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Rita Hayworth
Rita Hayworth-publicity.JPG
Hayworth in 1947
Margarita Carmen Cansino

(1918-10-17)October 17, 1918
Died May 14, 1987(1987-05-14) (aged 68)
New York City, U.S.
Cause of death Alzheimer's disease
Resting place Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City
  • Actress
  • dancer
  • producer
Years active 1931–1972
Political party Democratic
Edward C. Judson
(m. 1937; div. 1942)
(m. 1943; div. 1947)
(m. 1949; div. 1953)
Dick Haymes
(m. 1953; div. 1955)
James Hill
(m. 1958; div. 1961)
Children 2, including Yasmin Aga Khan
  • Eduardo Cansino (father)
  • Volga Hayworth (mother)
  • Richard Cansino (nephew)
  • Vinton Hayworth (uncle)
Rita Hayworth signature.svg

Rita 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, opposite Glenn Ford, in which she played the femme fatale in her first major dramatic role. She is also known for her performances in Only Angels Have Wings (1939), The Strawberry Blonde (1941), Blood and Sand (1941), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Pal Joey (1957), and Separate Tables (1958). Fred Astaire, with whom she made two films, You'll Never Get Rich (1941) and You Were Never Lovelier (1942), once called her his favorite dance partner. She also starred in the Technicolor musical Cover Girl (1944), with Gene Kelly. 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 early-onset Alzheimer's disease, which contributed to her death in 1987 at age 68. The public disclosure and discussion of her illness drew attention to Alzheimer's, and helped to increase public and private funding for research into the disease.

Early life

At age 12, Margarita (later Rita) was dancing professionally as her father's partner in "The Dancing Cansinos", 1931.
Margarita, at age 14, with her father and dancing partner, 1933
Rita and her father, 1935

Hayworth was born as Margarita Carmen Cansino in Brooklyn, New York, the oldest child of two dancers. Her father, Eduardo Cansino, was of Romani descent from Castilleja de la Cuesta, 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. The couple married in 1917. They also had two sons: Eduardo Jr. and Vernon. Her maternal uncle Vinton Hayworth was also an actor.

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. Antonio Cansino instructed Rita Hayworth's first dance lesson. Hayworth later recalled, "From the time I was three and a half ... as soon as I could stand on my own feet, I was given dance lessons." She noted "I didn't like it very much ... but I didn't have the courage to tell my father, so I began taking the lessons. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, that was my girlhood."

She attended dance classes every day for a few years in a Carnegie Hall complex, where she was taught by her uncle Angel Cansino. Before her fifth birthday she was one of the Four Cansinos featured in the Broadway production of The Greenwich Village Follies at the Winter Garden Theatre. 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. He believed that dancing could be featured in the movies and that his family could be part of it. He established his own dance studio, where he taught such stars as James Cagney and Jean Harlow.

In 1931, Eduardo Cansino partnered with his 12-year-old daughter to form an act called the Dancing Cansinos. Her hair was dyed from brown to black to give her a more mature and "Latin" appearance. Since under California law Margarita was too young to work in nightclubs and bars, her father took her with him to work across the border in Tijuana, Mexico. In the early 1930s, it was a popular tourist spot for people from Los Angeles. Because she was working, Cansino never graduated from high school, but she completed the ninth grade at Hamilton High in Los Angeles.

Cansino (Hayworth) took a bit part in the film Cruz Diablo (1934) at age 16, which led to another bit part in the film In Caliente (1935) with the Mexican actress Dolores del Río. She danced with her father in such nightspots as the Foreign and the Caliente clubs. Winfield Sheehan, the head of the Fox Film Corporation, saw her dancing at the Caliente Club and quickly arranged for Hayworth to do a screen test a week later. Impressed by her screen persona, Sheehan 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.


