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Rita Hayworth Authentic Original Signed Glamour Photograph Autographed For Sale
RITA HAYWORTH AUTHENTIC ORIGINAL SIGNED GLAMOUR PHOTOGRAPH AUTOGRAPHED
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DESCRIPTION: Actress RITA HAYWORTH authentic original signed photograph. This glamour image is autographed with a black ink marker pen.
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- SIZE: approx. 8" X 10"
- TONE: B&W
- FINISH: glossy
- CONDITION: Excellent (Please note that I am extremely condition conscious so I always point out the slightest anomalies)
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RITA HAYWORTH BIO
(October 17, 1918– May 14,
1987) was an American film actress and dancer who attained fame during the
1940s not only as one of the era's top stars,
but also as a great sex symbol, most
notably in Gilda (1946). She
appeared in 61 films over 37 years and is listed as one of the American Film
Institute's Greatest Stars of All Time.
Born Margarita Carmen
Cansino in Brooklyn,
New York City,
she was the daughter of flamenco dancer Eduardo Cansino,
who was himself a Sephardic Jewish Spaniard from Castilleja de la Cuesta (Seville), and Ziegfeld girl Volga Hayworth who was of Irish
and English Her father wanted her to become a dancer while her mother hoped she
would become an actress. Her
grandfather, Antonio Cansino, was the most renowned exponent in his day of Spain's
classical dances; he made the bolero famous.
His dancing school in Madrid
was world famous. He gave Hayworth
her first instruction in dancing.
descent. She was raised as a Roman
"I didn't like it
very much," revealed Hayworth, "but I didn't have the courage to tell my
father, so I began taking the
lessons. Rehearse, rehearse,
rehearse, that was my girlhood."
"From the time I was
three and a half," Hayworth
as soon as I could stand on my own feet,
I was given dance lessons." She
attended dance classes every day for a few years in a Carnegie Hall complex
under the instruction of her uncle Angel Cansino.
By the age of eight, Cansino and his family had moved west to Hollywood, where he established his own dance studio. Famous Hollywood
luminaries received specialized training from Cansino himself, including James Cagney and Jean Harlow.
Rita Hayworth's rise to
fame was a silver lining of the Great Depression.
The family's investments were wiped out instantly.
Musicals were no longer in vogue.
Interest in her father's work collapsed as dancing classes were no longer
foremost on anybody's mind during difficult economic times. But,
when his nephew's dancing partner in a theater play broke a leg, her mother suggested her daughter could replace
him: "Margarita can do it!"
Her mother's idea led to
her father having an epiphany. He
saw his daughter could be his partner in a dancing team called "The
Dancing Cansinos". Since
Hayworth was not of legal age to work in nightclubs and bars according to
California state law, she and her
father traveled across the border to the city of Tijuana in Mexico, a popular tourist spot for Los Angeles citizens in
the early 1930s. Hayworth performed
in such spots as the Foreign Club and the Caliente Club.
It was at the Caliente
Club where Hayworth was first discovered by the head of the Fox Film Corporation,
Winfield Sheehan. A week later, Hayworth was brought to Hollywood to make a screen test for Fox. Impressed by her screen persona, Sheehan signed Hayworth (who was now being
referred to as Rita Cansino) to a short-term six-month contract.
During her time at Fox, Hayworth appeared in five pictures, in which her roles were neither important nor
memorable. By the end of her
six-month contract, Fox had now
merged into 20th Century Fox, with
Darryl F. Zanuck serving as the
executive producer. Taking little
concern for Sheehan's interest in her,
Zanuck decided not to renew her contract.
By this time, Hayworth was eighteen years old and she married
businessman Edward C. Judson, who was twice her age.
Feeling that Hayworth still had screen potential,
despite just being dropped by Fox,
Judson managed to get her the lead roles in several independent films and
finally managed to arrange a screen test for her with Columbia Pictures. Studio head Harry Cohn soon signed her to a
long-term contract, slowly casting
Hayworth in small roles in Columbia
Cohn argued that
Hayworth's image was too much of a Mediterranean style,
which caused Hayworth to be cast into stereotypical Hispanic roles. She began to undergo a painful electrolysis to
broaden her forehead and accentuate her widow's peak.
When Hayworth returned to Columbia, she had transformed into a redhead and changed her
name to Rita Hayworth (Hayworth from her mother's maiden name).
Hayworth had an awkward
transition from teen nightclub dancer to major movie star.
She was a dancer first and foremost; acting was an afterthought seen as a way
to earn a living.
Gossip columnist Louella
Parsons did not think Hayworth would be successful.
