Rita Hayworth; Unknown date.
 
Rita Hayworth on Wikipedia
Rita Hayworth on the Internet Movie Database
 
 
 
 
Rita Hayworth with Edward G. Robinson, Charles Laughton, Charles Boyer and Henry Fonda
Forecourt Ceremony held on Friday, July 24, 1942
 
Born: Margarita Carmen Cansino, October 17, 1918, in Brooklyn, New York
Age at the time of the ceremony: 23
Died: May 14, 1987, in New York City, New York, age 68
 
Rita Hayworth was to become the most popular and glamorous film star / sex symbol of the World War II era. Beautiful and talented, Hayworth starring in many pictures during the 1940s, and she had a colorful, if somewhat unhappy private life.

Margarita was born to a Spanish-born father, who was a dancer, and an Irish-English mother who had been a Ziegfeld Girl. From the age of three, Margarita was given dancing lessons from her father (and others), while her mother wanted the girl to become an actress. At the age of six, she was performing in public; with her father Eduardo, she appeared on Broadway in The Greenwich Village Follies during the 1923-1924 season, and took part in a short film called La Fiesta (released in 1926) for Warner Bros.

In 1927, father Eduardo moved the family to Hollywood, where he opened a dance studio, teaching the likes of James Cagney and Jean Harlow. The Depression wiped out this family enterprise. In 1931, Eduardo took 12-year-old Margarita with him to perform as the Dancing Cansinos in Tijuana, Mexico (to escape the U.S. child labor laws), at both the Foreign and Caliente clubs. While there, she performed in the films Cruz Dioablo (released in April, 1935), and In Caliente (released in May, 1935) with Delores del Rio.

An executive for the Fox studio saw the young dancer, and signed her to a short-term contract, then changed her name to Rita Cansino. She was given small "exotic" roles in films like Under the Pampas Moon (which played the Chinese in June, 1935) with Warner Baxter, and Charlie Chan in Egypt (played the Chinese in June, 1935), and Dante's Inferno (released in August, 1935) with Spencer Tracy.

Fox wanted to star Rita in the lead role of their Technicolor film of Ramona, but when the 20th Century-Fox merger brought Darryl F. Zanuck to power, he put Loretta Young in the role instead, and he let Cansino's contract lapse.

Teaming up with promoter Edward C. Judson (who would become her first husband), Rita got roles in enough pictures to stay afloat until she was signed to a seven-year contract at Columbia Pictures. Her first film for the studio was Meet Nero Wolfe (released in July, 1936).

Columbia head Harry Cohn wanted Rita to emphasize the Anglo side of her heritage, since as an "exotic" she would have fewer roles. Judson agreed, so Rita adopted her mother's maiden name as her own — Hayworth. A full makeover turned her into an Anglo glamourpuss.

Columbia had never promoted a contract player to star status like other studios, so the road was rocky for Hayworth — at first. Her breakout film was Only Angles Have Wings (released in May, 1939), with Cary Grant, and after that, she was starred in a tidalwave of films: Music in My Heart (released in January, 1940), The Lady in Question (released in August, 1940), and Angels Over Broadway (released in October, 1940); she was loaned out to M-G-M for Susan and God (which played the Chinese in June, 1940), and loaned out to Warner Bros. to co-star in The Strawberry Blonde (released in February, 1941) with James Cagney. Warner Bros. attempted to buy Hayworth's contract from Columbia, but the wily Cohn refused.

Loaned out to 20th Century-Fox for the Tyrone Power hit Blood and Sand (which played the Chinese in May, 1941), Hayworth returned to co-star with Fred Astaire in the most expensive film Columbia had ever made: You'll Never Get Rich (released in September, 1941). The film was such a success that she was paired with Astaire again in You Were Never Lovelier (released in November, 1942). Astaire went on the record to state that Hayworth had become his favorite dancing partner — which is saying a lot!

Rita Hayworth posed for a Life magazine photo where she appeared in a negligee, kneeling on a bed. It became the most popular pin-up of World War II. In Mach, 1942, she made a goodwill trip to Brazil on behalf of the U.S. Government.

Hayworth was one of the five actors from the film Tales of Manhattan to be imprinted on the same day at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Tales would have its world premiere at the Chinese two weeks later, in August, 1942.

Hayworth married wunderkind actor/director Orson Welles in 1943, and together, they had a daughter, Rebecca in 1944. Back to the cameras, she filmed the musicals Cover Girl (released in April, 1944) with Gene Kelly, Tonight and Every Night (released in January, 1945), Down to Earth (released in August, 1947) with Larry Parks, and also most famously, in the noir drama Gilda (released in March, 1946) with Glenn Ford, and which remains her signature role.

Husband Welles, struggling in his career, put wife Hayworth in his film The Lady from Shanghai (released in April, 1948) sporting a shortened, bleach blonde haircut. Fans spurned the look, and the picture bombed, straining the already fragile marriage.

Wooed away from both Welles and Hollywood by war hero and Muslim religious leader, Prince Ali Kahn, Hayworth married the notorious playboy / horsebreeder in 1949 and produced a daughter, Yasmin. Away from her film career, Hayworth met with much interest from the press, but also anger from her fans, who were shocked at her antics. The couple split in 1951, and divorced in 1953.

Amazingly, Hayworth still owed movies to Columbia on her contract. Affair in Trinidad (released in July, 1952) with Glenn Ford was a hit, and so, was followed by: Salome (released in March, 1953) with fellow Tales of Manhattan co-star Charles Laughton, and Miss Sadie Thompson (released in December, 1953) with José Ferrer. That year, she married singer/actor Dick Haymes, a marriage which was quite rocky, generating much negative publicity. The couple divorced in 1955.

Hayworth was still a big star for Columbia though: Fire Down Below (released in June, 1957) with Robert Mitchum, was a hit, then, she was put in Pal Joey (released in October, 1957) paired with the "new girl" at Columbia — Kim Novak. After this, she left Columbia for good.

She married her Separate Tables (released in December, 1958) producer James Hill in 1952, but their marriage was stormy. They divorced in 1961. She continued to make films like: The Story on Page One (released in December, 1959), directed by Clifford Odets (!), The Money Trap (released in February, 1966) with Glenn Ford, and her last film, The Wrath of God (released in July, 1972) with Robert Mitchum.

An alcohol problem masked Hayworth's true condition: Alzheimer's disease. In financial straights, she was looked after by her daughter, Princess Yasmin. In February, 1987, she lapsed into a coma, and died three months later at home in Manhattan. She was 68.
 
 
Caption TK
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Rita Hayworth Forecourt ceremony, Friday, July 24, 1942. Charles Boyer, Charles Laughton, Edward G. Robinson and Sid Grauman assist Rita Hayworth in making her foot impression in the cement.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Rita Hayworth Forecourt ceremony, Friday, July 24, 1942. Sid Grauman presides over the co-stars of the film Tales of Manhattan: Henry Fonda, Charles Boyer, Rita Hayworth, Charles Laughton, and Edward G. Robinson.
 
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