Early career

Fox publicity photograph of Rita Cansino, 1935

During her time at Fox, Hayworth was billed as Rita Cansino and appeared in unremarkable roles, often cast as the exotic foreigner. In late 1934, aged 16, she performed a dance sequence in the Spencer Tracy film Dante's Inferno (1935), and was put under contract in February 1935. She had her first speaking role as an Argentinian girl in Under the Pampas Moon (1935). She played an Egyptian girl in Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935), and a Russian dancer in Paddy O'Day (1935). 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. Dismissing Sheehan's interest in her and giving Loretta Young the lead in Ramona, Zanuck did not renew Cansino's contract. Sensing her screen potential, salesman and promoter Edward C. Judson, with whom she would elope in 1937, got freelance work for her in several small-studio films and a part in the Columbia Pictures feature Meet Nero Wolfe (1936). Studio head Harry Cohn signed her to a seven-year contract and tried her out in small roles.

Cohn argued that her image was too Mediterranean, which limited her to being cast in "exotic" roles that were fewer in number. He was heard to say her last name sounded too Spanish. Judson acted on Cohn's advice: Rita Cansino became Rita Hayworth when she adopted her mother's maiden name, to the consternation of her father. With a name that emphasized Irish-American ancestry, people were more likely to regard her as a classic "American".

With Cohn and Judson's encouragement, Hayworth changed her hair color to dark red and had electrolysis to raise her hairline and broaden the appearance of her forehead.

With Fred Astaire in You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

Hayworth appeared in five minor Columbia pictures and three minor independent movies in 1937. The following year, she appeared in five Columbia B movies. In 1939, Cohn pressured director Howard Hawks to use Hayworth for a small, but important, role as a man-trap in the aviation drama Only Angels Have Wings, in which she played opposite Cary Grant and Jean Arthur.

Cohn began to build up Hayworth in 1940 in features such as Music in My Heart, The Lady in Question, and Angels Over Broadway. That year, she was first featured in a Life magazine cover story. While on loan to Warner Bros., Hayworth appeared as the second female lead in The Strawberry Blonde (1941), opposite James Cagney.

She returned in triumph to Columbia Pictures, and was cast in the musical You'll Never Get Rich (1941) opposite Fred Astaire in one of the highest-budgeted films Columbia had ever made. The picture was so successful, the studio produced and released another Astaire-Hayworth picture the following year, You Were Never Lovelier. Astaire's biographer Peter Levinson writes that the dancing combination of Astaire and Hayworth was "absolute magnetism on the screen". Although Astaire made 10 films with Ginger Rogers, his other main dancing partner, Hayworth's sensuality surpassed Rogers's cool technical expertise. "Rita's youthful exuberance meshed perfectly with Fred's maturity and elegance", says Levinson.

When Astaire was asked who his favorite dance partner was, he tried not answering the question, but later admitted it was Hayworth: "All right, I'll give you a name", he said. "But if you ever let it out, I'll swear I lied. It was Rita Hayworth." Astaire commented that "Rita danced with trained perfection and individuality ... She was better when she was 'on' than at rehearsal."

Iconic 1941 photograph of Hayworth for Life magazine

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, in a 1943 photograph. 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.

In March 1942, Hayworth visited Brazil as a cultural ambassador for the Roosevelt administration's Good Neighbor policy, under the auspices of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. During the 1940s Hayworth also contributed to the OCIAA's cultural diplomacy initiatives in support of Pan-Americanism through her broadcasts to South America on the CBS "Cadena de las Américas" radio network.

Peak years at Columbia

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. "I guess the only jewels of my life", Hayworth said in 1970, "were the pictures I made with Fred Astaire ... And Cover Girl, too."

Hayworth and choreographer Jack Cole in Tonight and Every Night (1945)

For three consecutive years, starting in 1944, Hayworth was named one of the top movie box-office attractions in the world. She was adept in ballet, tap, ballroom, and Spanish routines. Cohn continued to showcase Hayworth's dance talents. Columbia featured her in the Technicolor films Tonight and Every Night (1945) with Lee Bowman and Down to Earth (1947) with Larry Parks.

Gilda trailer hayworth1
Hayworth in Gilda (1946)

Her glamorous appeal was most noted in Charles Vidor's film noir Gilda (1946) with Glenn Ford, which caused censors some consternation. The role made Hayworth into a cultural icon as a femme fatale.