She met Hayworth just when she was starting out,
and saw her as a "painfully shy” girl who “couldn’t look strangers in the
eye” and whose voice was so low it could hardly be heard.
In 1935, when Hayworth was 17,
she was dropped from the movie Ramona and replaced by Loretta Young. "It was the worst disappointment of my life," Hayworth said.
She was devastated but did not give up.
In 1937, she appeared in five minor Columbia pictures and
three minor independent movies. In
1938, Hayworth appeared in five more
Columbia B films.
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.
A large box-office success, fan mail
for Hayworth began pouring into Columbia's
publicity department and Cohn began to see Hayworth as his first and official
new star (the studio had never officially had large stars under contract, except for Jean Arthur,
who was trying to break out of her Columbia
Cohn began to build
Hayworth up the following year, in
features such as Music in My Heart,
The Lady in Question, and Angels
Over Broadway. He even loaned
Hayworth out to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to appear in Susan and God, opposite Joan Crawford.
On loan to Warner Brothers,
Hayworth appeared as the second female lead in The Strawberry Blonde
(1941), opposite James CagneyOlivia
de Havilland. A large box-office
success, Hayworth's popularity rose
and she immediately became one of Hollywood's
hottest properties. So impressed was
Warner Brothers that they tried to buy Hayworth's contract from Columbia, but Harry Cohn refused to release her. and
Her success in that film
led to an even more important supporting role in Blood and Sand (1941), opposite Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell, ironically by Fox,
the studio that had dropped her six years before.
In one of her most notable screen roles,
Hayworth played the first of many screen sirens as the temptress Dona Sol des
Muire. This was another box-office
smash, Hayworth receiving strong
Hayworth 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.
So successful was the picture that the following year,
another Astaire-Hayworth picture was released You Were Never Lovelier. In 1942,
Hayworth also appeared in two other pictures,
Tales of Manhattan and My Gal Sal.
It was during this period
that Hayworth posed for a famous pin-up in Life Magazine,
which showed her in a negligee perched seductively over her bed. When the U.S. joined World War II in December 1941, Hayworth's image was admired by millions of
servicemen, making her one of the
top two pin-up girls of the war years,
the other being creamy blonde Betty Grable.
In 2002, the satin nightgown she
wore for the picture sold for $26,888.
Her erotic appeal was
most notable in Charles Vidor's black-and-white film noir Gilda (1946), with Glenn Ford,
which encountered some difficulty with censors.
This role–in which Hayworth in black satin performed a legendary one-glove
striptease–made her into a cultural icon as the ultimate femme fatale. Alluding to her bombshell status, in 1946 her likeness was placed on the first
nuclear bomb to be tested after World War II (at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific
Ocean's Marshall Islands)
as part of Operation Crossroads.
Hayworth performed one of
her best-remembered dance routines,
the samba from Tonight and Every Night (1945),
while pregnant with her first child,
Rebecca Welles (daughter with Orson Welles). Hayworth was also the first dancer to partner with
both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly on film–the others being Judy Garland, Cyd Charisse,
Vera-Ellen, and Leslie Caron.
Hayworth delivered one of
her most acclaimed performances in Welles's The Lady from Shanghai
(1947). Its failure at the box
office was attributed in part to director/co-star Welles having had Hayworth's
famous red locks cut off and the remainder of her hair dyed blonde for her role. This was done without Cohn's knowledge or approval
and he was furious over the change.
Her next film, The Loves of
Carmen (1948), again with Glenn
Ford, was the first film co-produced
by Columbia and Hayworth's own production
company, The Beckworth Corporation
(named for her daughter Rebecca); it was Columbia's
biggest moneymaker for that year.
She received a percentage of the profits from this and all her subsequent films
until 1955 when she dissolved Beckworth to pay off debts she owed to Columbia.
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 My Client Curley
(During this period in Hollywood
actors did not get to choose their films as they do today; they also had
salaries instead of a fixed amount per picture.)
In 1945, Hayworth received notice of
her suspension by her employers,
Columbia Pictures, "on the day
she entered the maternity hospital in Hollywood.
In 1947, Rita Hayworth's new contract with Columbia provided a salary of US$250,000 plus 50% of film profits.
In 1951 Columbia alleged it had $800,000 invested in properties for her, including the film she walked out on when she left
married Aly Khan. She was suspended
again for failing to report for work,
this time for Affair in Trinidad. In 1952 she refused to report for work because
"she objected to the script."
In 1955, she sued to get out of a
contract with the studio, asking for
her $150,000 salary, alleging filming failed to start work when agreed.
