An American actress who rose to fame in the 1940's and became one of the most sort after actresses of the era, Rita Hayworth is considered by some to be one of the most successful actresses of the golden years of Hollywood and has been listed as one of the American Film Institute's Greatest Stars of All Time.
Starring in 61 films over a 37 year period, Hayworth was born Margarita Carmen Cansino in Brooklyn, New York to father Eduardo Cansino, Sr, a Jewish-Spanish dancer and Ziegfeld girl Volga Hayworth. She began her career as a teen nightclub dancer and then tried to make the transition into becoming an actor, although the transition was not as smooth as she would have liked and her first films had her appearing in minor roles for Columbia studios.
Her first big break came in 1939 when she starred in the film Only Angels Have Wings alongside Cary Grant and Jean Arthur. The film would be a huge success and would see Hayworth recognised and the studio was over run with fan mail for the young starlet. Columbia studio had never had a lot of major stars attached to them and Hayworth was to become one of their biggest stars under contract. She would go on to star in films such as Music in My Heart (1940), Blondie on a Budget (1940), The Lady in Question (1940), and The Strawberry Blonde (1941) amongst others and she would see her star rise to become one of the Hottest talents in Hollywood.
During the Second World War, Hayworth posed for a pin up magazine and became one of the most desired women in America, being one of the two main pin ups admired by the American servicemen throughout the war years.
She would go on to star in some of the biggest hits of the 40's appearing alongside Gene Kelly in the musical Cover Girl (1944), alongside Orson Welles in his production of The Lady from Shanghai (1947), the film Gilda (1946), and The Loves of Carmen (1948). Her career started to encounter problems in the 1950's however as tensions between Hayworth and Columbia Pictures began to rise and in particular her relationship with Harry Cohn became very strained due to his controlling nature over the young actress.
She was married five times, each of the marriages ending in divorce, her husbands included legendary film actor/director Orson Welles and Prince Aly Khan, a son of Sultan Mahommed Shah, Aga Khan III, the leader of the Ismaili sect of Shia Islam.
She continued to work throughout the 1960's and 70's although the work received less attention than when she was in her prime. She became diagnosed as an alcoholic and suffered health and mental problems as a result, unable to deal with the ups and downs of show business. Her last film was The Wrath of God (1972), a role she took on reluctantly due to her need for the money.
Her condition deteriorated and it wasn't until 1980 that she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, a condition she had been living with for the past 20 years that had been mis-diagnosed as alcoholism due to her drinking problem. By 1981 she was declared to have senile dementia and considered unable to care for herself and was cared for by her daughter Yasmin Aga Khan until her death on May 14, 1987, aged 68.
Gilda Mundson Farrell
FOX Classics TV guide
Saturday, 25 May 2013
- 7:55 PM Keeping Up Appearances
- 8:30 PM The Mask of Dimitrios
- 10:25 PM Helen of Troy
- 12:15 AM Carson City
- 1:40 AM The Big Valley
- 2:35 AM The Virginian
- 4:00 AM Gunsmoke
- 5:00 AM China Beach
- End of programming for Saturday, 25 May 2013