Thursday, April 9, 2015

H is for Rita Hayworth

 
 

Born: October 17, 1918

Died: May 14, 1987

Aged: 68 years from Alzheimers

Real Name: Margarita Carmen Cansino

Marriages: 5 times-Orson Welles, Prince Aly Khan, Dick Haymes

Affairs: Victor Mature, Glenn Ford, Gary Merrill

Famous Partner: Glenn Ford

Famous Cousin: Ginger Rogers

Known as the "Love Goddess" she would have rather been a housewife and mother. Famous for her red hair and her beauty was the 2nd biggest pin-up for the GI's. They actually placed her picture on the first atomic bomb that exploded at Bikini, Atoll. Her demanding and domineering father taught her dancing and they toured as the great Cansini's. He also sexually molested her (bastard). When she was picked up by Columbia Pictures, she underwent painful electrolysis to  raise her hairline, dyed her black hair red and went on a diet to achieve her Goddess look. Despite her beauty she was shy, unassuming who had a strong work ethic and was very un-diva like. She was an excellent dancer who partnered with both Fred Astaire (twice) and Gene Kelly. It is actually said that she was Fred Astaire's favourite dance partner. She married Orson Welles and they were known as "Beauty and the Brain". She felt intimidated by his intelligence and when they made "The Lady of Shanghai" together he had her beautiful locks cut and died platinum much to the regret of her fans. It is rumoured this was done in spite but who knows. After she divorced Welles she married Prince Ali Khan and became the first Hollywood star to become a princess. When this marriage went south, she had to escape quickly with her daughter under an assumed name since his religion, she feared,  would have forbade her to keep her daughter. By the early 60's she was forgetting her lines and becoming quite emotional. The doctors and the public labeled her an alcoholic. In fact I remember, as a kid, hearing reports that she was an alcoholic. It was not until 1980 that she was confirmed as having early onset Alzheimers. Her daughter, Yasmin Khan took care of her until she passed away.

Films: "Only Angels Have Wings", "The Strawberry Blonde", "Blood and Sand", "You were never Lovelier", "You'll Never Get Rich", "Covergirl", "Gilda", "The Lady From Shanghai", "Pal Joey"

Quote: "Every man I have ever known has fallen in love with Gilda and awakened with me".

Films in bold are the ones to start with but, as you know, they are all great.


67 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I know-there are so many who led sad lives overall. I didn't even think about this until I am hearing everyone's responses

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  2. Now you're talking! Talk about old Hollywood, she was it!

    I've told the story about my Grandma's drawing. Every woman she drew looked like Rita Hayworth. I think it was the form she mastered and she stuck with it.

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    1. She was! Your mom must have been a big fan

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  3. Isn't that interesting that she wanted to be just a mother and a wife, when there are mothers/wives out here who would want to be an actress. I am glad her daughter took care of her in her final years when she was suffering from Alzheimer's.

    betty

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    1. Yes-she was not really ambitious at all but she was so pretty and great in front of the camera plus a gifted dancer. She is the reason that Alzheimer's was first truly discussed about. Her daughter headed up one of the first clinics dealing just with this disease. She did have another daughter with Orson Welles but I never heard of her helping out. There always seems to be just one care giver in the family

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  4. Definitely heard of her, never knew about the having to escape with her daughter though.

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    1. I have read this in more than one book. He was of Islam faith and she was scared that due to his faith she may not have been allowed to leave with her daughter so she had to escape-not many people knew about this

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  5. How sad. Her father was horrible and doesn't sound like her husbands were much better.

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    1. Her father was one nasty SOB. This is why she kept choosing the wrong men

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  6. I did not know she was married to Dick Haymes and was Ginger Roger's cousin. You do great research!

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    1. I knew about Ginger Rogers years ago and I think it was through their mothers. Yup she was married to Dick Haynes briefly

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  7. She was one of the most beautiful actresses of her time. The sexual abuse left her so vulnerable for further abusive men.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog!