Hayworth in Gilda (1946)

While Gilda was in release, it was widely reported that an atomic bomb which was scheduled to be tested at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean's Marshall Islands would bear an image of Hayworth, a reference to her devastating beauty. Although the gesture was undoubtedly meant as a compliment, Hayworth was deeply offended. Orson Welles, then married to Hayworth, recalled her anger in an interview with biographer Barbara Leaming: "Rita used to fly into terrible rages all the time, but the angriest was when she found out that they'd put her on the atom bomb. Rita almost went insane, she was so angry. ... She wanted to go to Washington to hold a press conference, but Harry Cohn wouldn't let her because it would be unpatriotic." Welles tried to persuade Hayworth that the whole business was not a publicity stunt on Cohn's part, that it was simply homage to her from the flight crew.

On the June 30, 1946, broadcast of Orson Welles Commentaries, Welles said of the imminent test, "I want my daughter to be able to tell her daughter that grandmother's picture was on the last atom bomb ever to explode."

The fourth atomic bomb ever to be detonated was decorated with a photograph of Hayworth cut from the June 1946 issue of Esquire magazine. Above it was stenciled the device's nickname, "Gilda", in two-inch black letters.

Hayworth's performance in Welles's 1947 film The Lady from Shanghai was critically acclaimed. The film's failure at the box office was attributed in part to Hayworth's famous red hair being cut short and bleached platinum blonde for the role. Cohn had not been consulted and was furious that Hayworth's image was changed.

Also in 1947, Hayworth was featured in a Life cover story by Winthrop Sargeant that resulted in her being nicknamed "The Love Goddess". The term was adopted and used later as the title of a biopic and of a biography about her.

Her next film, The Loves of Carmen (1948) with Glenn Ford, was the first film co-produced by Columbia and Hayworth's production company, The Beckworth Corporation (named for Rebecca, her daughter with Welles). It was Columbia's biggest moneymaker that year. She received a percentage of the profits from this and all her subsequent films until 1954, when she dissolved Beckworth to pay off debts.

The Hollywood princess

Hayworth and Prince Aly Khan at their wedding reception in the garden of the Château de l'Horizon near Cannes, 1949

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.

Because Hayworth was already one of the most well-known celebrities in the world, the courtship and the wedding received enormous press coverage around the world. Because she was still legally married to second husband Orson Welles during the early days of her courtship with the prince, Hayworth also received some negative backlash, causing some American fans to boycott her pictures. Their wedding marked the first time a Hollywood actress became a princess. On December 28, 1949, Hayworth gave birth to the couple's only child, 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 friends, and found it difficult to learn French. 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.

Returning to Columbia

After the collapse of her marriage to Khan, Rita Hayworth was forced to return to Hollywood to star in her "comeback" picture, Affair in Trinidad (1952) which again paired her with Glenn Ford. Director Vincent Sherman recalled that Hayworth seemed "rather frightened at the approach of doing another picture". She continued to clash with Columbia boss Harry Cohn and was placed on suspension during filming. Nevertheless, the picture was highly publicized. The picture ended up grossing $1 million more than her previous blockbuster, Gilda.

She continued to star in a string of successful pictures. In 1953, she had two films released: Salome with Charles Laughton and Stewart Granger, and Miss Sadie Thompson with José Ferrer and Aldo Ray. She was off the big screen for another four years, mainly because of a tumultuous marriage to the singer Dick Haymes. During her marriage to Haymes, she was involved in much negative publicity, which significantly lessened her appeal. By the time she returned to the screen for Fire Down Below (1957) with Robert Mitchum and Jack Lemmon, Kim Novak had become Columbia's top female star. Her last musical was Pal Joey (1957) with Frank Sinatra and Novak (Hayworth had top billing in both pictures but actually played a supporting role in Pal Joey). After this film, Hayworth left Columbia for good.