"I was in Switzerland
when they sent me the script for Affair in Trinidad and I threw it
across the room. But I did the
picture, and Pal JoeyHarry
I came back to Columbia
because I wanted to work and first,
see, I had to finish that goddamn
contract, which is how owned me!"
"Harry Cohn thought
of me as one of the people he could exploit,"
alleged Hayworth, "and make a
lot of money. And I did make a lot
of money for him, but not much for
Hayworth was still upset
and its head Harry Cohn many years after her film career had ended and he was
dead. "I used to have to punch
a time clock at Columbia," lamented Hayworth.
"Every day of my life. That's
what it was like. I was under
exclusive contract -- like they owned me... He
felt that he owned me... I
think he had my dressing room bugged... He was
very possessive of me as a person -- he didn't want me to go out with anybody, have any friends.
No one can live that way. So I
fought him ... You want to know what I think of Harry Cohn? He
was a monster."
Another source of
"gnawing resentment" for Hayworth was her studio's failure to train
her to sing or even encourage her to learn how to sing.
She was dubbed. The public didn't
know this closely guarded secret,
and she ended up embarrassed because she was constantly asked by the troops to
"I wanted to study
singing," Hayworth complained, "but Harry Cohn kept saying, 'Who needs it?' and the studio wouldn't pay for it. They had me so intimidated that I couldn't have
done it anyway. They always said, 'Oh, no, we can't let you do it.
There's no time for that; it has to be done right now!' I was under contract, and that was it."
Although Cohn had a
reputation as a hard taskmaster, he
also had legitimate criticisms of Hayworth.
He had invested heavily in her before she began a reckless affair with a
married man (Aly Khan) even though it could have caused a backlash against her
career and Columbia's
success. Indeed a British newspaper
called for a boycott of Hayworth's films.
must be told," said The
People, "its already
tarnished reputation will sink to rock bottom if it restores this reckless
woman to a place among its stars."
Cohn himself expressed
his frustration with Hayworth's relationships in an interview with Time
magazine. "Hayworth might be
worth ten million dollars today easily! She owned 25% of the profits with her
own company and had hit after hit and she had to get married and had to get out
of the business and took a suspension because she fell in love again! In five
years, at two pictures a year, at 25%! Think of what she could have made! But she
didn't make pictures! She took two or three suspensions! She got mixed up with
different characters! Unpredictable!"
After her marriage to Aly
Khan collapsed in 1951, Hayworth
returned to America
with great fanfare to star in a string of hit films: Affair in Trinidad
(1952) with favorite co-star Glenn Ford,
Salome (1953) with Charles Laughton and Stewart Granger, and Miss Sadie ThompsonJosé Ferrer and Aldo
Ray, for which her performance won
critical acclaim. Then she was off
the big screen for another four years,
due mainly to a tumultuous marriage to singer Dick Haymes.
After making Fire Down
Below (1957) with Robert Mitchum and Jack Lemmon,
and her last musical Pal Joey (1957) with Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak, Hayworth finally left Columbia.
She received good reviews for her acting in such films as Separate Tables
(1958) with Burt Lancaster and David Niven,
and The Story on Page One (1960) with Anthony Franciosa, and continued working throughout the 1960s. In 1962,
her planned Broadway debut in Step on a Crack was cancelled for health
She continued to act in
films until the early 1970s and made a well-publicized 1971 television
appearance on The Carol Burnett Show.
Her last film was The
Wrath of God (1972).
Rita Hayworth was a top
glamour girl in the 1940s. She was a
pin-up girl for military servicemen and a beauty icon for women. At 5'6" (168 cm) and 120lb (55 kgs) she
was tall for women of her time and her height was a concern to her movie star
dancing partners like Fred Astaire.
Hayworth got her big
motion picture break because she was willing to change her hair color whereas
another actress was unwilling. She
changed her hair color eight times in eight movies.
Although she was never a
fashion icon, Hayworth had a unique
beauty style. From the time she
became a celebrity until she died she had natural long nails. "I take care of my nails myself," she said.
"I find my cuticle never tears and my nails don't break if I rub cream
into them every night." She was
once the cover girl of Nails magazine.
In 1940 she started a manicure trend.
Hers were longer than previously worn,
more oval than pointed, and fully
covered with shocking pink polish. (Previously there was no polish covering the moon
of the nail or the tip.)
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.
Barbara Leaming writes in
her biography of Hayworth If This Was Happiness: A Biography of Rita Hayworth
(1989), that due to her fondness for
alcohol and stressful lifestyle,
Hayworth aged before her time.
Re-appearing in New York
to begin work on her first film in three years in 1956 "despite the
artfully applied make-up and shoulder-length red hair,
there was no concealing the ravages of drink and stress.