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    1. Yes it did and there was nothing out there for women back in those days

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  8. Wow, 5 marriages. Odd she wanted to be a wife and mother with that track record of failed marriages and an almost as long list of affairs. No doubt her being abused ruined her whole life, very sad. She was beautfiul.

    <a href="http://homelessbridge.blogspot.com/>Sandy at Bridge and Beyond</a>

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    1. I think she just wanted a more simple life. She was not the Diva at all despite her beauty. She just wanted to be loved for who she was.

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  9. It goes to show that even people who - outwardly - have it all can be disappointed and heartbroken in their private life.

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    1. That is true in so many ways. Sometimes I think we are very lucky if we are happy and have a good relationship and friends...wait we are!

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  10. Forgot to say thanks for visiting the UR blog today! Durrr...
    River Fairchild – A to Z April Challenge
    Untethered Realms

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  11. Rita Hayworth - was'nt she the pin up girl whose distracting picture hid the escape route in 'The Shawshank redemption'
    I will make sure i watch one of her movies.

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    1. Yup you are correct! That picture was a fluke. She was adjusting herself and the photographer told her to hold her breath and he took the picture. One of the flashbulbs didn't go off but that just seem to enhance the picture

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  12. I had no idea she was of hispanic descent. Or that one could have their hairline raised. It sounds like her daughter was loving, loyal and generous.

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    1. Yes her dad was Spanish but I think her mom was English. Irish. She had jet black hair and what she had to go through-ick! Her daughter every year raises money in her honour for Alzheimer's research

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  13. Such a beautiful lady. I'm disheartened to hear she was molested. I'm sure it affected everything she did and felt in life. Then to have Hollywood remake her like that. She must have felt like a nobody at times. Sorry...still reacting to the molestation. I'm glad her daughter was there for her in the end. Did not know she had married a prince. Thanks for another great post, Birgit!

    Inventions by Women A-Z
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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    1. That abuse one carries with one for their whole life and does interfere with how one looks at the world. She did and he was of Islamic faith so, when their marriage went south she knew she had to get out-brave woman!

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  14. I fell in love with Rita Hayworth when I saw her in "You Were Never Lovelier," dancing with Fred Astaire. I can see why he loved dancing with her.

    John Holton
    Blogging from A to Z 2015 Cohost
    The Sound of One Hand Typing

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    1. He did because she was the right height, she had no airs, she was dedicated to her craft and worked as hard as he did plus her beauty must have helped:) That film is wonderful-I have it:)

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  15. How very sad. People with diabetes suffering from sugar lows are often thought to be drunk too. How awful - I hate Alzheimer's.

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    1. Yes how true-I have hypoglycemia and many thought I was drunk when I was having a sugar low. My mom has dementia and I hate it-it robs people of their dignity. The last few years Ms. Hayworth just stared out the window. Thank God they had the money to keep her in her own home and her daughter is beautiful in many ways

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  16. BIRGIT ~
    The only Hayworth movies I've seen (at least from this list you provided) are "Blood and Sand" and "Pal Joey". I may have seen "The Lady From Shanghai", although I'm probably thinking of a different movie. (I'm thinking of a Noirish film that also included a very young Gene Tierney - who I'm still hopelessly mad about, being the most beautiful woman God ever created).

    Gee, I sure hope you're going to use Tierney for "T". What a story there, too! With the tragic circumstances regarding her child's birth defect and the weird twist that may have explained it.

    I would watch ANY movie with Gene Tierney in it, SOLELY because she was in it. There aren't many other Hollywood performers I could say that about: John Wayne, James Dean, William Holden, Judy Holliday, and Charles Coburn (the great character actor). That's pretty much it.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. You should watch Only Angels Have Wings since you get great actors from Hayworth early in her career to Jean Arthur whom I already wrote about-Cary Grant, Thomas Mitchell and Richard Barthelmess(craps need to look up his last name). I looked it up in one of my books and it does not seem Gene Tierney was in this film. You must love her overbite:) Love the actors you mention here.