She received good reviews for her performance in Separate Tables (1958), with Burt Lancaster and David Niven, and The Story on Page One (1960). She continued working throughout the 1960s. In 1962, her planned Broadway debut was cancelled for undisclosed health reasons. The Money Trap (1964) paired her, for the last time, with good friend Glenn Ford. She continued to act in films until the early 1970s. She made comedic television appearances on Laugh In and The Carol Burnett Show in the 1970s. Her last film was The Wrath of God (1972), a western.

Struggles with Columbia Pictures

Hayworth had a strained relationship with Columbia Pictures for many years. In 1943, she was suspended without pay for nine weeks because she refused to appear in Once Upon a Time. During this period in Hollywood, contract players could not choose their films; they were on salary rather than receiving a fixed amount per picture.

Gilda trailer rita hayworth2
Glenn Ford and Hayworth in Gilda (1946)

In 1947, Hayworth's new contract with Columbia provided a salary of $250,000 plus 50% of films' profits. In 1951, Columbia alleged it had $800,000 invested in properties for her, including the film she walked out on that year. Hayworth left Hollywood to marry Prince Aly Khan and was suspended for failing to report to work on the film Affair in Trinidad. In 1952, Hayworth refused to report for work because she objected to the script.

In 1955, she sued Columbia Pictures to be released from her contract, but asked for her $150,000 salary, alleging that the filming failed to start on Joseph and His Brethren (1961) when agreed, later filmed in 1961 by a foreign company as The Story of Joseph and His Brethren (film). Cohn had a reputation as a taskmaster, but he had his own criticisms of Hayworth. He had invested heavily in her before she began an affair with the married Aly Khan, and it could have caused a backlash against her career and Columbia's success.

Years after her film career had ended and long after Cohn had died, Hayworth still resented her treatment by both him and Columbia.

Hayworth resented the fact that the studio had failed to train her to sing or even to encourage her to learn how to sing. Although she appeared to sing in many of her films, she was usually dubbed. Because the public did not know her secret, she was embarrassed to be asked to sing by troops at USO shows.

Public image

Hayworth was a top glamour girl in the 1940s, a pin-up girl for military servicemen and a beauty icon for women. At 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) and 120 lb (54 kg), she was tall enough to be a concern for dancing partners such as Fred Astaire. She reportedly changed her hair color eight times in eight movies.

In 1949, Hayworth's lips were voted best in the world by the Artists League of America. She had a modeling contract with Max Factor to promote its Tru-Color lipsticks and Pan-Stik make-up.

Personal life

Marriages, relationships and family

Hayworth and Victor Mature at the Hollywood Palladium, 1942

Hayworth's two younger brothers, Eduardo Cansino Jr. and Vernon Cansino, both served in World War II. Vernon left the United States Army in 1946 with several medals, including the Purple Heart, and later married Susan Vail, a dancer. Eduardo Jr. followed Hayworth into acting; he was also under contract with Columbia Pictures. In 1950, he made his screen debut in The Great Adventures of Captain Kidd.

Hayworth was married and divorced five times. She had two grandsons: Marc McKerrow by Rebecca Welles, who married and had children, and Andrew Ali Aga Khan Embiricos by Yasmin Aga Khan, who died unmarried.

Relationship with Glenn Ford

Hayworth also had a long-term on-and-off 40-year affair with Glenn Ford, which they started during the filming of Gilda in 1945. Their relationship is documented in the 2011 biography Glenn Ford: A Life by Ford's son, Peter Ford. Ford later moved next door to her in Beverly Hills in 1960, and they continued their relationship for many years until the early 1980s.


Edward Charles Judson
Edward Judson and Hayworth featured in Photoplay, 1942

In 1937, when Hayworth was 18, she married Edward C. Judson, an oilman turned promoter who was more than twice her age. They married in Las Vegas. He had played a major role in launching her acting career. A shrewd businessman, he was domineering and became her manager for months before he proposed. "He helped me with my career", Hayworth conceded after they divorced, "and helped himself to my money." She alleged that Judson compelled her to transfer a considerable amount of her property to him, and she promised to pay him $12,000 under threats that he would do her "great bodily harm".

