Doña Sol de Miura. This Technicolor film forever branded her as one of Hollywood's most beautiful redheads. Gene Tierney was originally intended for the role but was dropped by Darryl F. Zanuck when she eloped with Oleg Cassini. Carole Landis was the next choice for the role, but refused to dye her blonde hair red and was replaced by Rita Hayworth prior to filming. Fox then borrowed Hayworth from Columbia and dyed her dark brown hair auburn which soon became her best remembered feature. Her stardom was solidified when she made the cover of Time Magazine as Fred Astaire's new dancing partner in You'll Never Get Rich (1941).[citation needed] She co-starred with him again in You Were Never Lovelier (1942).

The Love Goddess is Born

The "love goddess" image was cemented with Bob Landry's 1941 Life magazine photograph of her (kneeling on her own bed in a silk and lace nightgown), which caused a sensation and became (at over five million copies) one of the most requested wartime pinups. During World War II she ranked with Betty Grable, Dorothy Lamour, Hedy Lamarr, and Lana Turner as the pinup girls most popular with servicemen. Rita Hayworth would also become Columbia's biggest star of the 1940s, under the watchful eye of studio chief Harry Cohn, who recognized her value. After she made Tales of Manhattan (1942) at Twentieth Century Fox opposite Charles Boyer, Cohn would not allow Hayworth to be lent to other studios.

Hayworth's well-known films include the musicals that made her famous: You'll Never Get Rich (1941) and You Were Never Lovelier (1942) (both with Fred Astaire, who wrote in his autobiography that she "danced with trained perfection and individuality"), My Gal Sal (1942) with Victor Mature, and her best known musical, Cover Girl (1944) with Gene Kelly. Although her singing voice was dubbed in her movies, Hayworth was one of Hollywood's best dancers, imbued with power, precision, tremendous enthusiasm, and an unearthly grace. Cohn continued to effectively showcase Hayworth's talents in Technicolor films: Tonight and Every Night (1945) with Lee Bowman, and Down to Earth (1947), with Larry Parks. Her erotic appeal was most notable in Gilda (1946), a black-and-white film noir directed by Charles Vidor, which encountered some difficulty with censors. This role — in which Hayworth in black satin performed a legendary one-glove striptease — made her into a cultural icon as the ultimate femme fatale.

Rita gave one of her most acclaimed performances in Orson Welles's The Lady from Shanghai (1948), though it failed at the box office. The failure was in part attributed to the fact that director/co-star Welles had Hayworth's famous red locks cut off and the rest dyed blonde for her role. This was done without Harry Cohn's knowledge or approval, and he was furious over the change. Her next film, The Loves of Carmen (1948) with Glenn Ford, was the first film co-produced by Columbia and Rita's own production company, The Beckworth Corporation (named for her daughter Rebecca). It was Columbia's biggest moneymaker for that year. She received a percentage of the profits from this and all of her subsequent films until 1955, when Hayworth dissolved Beckworth to pay off debts she owed to Columbia.

From Icon to Princess

Rita left her film career in 1948 to marry Prince Aly Khan, the son of the Aga Khan, the leader of the Ismaili sect of Shia Islam. Initially Hayworth and Prince Aly had trysts at the Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans. The couple moved to Europe, causing a media frenzy. Joseph L. Mankiewicz, in writing and directing 1954's The Barefoot Contessa, was said to have based his title character, Maria Vargas (played on film by Ava Gardner), on Hayworth's life and her marriage to Aly Khan.

After the marriage collapsed in 1951, Hayworth returned to America with great fanfare to film a string of hit films: Affair in Trinidad (1952) with favorite co-star Glenn Ford, Salome (1953) with Charles Laughton and Stewart Granger, and Miss Sadie Thompson (1953) with Jose Ferrer and Aldo Ray, for which her performance won critical acclaim. Then she was off the big screen for another four years, due mainly to a tumultuous marriage to singer Dick Haymes. In 1957, after making Fire Down Below with Robert Mitchum and Jack Lemmon, and her last musical Pal Joey with Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak, Rita Hayworth finally left Columbia. She got good reviews for her acting in such films as Separate Tables (1958) with Burt Lancaster and David Niven, and The Story on Page One (1960) with Anthony Franciosa, and continued working throughout the 1960s. In 1964 she appeared with John Wayne in Circus World (UK title Magnificent Showman) and in 1972 she made her last film, The Wrath of God.

