Name: Margarita Carmen Cansino

Birth Date: October 17, 1918

Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA

Death: May 14, 1987 in New York of Alzheimer's disease

Profession: Actress

Notable Works: Gilda, Only Angels Have Wings


Back to Top

The definitive femme fatale of the 1940s, Rita Hayworth was the Brooklyn-born daughter of Spanish dancer Eduardo Cansino and Ziegfeld Follies showgirl Volga Haworth. She joined the family dancing act in her early teens and made a few '30s films under her real name, Margarita Cansino, and with her real hair color (black), including Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935) and Meet Nero Wolfe (1936). Over the next few years -- at the urging of Columbia Studios and her first husband -- she reshaped her hairline with electrolysis, dyed her hair auburn, and adopted the name Rita Hayworth. Following her performance in Only Angels Have Wings (1939), she became a major leading lady to most of the big stars, including Tyrone Power, Fred Astaire, Charles Boyer, Gene Kelly, and her second and soon to be ex-husband Orson Welles in The Lady From Shanghai (1948). Hayworth then became involved in a tempestuous romance with married playboy Aly Khan, son of the Pakistani Muslim leader Aga Khan III, and they married in 1949. Following their divorce two years later, she was married to singer Dick Haymes from 1953 to 1955, and then for three years to James Hill, the producer of her film Separate Tables (1958). Her career had slowed down in the '50s and came to a virtual standstill in the '60s, when rumors of her supposed erratic and drunken behavior began to circulate. In reality, Hayworth was suffering from the first symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. For years, she would be cared for by her daughter Princess Yasmin Khan, and her death from the disease in 1987 gave it public attention that led to increased funding for medical research to find a cure.
~ All Movie Guide


Back to Top

That's Action (1977) .... Herself
Wrath of God, The (1972) .... Senora De La Plata
Naked Zoo, The (1971) .... Mrs. Golden
Road to Salina (1971) .... Mara
Bastardi, I (1968) .... Martha
Avventuriero, L' (1967) .... Aunt Caterina
Poppies Are Also Flowers (1966) .... Monique Markos
Money Trap, The (1965) .... Rosalie Kelly
Circus World (1964) .... Lili Alfredo
Happy Thieves, The (1962) .... Eve Lewis
Story on Page One, The (1959) .... Jo Morris
They Came to Cordura (1959) .... Adelaide Geary
Separate Tables (1958) .... Ann Shankland
Pal Joey (1957) .... Vera Simpson
Fire Down Below (1957) .... Irena
Miss Sadie Thompson (1953) .... Sadie Thompson
Salome (1953) .... Princess Salome
Champagne Safari (1952)
Affair in Trinidad (1952) .... Chris Emery
Loves of Carmen, The (1948) .... Carmen Garcia
Lady from Shanghai, The (1948) .... Mrs. Elsa 'Rosalie' Bannister
Down to Earth (1947) .... Terpsichore/Kitty Pendleton
Gilda (1946) .... Gilda
Tonight and Every Night (1945) .... Rosalind 'Roz' Bruce
Cover Girl (1944) .... Maribelle Hicks/Rusty Parker
You Were Never Lovelier (1942) .... Maria Acuna
Tales of Manhattan (1942) .... Ethel Halloway
My Gal Sal (1942) .... Sally Elliott
Strawberry Blonde, The (1941) .... Virginia Brush Barnstead
You'll Never Get Rich (1941) .... Sheila Winthrop
Blood and Sand (1941) .... Dona Sol des Muire
Affectionately Yours (1941) .... Irene Malcolm, aka Mrs. Murdock
Angels Over Broadway (1940) .... Nina Barone
Lady in Question, The (1940) .... Natalie Roguin aka Jean Renie
Susan and God (1940) .... Leonora Stubbs
Music in My Heart (1940) .... Patricia O'Malley
Blondie on a Budget (1940) .... Joan Forrester
Paid to Dance (1939) .... Betty Morgan
Only Angels Have Wings (1939) .... Judy McPherson
Lone Wolf Spy Hunt, The (1939) .... Karen
Homicide Bureau (1939) .... J.G. Bliss
Juvenile Court (1938) .... Marcia Adams
Renegade Ranger, The (1938) .... Judith Alvarez
Convicted (1938) .... Jerry Wheeler
There's Always a Woman (1938) .... Mary, Ketterling's Secretary
Who Killed Gail Preston? (1938) .... Gail Preston
Special Inspector (1938) .... Patricia Lane
Girls Can Play (1937) .... Sue Collins
Shadow, The (1937) .... Mary Gillespie
Life Begins with Love (1937)(uncredited) .... Girl Friend
Game That Kills, The (1937) .... Betty Holland
Criminals of the Air (1937) .... Rita
Trouble in Texas (1937)(as Rita Cansino) .... Carmen Serano
Hit the Saddle (1937)(as Rita Cansino) .... Rita
Old Louisiana (1937)(as Rita Cansino) .... Angela Gonzales
Meet Nero Wolfe (1936)(as Rita Cansino) .... Maria Maringola
Rebellion (1936)(as Rita Cansino) .... Paula Castillo
Human Cargo (1936)(as Rita Cansino) .... Carmen Zoro
Dancing Pirate (1936) .... Los Polomas Dancer
Paddy O'Day (1935)(as Rita Cansino) .... Tamara Petrovitch
Dante's Inferno (1935)(as Rita Cansino) .... Dancer
Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935)(as Rita Cansino) .... Nayda
Under the Pampas Moon (1935)(as Rita Cansino) .... Carmen
In Caliente (1935)(scenes deleted)
Cruz Diablo (1934)(uncredited) .... Extra
Anna Case with the Dancing Cansinos (1926)(uncredited) .... A Dancing Cansino
Fiesta, La (1926)(uncredited) .... Dancing child


Back to Top

-Married to Edward C. Judson (29 May 1937 - 24 May 1943) (divorced)

-Married to Orson Welles (7 September 1943 - 1 December 1948) (divorced) 1 daughter Rebecca Welles

-Married to Prince Aly Khan (27 May 1949 - 26 January 1953) (divorced) 1 daughter Yasmin Khan

-Married to Dick Haymes (24 September 1953 - 12 December 1955) (divorced)

-Married to James Hill (II) (2 February 1958 - September 1961) (divorced)

-Rita appeared in 5 movies with classic leading actor Glenn Ford best known for their romantic pairing in the classic hit Gilda (1946).

-Some legends say the Margarita cocktail was named for her when she was dancing under her real name in a Tijuana, Mexico nightclub.

-The famous Bob Landry photo of Rita in "Life", 11 August 1941, p. 33, made her the number 2 soldier pin-up of World War II.

-Rita's singing was dubbed by Nan Wynn (1941-44), Martha Mears (1945), Anita Ellis (1946-48), and Jo Ann Greer (1952-57).

-Daughters: Rebecca Welles, born 17 December 1945; Yasmin Khan born 28 December 1949.

-Her face was glued onto an A-bomb which was dropped on the Bikini Atol during a test in 1946.

-In 1947 started her own production company "Beckworth Corporation" It was dissolved in 1954 under advice from her 4th husband, Dick Haymes

-The famous red hair was not her natural colour (it was black). When she was signed, studio heads decided that her hairline was too low on her forehead, and she underwent years of painful electrolysis to make it higher.