She filed for divorce from him on February 24, 1942.

Orson Welles
Wedding of Orson Welles and Hayworth with best man Joseph Cotten, 1943

Hayworth married Orson Welles on September 7, 1943, during the run of The Mercury Wonder Show. None of her colleagues knew about the planned wedding (before a judge) until she announced it the day before. For the civil ceremony, she wore a beige suit, a ruffled white blouse, and a veil. A few hours after they got married, they returned to work at the studio. They had a daughter, Rebecca, who was born on December 17, 1944, and died at the age of 59 on October 17, 2004.

On November 10, 1947, she was granted a divorce that became final the following year.

Prince Aly Khan
Hayworth and Aly Khan in Paris in 1952, before their divorce

In 1948, Hayworth left her film career to marry Prince Aly Khan, a son of Sultan Mahommed Shah, Aga Khan III, the leader of the Ismaili community of Shia Islam. They were married on May 27, 1949. Her bridal trousseau was designed by Jacques Fath.

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. Her filly, Double Rose, won several races in France and finished second in the 1949 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

In 1951, while still married to Hayworth, Khan was spotted dancing with the actress Joan Fontaine in the nightclub where he and Hayworth had met. Hayworth threatened to divorce him in Reno, Nevada. In early May, Hayworth moved to Nevada to establish legal residence to qualify for a divorce. She stayed at Lake Tahoe with their daughter, saying there was a threat the child would be kidnapped. Hayworth filed for divorce from Khan on September 2, 1951.

Hayworth once said she might convert to Islam, but did not. During the custody fight over their daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, born (1949-12-28)December 28, 1949, the prince said he wanted her to be raised as a Muslim; Hayworth wanted the child to be raised as a Christian.

In January 1953, Hayworth was granted a divorce from Aly Khan on the grounds of extreme mental cruelty. Her daughter Yasmin, only three years old, played about the court while the case was being heard, finally climbing on to the judge's lap.

Dick Haymes
Hayworth and Dick Haymes obtaining their marriage license in Las Vegas, 1953

When Hayworth and Dick Haymes first met, he was still married and his singing career was waning. When she showed up at the clubs, he got a larger audience. Haymes was desperate for money because two of his former wives were taking legal action against him for unpaid child support. His financial problems were so bad, he could not return to California without being arrested. On July 7, 1954, his ex-wife Nora Eddington got a bench warrant for his arrest, because he owed her $3,800 in alimony. Less than a week earlier, his other ex-wife, Joanne Dru, also got a bench warrant because she said he owed $4,800 in support payments for their three children. Hayworth ended up paying most of Haymes's debts.

Haymes was born in Argentina and did not have solid proof of American citizenship. Not long after he met Hayworth, U.S. officials initiated proceedings to have him deported to Argentina for being an illegal alien. He hoped Hayworth could influence the government and keep him in the United States. When she assumed responsibility for his citizenship, a bond was formed that led to marriage. The two were married on September 24, 1953, at the Sands Hotel, Las Vegas, and their wedding procession went through the casino.

After a tumultuous two years together, Hayworth packed her bags, walked out, and never returned.

James Hill
James Hill and Hayworth obtaining their marriage license in Santa Monica, 1958

Hayworth began a relationship with film producer James Hill, whom she went on to marry on February 2, 1958. He put her in one of her last major films, Separate Tables. This film was popular and highly praised, although The Harvard Lampoon named her the worst actress of 1958 for her performance. On September 1, 1961, Hayworth filed for divorce. Hill later wrote Rita Hayworth: A Memoir, in which he suggested that their marriage collapsed because he wanted Hayworth to continue making movies, while she wanted them both to retire from Hollywood.


Hayworth and Carol Burnett on The Carol Burnett Show (1971)
Lily Tomlin and Hayworth on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1971)
Hayworth reprising the role of Sadie Thompson on Laugh-In (1971)

In 1972, the 54-year-old Hayworth wanted to retire from acting, but she needed money. At the suggestion of Robert Mitchum, she agreed to film The Wrath of God. The experience exposed her poor health and her worsening mental state. Because she could not remember her lines, her scenes were shot one line at a time. In November, she agreed to complete one more movie, the British film Tales That Witness Madness, but because of her worsening health, she left the set and returned to the United States. She never returned to acting.

