Happy birthday Rita Hayworth!

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Rita Hayworth (October 17, 1918—May 14, 1987) was an American actress and dancer. She appeared in over 60 films throughout her career. Some of her most notable films were ones in which she danced opposite Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Some of her films include Only Angels Have Wings (1939), The Strawberry Blonde (1941), and Gilda (1946).

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Hayworth was born Margarita Carmen Cansino in Brooklyn, New York to Eduardo Cansino, Sr. and Volga Hayworth. Her father was Spanish, and her paternal grandfather had been the famous Spanish dancer who popularized the bolero. Her mother had performed with the Ziegfeld Follies. Hayworth was given dance lessons from the time she was a little girl.

Eduardo Cansino decided to move the family to Hollywood in an attempt to get in on dancing in the movies. He opened a dance studio there and began to take Hayworth to dance with him in Mexico since she was too young to perform in the United States.

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Hayworth appeared in the 1926 Warner Bros. short film La Fiesta. After just a few more small film roles, she was signed by Fox Film Corporation. She went on to appear in films like Dante's Inferno (1935), Under the Pampas Moon (1935), Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935), and Human Cargo (1936).

In 1937, she met her future husband and manager, Edward Judson. Judson convinced Hayworth (then still Cansino) to change her name and also to dye her hair red. This proved to be a pivotal moment for Hayworth's career. Soon, Judson had landed Hayworth a seven year contract with Columbia Pictures.

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Hayworth's first critically acclaimed performance was in Only Angels Have Wings (1939), in which she played the role of an unfaithful wife opposite Cary Grant. She went on to appear in Music in My Heart (1940), The Lady in Question (1940), Angels Over Broadway (1940), and The Strawberry Blonde (1941), and soon was on the cover of Life magazine.

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She danced opposite Fred Astaire in You'll Never Get Rich (1941). The film was one of the highest-budgeted films Columbia had ever made. The pair followed with , You Were Never Lovelier (1942), Tales of Manhattan (1942) and My Gal Sal (1942).

Some of her other important films include Cover Girl (1944) and Gilda (1946).

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Hayworth went on to marry director and actor Orson Welles, with whom she also had a daughter. She subsequently married three more times, including to Prince Aly Khan, an Italian-Pakistani statesman.

The rest of Hayworth's life was marked by alcohol abuse and the deterioration of her ability to act.

 

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Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Friday, 17 October 2014
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