Deep lines had crept around her eyes and mouth,
and she appeared worn,
exhausted— older than her thirty-eight years."
Leaming goes on to report that on the filming of Fire Down Below she
overheard a remark apparently unintended for her ears that she should hurry up
as 'no amount of time was going to make her look any younger.' Additionally,
while in San Francisco
the following year filming Pal Joey she was signing autographs when one
fan blurted out 'She looks so old'.
In the first case Hayworth is reported to have cried and in the second, although she blanked it at the time, it was clear that her premature aging was a
sensitive subject to her. It was
also one which meant she had to be carefully lit in films for the rest of her
The following were movies
and roles that Hayworth either was considered for,
turned down by Hayworth herself,
replaced with someone else, or never
sufficed, for various reasons.
A Message To Garcia (1936) Hayworth had a small
role as the sister of Barbara Stanwyck but it was deleted before general
Ramona (1936) Hayworth made color screen tests for the role
but Hayworth was later dropped from Fox and given to Loretta Young.
The Lady Escapes (1937) Also a Fox feature, Hayworth was dropped before appearing in a
Spanish language version of this picture.
Holiday (1938) She tested for the
role of the sister of Katharine Hepburn but the role was given to Doris
Convicted Woman (1940) This would have been
Hayworth's first feature with Glenn Ford but she was eventually loaned out
to appear in MGM's Susan and God.
Boom Town (1940) Hayworth made a
screen test for this picture,
but the role instead went to MGM contractee Hedy Lamarr.
Tars and Spurs (1946) Hayworth was the
first choice for the role but pregnancy forced her to drop out. The role was given to Janet Blair.
Dead Reckoning (1947) Hayworth demanded a
complete rewrite for this picutre and was replaced by Lizabeth Scott.
In the mid-1940s,
Fox considered a musicial biography of the Duncan sisters and had planned to pair
Hayworth with Betty Grable. But
the studio was not able to obtain legal clearance.
In 1947, Columbia cast
Hayworth in a Technicolor western called Lona Hanson, which was to pair her with William Holden. It was first postponed and later cancelled.
Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949) Hayworth was placed
on suspension and was replaced with Lucille Ball.
Born Yesterday (1950) Although purchased
especially for Hayworth, Judy
Holliday reprised her stage role and won the Academy Award for Best
From Here to Eternity (1953) Hayworth demanded a
vacation before shooting this picture.
Deborah Kerr soon accepted the role.
Human Desire (1954) Hayworth failed to appear for the
first scenes, was placed on
suspension, and replaced with
Hayworth was given the female lead in a biblical film
Joseph and His Brethren.
The film was cancelled after Cohn refused to allow ex-husbands Orson
Welles and Dick Haymes to appear.
The Barefoot Contessa (1954) Hayworth turned down
the role made famous by Ava Gardner.
Hayworth felt there were too many similarities in it from her own life.
Hayworth was given the lead in I Want My Mother!
but the film was cancelled.
Hayworth would have played the mother of a psychopathic killer awaiting
execution in San Quentin.
Hayworth was given the lead in the film version There
Must Be A Pony but it was later cancelled.
She would have played a fading film star in a suicide scandal.
Welcome to Hard Times (1967) Hayworth was supposed
to co-star with Glenn Ford but eventually both dropped out.
She was offered one of the female leads in a horror
film along with Lana Turner in the late 1960s but turned down the offer.
Tales That Witness Madness (1973) Hayworth worked for
four days on this film then quit without explanation and was replaced by
Hayworth also admitted
that she would have liked to play the lead role in Yerma.
Naturally shy and
reclusive, Hayworth was the
antithesis of the characters she played.
"I naturally am very shy,"
she said, "and I suffer from an
inferiority complex." She once
complained, "Men fell in love
with Gilda, but they wake up with me." With typical modesty she later remarked that
the only films she could watch without laughing were the dance musicals she
made with Fred Astaire. "I
guess the only jewels of my life,"
Hayworth said, "were the
pictures I made with Fred Astaire."
She was close to her
frequent co-star and next-door neighbor Glenn Ford.
In an interview published in the New York Times,
Hayworth denied she was involved with Ford.
Hayworth had two younger
brothers: Vernon Cansino and Eduardo Cansino,
Jr. They were both soldiers in World
War II. Vernon left the United States Army in 1946
with several medals, including the
Purple Heart. He married Susan Vail, a dancer.