In March 1974, both of her brothers died within a week of each other, which caused her great sadness. In January 1976, at London's Heathrow Airport, Hayworth was removed from a TWA flight after having an angry outburst while traveling with her agent. The event attracted much negative publicity; a disturbing photograph was published in newspapers the next day. Hayworth later was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

In July 1981, Hayworth's health had deteriorated to the point that a judge in Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that she should be placed under the care of her daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan of New York City. Hayworth lived in an apartment at The San Remo on Central Park West adjoining that of her daughter, who arranged for her mother's care during her final years. When asked how her mother was doing, Yasmin replied, "She's still beautiful. But it's a shell."

In 1983, Rebecca Welles arranged to see her mother for the first time in seven years. Speaking to his lifelong friend Roger Hill, Orson Welles expressed his concern about the visit's effect on his daughter. "Rita barely knows me now", Welles said. He recalled seeing Hayworth three years before at an event which the Reagans held for Frank Sinatra. "When it was over, I came over to her table, and I saw that she was very beautiful, very reposed looking, and didn't know me at first. After about four minutes of speaking, I could see that she realized who I was, and she began to cry quietly."

In an interview which he gave the evening before his death in 1985, Welles called Hayworth "one of the dearest and sweetest women that ever lived".

Political views

Hayworth was a lifelong Democrat who was an active member of the Hollywood Democratic Committee and was active in the campaign of Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the 1944 presidential election.


Hayworth was a Catholic whose marriage to Prince Aly Khan was deemed "illicit" by Pope Pius XII.


Rita Hayworth's grave
Hayworth's grave at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California

Rita Hayworth lapsed into a semicoma in February 1987. She died at age 68, from complications associated with Alzheimer's disease, on May 14, 1987 at her home in Manhattan.

A funeral service was held on May 18, 1987, at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Pallbearers included actors Ricardo Montalbán, Glenn Ford, Cesar Romero, Anthony Franciosa, choreographer Hermes Pan, and a family friend, Phillip Luchenbill. She was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City. Her headstone includes Yasmin's sentiment: "To yesterday's companionship and tomorrow's reunion."


