Perhaps if we thought for a second of the classic, simple elegance of the Spanish lady it might help us to be "simply" ourselves.
Profile of Rita Hayworth
Margarita Carmen Hayworth (born Margarita Carmen Cansino; October 17, 1918 – May 14, 1987) was an American actress, dancer, and producer. She achieved fame during the 1940s as one of the era's top stars, appearing in 61 films over 37 years. The press coined the term "The Love Goddess" to describe Hayworth after she had become the most glamorous screen idol of the 1940s. She was the top pin-up girl for GIs during World War II.
Hayworth is perhaps best known for her performance in the 1946 film noir Gilda in which she played the femme fatale in her first major dramatic role. Fred Astaire, with whom she made two films, once called her his favorite dance partner. She is listed as one of the top 25 female motion picture stars of all time in the American Film Institute's survey, AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars.
In 1980, Hayworth was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, which contributed to her death at age 68. The public disclosure and discussion of her illness drew attention to Alzheimer's, which was largely unknown by most people at the time, and helped to increase public and private funding for Alzheimer's research.
Biography of Rita Hayworth
Hayworth was born as Margarita Carmen Cansino in Brooklyn, New York, the oldest child of two dancers. Her father, Eduardo Cansino, was from a little town near Seville, Spain.
Her mother, Volga Hayworth, was an American of Irish and English descent who had performed with the Ziegfeld Follies.
Margarita's father wanted her to become a professional dancer, while her mother hoped she would become an actress. Her paternal grandfather, Antonio Cansino, was renowned as a classical Spanish dancer. He popularized the bolero, and his dancing school in Madrid was world-famous.
She attended dance classes every day for a few years in a Carnegie Hall complex, where she was taught by her uncle.
In 1926, at the age of eight, she was featured in La Fiesta, a short film for Warner Bros.
In 1927, her father took the family to Hollywood and established his own dance studio there, where he taught such stars as James Cagney and Jean Harlow.
In 1931, Eduardo Cansino started to take his 12-year-old daughter to dance in nightclubs and bars in Tijuana, Mexico, as she was too young to work in Los Angels under its law. It is in one of the bars the Caliente club, Winfield Sheehan, the head of the Fox Film Corporation, saw her dancing. He arranged for Hayworth to do a screen test Amman’s signed her for a short-term, six-month contract at Fox, under the name Rita Cansino, the first of two name changes during her film career.
During her time at Fox, Hayworth was billed as Rita Cansino and appeared in unremarkable roles, often cast as the exotic foreigner.
Sheehan was grooming her for the lead in the 1936 Technicolor film Ramona, hoping to establish her as Fox Film's new Dolores del Río.
By the end of her six-month contract, Fox had merged into 20th Century Fox, with Darryl F. Zanuck serving as the executive producer who gave Loretta Young the lead in Ramona, and did not renew Cansino's contract.
Sensing her screen potential, salesman and promoter Edward C. Judson got freelance work for her in several small-studio films and married get in Las Vegas. Rita was 18 years old.
Eventually Columbia Pictures Studio head Harry Cohn signed her to a seven-year contract, and suggested a name change: Rita Cansino thus became Rita Hayworth, with a darker hair Color and higher hairline.
Cohn began to build up Hayworth in 1940 in several feature movies, but she triumphed in the musical You'll Never Get Rich (1941) opposite Fred Astaire.
It was one of the highest-budgeted films Columbia had ever made, and the picture was so successful, the studio produced and released another Astaire-Hayworth picture the following year, You Were Never Lovelier.
In August 1941, Hayworth was featured in an iconic Life photo in which she posed in a negligee with a black lace bodice. Bob Landry's photo made Hayworth one of the top two pin-up girls of the World War II years (the other was Betty Grable) For two years, Hayworth's photograph was the most requested pin-up photograph in circulation. (In 2002, the satin nightgown Hayworth wore for the photo sold for $26,888.)
She divorced Edward C. Judson in 1942 and married Orson Wells, American actor, director and producer, the next year. She had her first child, a daughter named Rebecca in December 1944.
Hayworth had top billing in one of her best-known films, the Technicolor musical Cover Girl, released in 1944. The film established her as Columbia's top star of the 1940s, and it gave her the distinction of being the first of only six women to dance on screen with both Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.
Her sexy, glamorous appeal was most noted in Charles Vidor's film noir Gilda (1946) with Glenn Ford, which caused censors some consternation. The role, in which Hayworth wore black satin and performed a legendary one-glove striptease, "Put The Blame On Mame", made her into a cultural icon as a femme fatale.
In real life, Rita Hayworth is a twice divorced woman now: On November 10, 1947, she was granted a divorce from Orson Wells that became final the following year.
In 1948, at the height of her fame, Hayworth traveled to Cannes and was introduced to Prince Aly Khan. They began a year-long courtship, and were married on May 27, 1949. Hayworth left Hollywood and sailed for France, breaking her contract with Columbia.
On December 28, 1949, Hayworth gave birth to the couple's only daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan.
Though Hayworth was anxious to start a new life abroad, away from Hollywood, Aly Khan's flamboyant lifestyle and duties proved too difficult for Hayworth. She struggled to fit in with his family. Aly Khan and his family were heavily involved in horse racing, owning and racing horses. Hayworth had no interest in the sport, but became a member of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club anyway.
She also found it difficult to learn French. What is more, she suspected Aly Khan, most famous playboy of his time, being unfaithful to her.
In 1951, Hayworth set sail with her two daughters for New York. Although the couple did reconcile for a short time, they divorced in 1953.
Rita Hayworth was forced to return to Hollywood, and to Columbia. She starred in a string of successful pictures there and left Columbia soon after Kim Novak became Columbia's top female star.
Since then, although she continued to work until the early 70s, the peak time of Hayworth’s career has passed. Her last film was the Wrath of God(1972), a western.
Her private life did not bring her the happiness Hayworth has been searching. Her last two marriages to Argentinian singer Dick Haymes and film producer James Hill both turned out to be a failure, with neither of the marriage lasting more than three years.
And her two famous ex husbands Orson Wells and Prince Aly Khan both went on to have fulfilling (or at least rich full) emotional life. Orson Wells married Italian aristocratic actress Paola Mori in 1955, and stay married to her at the time of his death in 1985 although he was also involved with his long time assistant.
And Prince Aly Khan, after involving with several women including another Hollywood star Gene Tierney, was engaged with the first Fr much super model Bettina Graziani, and was with her at the time of his untimely death due to a car accident in 1960.
Arita Hayworth has long suffered from alcoholism. As early as in the 1940s when she was still married to Orson Wells, he noted her problem with drinking. It got worse as the years pass and ultimately affected her career as an actress.
But Hayworth's alcoholism hid symptoms of what was eventually understood to be Alzheimer’s disease, which she was diagnosed in 1981. When the diagnosis when public, Rita Hayworth became the first public face of this disease.
Rita Hayworth lapsed into a semicoma in February 1987. She died at age 68 from complications associated with Alzheimer's disease three months later on May 14, 1987, at her home in Manhattan.
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, daughter of Rita Hayworth and Prince Ali Khan, created Alzheimer's Association in honor of her mother.