Rita Hayworth Trivia

Alluding to her bombshell status, in 1946 her likeness was placed on the first nuclear bomb to be tested after World War II at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, as part of Operation Crossroads. Hayworth performed one of her best remembered dance routines, the samba from 1945's Tonight and Every Night, while pregnant with her first child, Rebecca Welles (daughter of Orson Welles). Her singing was dubbed by Nan Wynn (1941-44), Martha Mears (1945), Anita Ellis (1946-48), and Jo Ann Greer (1952-57). Hayworth was also the first dancer to partner both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly on film — the others being Judy Garland, Cyd Charisse, Vera Ellen, and Leslie Caron. Knocked out two of Glenn Ford's teeth during their fight in Gilda (1946). Studio chief Harry Cohn only began taking interest in Hayworth as star material after she began undergoing painful electrolysis treatments (at the urging of husband Eddie Judson), which drastically altered her hairline and appearance.

Rita Hayworth Personal life

Rita claimed to be the antithesis of the characters she played. "I naturally am very shy ... and I suffer from an inferiority complex." She once complained that "[M]en fell in love with Gilda, but they wake up with me." With typical modesty she later remarked that the only films she could watch without laughing were the dance musicals she made with Fred Astaire. "I guess the only jewels of my life," Hayworth said, "were the pictures I made with Fred Astaire."

Rita's two younger brothers, Vernon Cansino and Eduardo Cansino, Jr., both served in World War II. Vernon left the U.S. Army in 1946 with several medals, including the Purple Heart, and later married Susan Vail, a dancer. Eduardo Cansino, Jr. followed Hayworth into acting; he was also under contract with Columbia Pictures. In 1950 he made his screen debut in Magic Carpet.

She was married five times; first to Edward Charles Johnson from 1937 to 1942; she wed Johnson when she was only eighteen. Her second marriage was to legendary actor Orson Welles; they wed on September 7, 1943, and had a daughter together, lated actress Rebecca Welles (1942-2004). They divorced in 1948. In 1948, after her divorce from Welles, she left her film career to marry Prince Aly Khan, a son of Sultan Mahommed Shah, Aga Khan III, the leader of the Ismaili sect of Shia Islam. They were married on May 27, 1949; they would diverce in 1953. They had one child together, daughter Princess Yasmin Aga Khan. She then wed actor Dick Haymes on September 24, 1953; they divorced in 1955. On February 2, 1958, Hayworth married director James Hill, who put her in one of her last major films, Separate Tables. They divorced on September 1, 1961.

Rita Hayworth Death and her legacy

Rita, whose health had began to deterioate slowly in her later years, lapsed into a semicoma in February 1987. She died a few months later on May 14, 1987, at age 68 from Alzheimer's disease in her Manhattan apartment. A funeral service for Hayworth was held on May 19, 1987 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. Pallbearers included actors Ricardo Montalbán, Glenn Ford, Don Ameche and choreographer Hermes Pan. She is interred in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City. Her headstone includes the inscription: "To yesterday's companionship and tomorrow's reunion."

"Rita Hayworth was one of our country's most beloved stars", said President Ronald Reagan, who had been an actor at the same time as Hayworth and would himself fall victim to Alzheimer's. "Glamorous and talented, she gave us many wonderful moments on stage and screen and delighted audiences from the time she was a young girl. In her later years, Rita became known for her struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Her courage and candor, and that of her family, were a great public service in bringing worldwide attention to a disease which we all hope will soon be cured. Nancy and I are saddened by Rita's death. She was a friend who we will miss. We extend our deep sympathy to her family."

Rita Hayworth on the Web

Rita Hayworth | Dress, Memory Rita Hayworth. I love that swimsuits used to be called 'costumes'. The best dress-up is always pin-up. Because fifties swimsuits are truly transformational. In them, blondes are effortlessly turned into Betty Grable; brunettes become Bettie Page. ...

Rita Hayworth Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story - Biography.com Cinematic bombshell Rita Hayworth became film's ultimate femme fatale with her legendary one-glove striptease in Gilda. Read about her life at Biography.com.

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