Film and television
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1926 Fiesta, LaLa Fiesta Short; credited as Rita Cansino
1934 Cruz Diablo Extra Uncredited
1935 In Caliente Credited as Rita Cansino
Under the Pampas Moon Carmen
Charlie Chan in Egypt Nayda
Dante's Inferno Dancer
Piernas de seda Ballerina Uncredited
Hi, Gaucho! Dolores
Paddy O'Day Tamara Petrovitch Credited as Rita Cansino
1936 Professional Soldier Gypsy Dancer
Human Cargo Carmen Zoro
Dancing Pirate Specialty Dancer Uncredited
Meet Nero Wolfe Maria Maringola Credited as Rita Cansino
Rebellion Paula Castillo Alternative title: Lady from Frisco
Credited as Rita Cansino
1937 Old Louisiana Angela Gonzales Alternative title: Louisiana Gal
Credited as Rita Cansino
Hit the Saddle Rita Credited as Rita Cansino
Trouble in Texas Carmen Serano
Criminals of the Air Rita Owens
Girls Can Play Sue Collins
Game That Kills, TheThe Game That Kills Betty Holland
Life Begins with Love Dinner Guest's Girl Friend Uncredited
Paid to Dance Betty Morgan Alternative title: Hard to Hold
Shadow, TheThe Shadow Mary Gillespie
1938 Who Killed Gail Preston? Gail Preston
Special Inspector Patricia Lane Alternative title: Across the Border
There's Always a Woman Mary—Ketterling's Secretary Uncredited
Convicted Jerry Wheeler
Juvenile Court Marcia Adams
Renegade Ranger, TheThe Renegade Ranger Judith Alvarez
1939 Homicide Bureau J.G. Bliss
Lone Wolf Spy Hunt, TheThe Lone Wolf Spy Hunt Karen
Only Angels Have Wings Judy MacPherson
1940 Music in My Heart Patricia O'Malley
Blondie on a Budget Joan Forrester
Susan and God Leonora Stubbs
Lady in Question, TheThe Lady in Question Natalie Roguin
1940 Angels Over Broadway Nina Barona
1941 Strawberry Blonde, TheThe Strawberry Blonde Virginia Brush
Affectionately Yours Irene Malcolm
Blood and Sand Doña Sol
You'll Never Get Rich Sheila Winthrop
1942 My Gal Sal Sally Elliott
Tales of Manhattan Ethel Halloway
You Were Never Lovelier Maria Acuña
1944 Cover Girl Rusty Parker/Maribelle Hicks
1945 Tonight and Every Night Rosalind Bruce
1946 Gilda Gilda Mundson Farrell
1947 Down to Earth Terpsichore/Kitty Pendleton
Lady from Shanghai, TheThe Lady from Shanghai Elsa Bannister
1948 Loves of Carmen, TheThe Loves of Carmen Carmen Also producer (uncredited)
1952 Affair in Trinidad Chris Emery Also producer (uncredited)
1953 Salome Princess Salome Alternative title:
Salome: The Dance of the Seven Veils
Also producer (uncredited)
Miss Sadie Thompson Sadie Thompson
1957 Fire Down Below Irena
Pal Joey Vera Prentice-Simpson
1958 Separate Tables Ann Shankland
1959 They Came to Cordura Adelaide Geary
Story on Page One, TheThe Story on Page One Josephine Brown/Jo Morris
1961 Happy Thieves, TheThe Happy Thieves Eve Lewis Also executive producer
1964 Circus World Lili Alfredo
1965 Money Trap, TheThe Money Trap Rosalie Kenny
1966 Poppy Is Also a Flower, TheThe Poppy Is Also a Flower Monique Marko Television film
1967 Rover, TheThe Rover Aunt Caterina Alternative title: L'avventuriero
1970 Road to Salina Mara Alternative title: La route de Salina
Naked Zoo, TheThe Naked Zoo Mrs. Golden
1971 Carol Burnett Show, TheThe Carol Burnett Show Herself TV series (Episode #4.20)
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In TV series (Episode #5.3)
1972 Wrath of God, TheThe Wrath of God Señora De La Plata


Rita Hayworth (1977)
Hayworth receives award from the National Film Society, 1978

Hayworth received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama for her performance in Circus World (1964).

In 1978, at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D. C., Hayworth was presented with the inaugural National Screen Heritage Award of the National Film Society, a group that published American Classic Screen magazine (1976–1984).

In 1999, Hayworth was acknowledged as one of the top-25 greatest female stars of Classic Hollywood cinema in the American Film Institute's survey, AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars.


The public disclosure and discussion of Hayworth's illness drew international attention to Alzheimer's disease, which was little known at the time, and it helped to greatly increase federal funding for Alzheimer's research.

The Rita Hayworth Gala, a benefit for the Alzheimer's Association, is held annually in Chicago and New York City. The program was founded in 1985 by Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, in honor of her mother. She is the hostess for the events and a major sponsor of Alzheimer's disease charities and awareness programs. As of August 2017, a total of more than $72 million had been raised through events in Chicago, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida.

On October 17, 2016, a press release from the Springer Associates Public Relations Agency announced that Rita Hayworth's former manager and friend, Budd Burton Moss, initiated a campaign to solicit the United States Postal Service to issue a commemorative stamp featuring Hayworth. Springer Associates also announced that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would be lobbied in hopes of having an honorary Academy Award issued in memory of Hayworth. The press release added that Hayworth's daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Los Angeles, and numerous prominent personalities of stage and screen were supporting the Moss campaign. The press release stated the target date for fulfillment of the stamp and Academy Award to be on October 17, 2018, on what will be the centennial of Hayworth's birth.

See also

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