Margarita Carmen Cansino was born on October 17, 1918,
in Brooklyn, New York. Little Margarita began dancing at
the age of six. Her father was Latin dancer Eduardo Cansino
and at twelve years of age, she joined her fathers
stage act. She appeared in nightclubs and caught the eye
of film directors, which led to her success in B-rated pictures.
In the early 1930s while dancing in her fathers
act, Rita Hayworth was noticed by the head of Fox Studio,
Winfield Sheehan. He signed Miss Hayworth to a contract,
and Hayworth soon made her film debut in "Dantes
Inferno" in 1935. After appearing in five small
roles, her contract was dropped. During this time, she was
married to her first husband, Edward Judson. Through his
constant promotion, Edward soon had his beloved bride signed
to a contract with Columbia. Studio head Harry Cohn changed
Margaritas name to Rita Hayworth and had her sent
for electrolysis to raise her hairline. After appearing
in thirteen bit parts, Miss Hayworth was on loan to Warner
Brothers where she got her first film break in the movie
"The Strawberry Blonde," which was released
in 1941. Before this, the young star dyed her hair red,
which helped to get her career launched for larger roles.
Her marriage to Edward Judson came to an end.
In the 1940s, Hayworth co-starred with both Fred Astaire
and Gene Kelley in films. She was a natural in front of
the camera. She was cast in musicals although the singing
voice was dubbed and as time went on, she was cast in more
For a short duration, Hayworth was a pin-up girl like
Betty Grable. This came to a
screeching halt because she was involved in a romantic scandal
in 1949. She was involved with Prince Aly Khan, whom she
eventually married; the marriage lasted approximately five
to six years. The movies Miss Hayworth made after her divorce
to the prince were touted as the best performances she had
During the 1960s, most of Hayworth's film work was in
Europe. When she filmed a movie in the United States, her
roles were small bit parts. She was married five times.
This was around the same time she was being affected by
an early onset (at age 42) of Alzheimers Disease.
The diagnosis wasnt made until 1980, but because of
the progression of the disease, Miss Hayworth was given
smaller roles. In 1981, Rita Hayworth was no longer able
to take care of herself. She died on May 14, 1987, in New
York at age sixty-eight.