Margarita Carmen Cansino, better known as Rita Hayworth was on stage from the age of six as part of the family vaudeville troupe named The Cansinos. She attracted the attention of Fox Studios and was signed by them at the tender age of sixteen. It was a lacklustre beginning as she was cast in minor roles in B-movies, however Columbia Pictures signed her in 1937, remaking her into an all American beauty and calling her Rita Hayworth.
Her break through came in Howard Hawks’ Only Angels Have Wings (1939), it brought her to the attention of the other studios, starring in Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s production of Susan and God (1940) by George Cukor and Warner Brother’s The Strawberry Blonde (1941) by Raoul Walsh. But it was while on loan to Fox Studios for Rouben Mamoulian’s Blood and Sand (1941) that she achieved stardom for her depiction of the amoral and seductive Dona Sol des Muire, forever branding her as one of Hollywood’s most beautiful redheads.
She was now one of the most famous women in the world, making the cover of Time magazine as Fred Astaire’s dancing partner in You’ll Never Get Rich (1941) and being photographed for Life magazine (kneeling on a bed in a silk and lace nightgown) which caused a sensation, selling over five million copies and becoming one of the most popular war-time pin-ups. Her erotic allure was most evident in Gilda (1946), directed by Charles Vidor and made Rita Hayworth into a cultural icon as the ultimate film noir femme fatale. She left her film career in 1948 to marry Prince Aly Khan (he would be her third husband, already having been married to Edward C. Judson and Orson Welles), the son of the Aga Khan. The marriage collapsed in 1951 and Rita returned to Hollywood starring in a string of hit movies – Affair in Trinidad (1952), Salome (1953) and Miss Sadie Thompson (1953). However, once again she disappeared from the silver screen for four years during her tumultuous marriage to Dick Haymes.
She returned in 1957 in Fire Down Below with Robert Mitchum and Jack Lemmon. She began to take on more mature roles in movies such as Separate Tales (1958) and They Came to Cordura (1959). However, by the late 1960s she was working in minor European productions.
Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland. Article source Russell Shortt, http://www.exploringireland.net