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    2. Yeah, her overbite - it was the one, tiny imperfection that made her appear more human rather than a doll that every man in the country would dream up. And, interestingly, her overbite somehow only added to her attractiveness instead of detracting from it.

      Yes, I'll need to see that one. It sounds pretty good and that's an excellent cast.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    3. "The Lady From Shanghai"

      >>... I looked it up in one of my books and it does not seem Gene Tierney was in this film.

      I've figured it out: The movie I had in mind was "The Shanghai Gesture". Gene Tierney, Victor Mature, and Walter Huston; directed by Josef von Sternberg.

      I knew I would make a mistake someday, but I didn't think it would occur so soon in my young life.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    4. Hahahaaaa-Now I know the film you speak of which I have not seen! Hawkweye Pierce from M.A.S.H. would hate anyone who would try to change her overbite

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  17. She is a gorgeous lady, I knew nothing about her otherwise... thank you.

    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

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  18. Oh my gosh. She had her struggles too didn't she.
    If you're taking requests, wink wink, I'd love to hear about Maureen O'Hara.

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    1. Heheheeeee stop guessing:) but she is one of my favs

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  19. I heard about people having electrolysis back then because they were obsessed with hairlines. Odd! That was the 50s version of Botox, I guess. I like her real name, though: Margarita. So pretty. I guess that was too complicated for movie stars back then. Funny how they all changed their names in those days and now they just go by whatever their names are most of the time.

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    1. Oh that name was too foreign! There is no way one could have a truly foreign name unless it worked to your advantage like Marlene Dietrich. I love her original name

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    2. John Wayne's name was Marion.
      Hmm...Marion Wayne.
      Yeah. Didn't think so, either.

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    3. Marion Morrison-Now how many is that!

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  20. I love your theme, and your decorative letters!

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    1. Thank you-the letter I find off the internet:)

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  21. She's an icon, and so beautiful and talented!

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com

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  22. She made a return as a pin up girl in the Shawshank Redemption and the actual name of Stephen King's novella was Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. I don't normally like prison movies but this one was outstanding.

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    1. She did at that and they even had a clip of her from "Gilda". Shawshank Redemtion is one of my all time favourite films!

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  23. What a sad end to a sad, though incredibly gifted, life.

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  24. Ginger Rogers was her cousin???

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  25. Such a beautiful woman. Her later years are so tragic, Alzheimers is so tragic but it seems so much worse when it's not diagnosed.

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    1. She was, I believe, the reason Alzheimer's started to be looked at more seriously. Everyone used to just say, "they're just senile" or they're old" and not give it much merit. When she passed away, the news started talking about Alzheimers and it started to be given a voice so I guess we have her to thank and her daughter!

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  26. I had no idea Ginger Rogers was Rita's cousin. I guess gorgeous looks really ran in that family, huh? I love both those actresses. I miss the old movies and movie stars. They were bigger than life. All the stars now are just rather mundane. Great post!

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    1. Thanks:) Yup they were cousins and these stars were the best in my eyes too

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  27. Rita seems like a girl after my own heart! A little bit snarky and a whole lot of sexy confidence. Super cool write up.

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    1. Thanks so much-hmmm I wonder if you could take her glamour and create a card as in inspiration:) I was thinking of that:)

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  28. what a lot of comments- seems like we all lover her Hollywood glamour. Glad her daughter took care of her.

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    1. Yup and she is true Hollywood Glamour

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  29. Beauty and the Brain, I hope she took that as a compliment, she looks wonderful.

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    1. I'm not sure because she wanted to be known for more than just that plus she was intimidated by Welles's intelligence

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  30. I never knew about all the sadness in Rita Hayworth's life before. It's even more tragic that it began with her father's molestation. Unfortunately, other people suffering from alzheimer's were probably also mistaken for alcoholics before the disease became more widely publicized.

    Julie

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    1. I agree-they were often considered drunkards or just went crazy and placed in mental institutions or just saying "senile"-real shame but she really helped bring Alzheimers to the forefront

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