Rita Hayworth, born on October 17, 1918, was one of Hollywood’s most beautiful actresses. She was a wonderful dancer, and her spectacular performances set her apart from other actresses of the time. Throughout the sad years of World War II, she delighted audiences with her magnificent dance performances, amusing and delighting the American people. Hayworth rose to prominence after marrying Prince Aly Khan and shortly after, she left her job in the film business. Today we remember this beautiful star who had a tragic personal life but who tried her best to make the best out of the cards life dealt her.
The Love Goddess
October 17, 1918
May 14, 1987 (age 68)
Rita Hayworth was a phenomenal dancer, and her breathtaking performances set her apart from other actresses of her day. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, as Margarita Carmen Cansino, the oldest child of two dancers. Her mother, Volga Hayworth was an American with Irish and English ancestry who had played in the “Ziegfeld Follies,” and her father, Eduardo Cansino was of Romani heritage. Hayworth began taking dancing lessons at a very young age at the Carnegie Hall in New York, where her uncle, Angel Cansino, instructed her. At age six, she finally delivered her first dancing performance.
Winfield Sheehan, the president of the Fox Film Corporation, took note of her at the Caliente Club. She organized for her to do a screen test since she was so impressed with her performance, and she later signed a contract with the Fox Corporation. With her captivating dancing performances in movies like “Tonight and Every Night,” “Down to Earth,” and “Cover Girl,” she pleased and thrilled the American people throughout the grievous era of World War II.
Hayworth, one of the most famous actors of her generation, appeared in over 61 films throughout the course of her 37-year career. She married Prince Aly Khan and gave up her Hollywood career shortly after becoming one of the industry’s first princesses. Despite having a daughter together, the couple did not have a happy marriage and it ended in divorce in 1953. Hayworth battled with alcoholism all of her life, and in the early 1970s, her health started to decline. She died of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 68 and was laid to rest in the Holy Cross Cemetery in California.
Hayworth signs a contract with Fox Corporation after she is recognized by Winfield Sheehan, the head of the company.
Hayworth makes her big-screen acting debut in the film "Human Cargo."
Hayworth appears on the cover of “Life” magazine, after which she made an additional four appearances in the publication throughout her life.
Hayworth stars in one of her most well-known films, "Cover Girl," a smash hit during the Second World War.
Hayworth receives a Golden Globe nomination for her performance as Lili Alfredo in the drama movie "Circus."
Hayworth receives the inaugural National Screen Heritage Award.
Why We Love Rita Hayworth
Hayworth was one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood history. She was dubbed "The Love Goddess" by many.
Her remarkable acting talent
Hayworth is one of the biggest performers of her time. Throughout her career, she performed in more than 61 movies.
She practiced self-love
Hayworth chose to end the marriage when it became clear that Prince Khan was a womanizer. She then returned to Hollywood to restart her career.
5 Surprising Facts
She changed her name
Hayworth’s given name was Margarita Carmen Cansino.
The Margarita cocktail debate
Legend claims that the famous Margarita cocktail was allegedly named to honor Hayworth’s given name.
She left school at 12
Her father made her drop out of school so she could join his dance troupe and he dressed her up to make her look older.
She had a difficult childhood
Hayworth said from when she was 10, her father would often beat and assault her.
Her hair color wasn't originally red
Her original hair color wasn't the infamous red, her natural hair color was black
Rita Hayworth FAQs
What was Hayworth's first movie?
The first film she starred in was “Cruz Diablo.”
How old was Hayworth when she died?
She was 68 years old.
Did Hayworth change her appearance?
Yes, she had electrolysis treatment to make push her hairline further up in order to make her forehead appear higher.
Rita Hayworth’s birthday dates