Eduardo Cansino Jr. followed
Hayworth into acting; he was also under contract with Columbia Pictures. In 1950 he made his screen debut in Magic
Elisa Cansino, her aunt,
ran a dancing school in San Francisco. Her nephew Richard Cansino,
is a voice actor in anime and video games; he
has done most of his work under the name "Richard Hayworth."
Barbara Leaming claims in
her bio book, If This Was
Happiness: A Biography of Rita Hayworth (1989),
that as a child and teenager, Hayworth
was a victim of physical and sexual abuse by her father.
Leaming also claims that through her life,
Hayworth was never without a boyfriend for long,
with her choice of partners becoming increasingly poor.
Hayworth had five
marriages, which all ended in
divorce, with each one lasting five
years or less:
Charles Judson (1937–1942);
Welles (1943–1948, one daughter: Rebecca Welles (1944-2004));
Aly Khan (1949–1953, one daughter:
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan);
Haymes (1953–1955); and,
"Basically, I am a good,
gentle person," Hayworth once
said, "but I am attracted to
Hayworth was only 18 when, in 1937,
she married Edward Judson, a
domineering man more than twice her age.
They eloped in Las Vegas. He was an oilman turned promoter who had played a
major role in launching her acting career.
He was a shrewd businessman 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 Judson compelled her to transfer considerable property to him and
promise 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 with the complaint of cruelty.
She also noted to the press that his work took him to Oklahoma
and Texas while she lived and worked in Hollywood. Judson was as old as her father, who was enraged by the marriage, which caused a rift between Hayworth and her
parents until the divorce. Judson
neglected to inform Hayworth before they married that he had previously been
married twice. When she finally
walked out on him, she literally had
no money. She asked her friend, Hermes Pan,
if she could eat at his home,
because she didn't have any money to buy food.
Rita Hayworth then rushed
into a marriage with Orson Welles on September 7,
1943. None of her colleagues even
knew about the planned marriage (before a judge) until she announced it the day
before they got married. For the
civil ceremony she wore a beige suit,
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. After marital struggles, and a final attempt at reconciliation, Hayworth said he told her he didn't want to be
tied down by marriage.
In 1948 she left her film
career to marry Prince Aly Khan, a
son of Sultan Mahommed Shah, Aga
Khan III, the leader of the Ismaili
sect of Shia Islam. They were
married on May 27, 1949. Her bridal trousseau was Dior's New Look—
after seeing her wearing it, every
woman began to wear the somewhat-controversial longer hemline. Joseph L.
Mankiewicz, in writing and directing
The Barefoot Contessa (1954),
was said to have based his title character,
Maria Vargas (played on film by Ava Gardner),
on Hayworth's life and her marriage to Aly Khan.
Aly Khan and his family
were heavily involved in horse racing,
so although Hayworth did not like horses or thoroughbred
horse racing, she became a
member of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
Hayworth's filly Double Rose won several races in France
and notably finished second in the 1949 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
In 1951, while still married to Hayworth, Khan was spotted dancing with Joan Fontaine in the
nightclub where he and his wife met.
Hayworth responded by issuing an ultimatum and threatening to divorce him in Reno,
In early May she moved to Nevada
to establish legal residence to qualify for a divorce.
She holed up in Lake Tahoe with her daughter
despite a threat to kidnap her child.
When she filed for divorce from Khan on September 2,
1951, she did so on the grounds of
"extreme cruelty, entirely
mental in nature."
Hayworth once said she
might become a Muslim like her husband.
During the custody fight over their daughter Yasmin,
Prince Khan said he wanted her raised as a Muslim; whereas Hayworth said she
intended to raise her in the Christian faith.
In fact, Hayworth turned down a $1,000,000
offer if she'd raise Yasmin as a Muslim from age seven and allow her to go to
Europe for two or three months each year.
"Nothing will make
me give up Yasmin's chance to live here in America among our precious freedoms
and habits," declared Hayworth. "While I respect the Muslim faith and all
other faiths it is my earnest wish that my daughter be raised as a normal, healthy American girl in the Christian faith. There isn't any amount of money in the entire
world for which it is worth sacrificing this child's privilege of living as a
normal Christian girl here in the United States.
There just isn't anything else in the world that can compare with her sacred
chance to do that. And I'm going to
give it to Yasmin regardless of what it costs."
The Hayworth-Khan custody
battle for little Yasmin was one of the most public custody battles in the
history of Hollywood. Hayworth feared that Princess Yasmin would be
kidnapped by her father, taken to
his foreign country, and she'd never
see her daughter again. She didn't
trust him. It was a very long and
protracted legal process that played out publicly in the news. It included Hayworth and her lawyers doing extreme
negotiations, Hayworth dragging her
heels about agreeing to let Khan have temporary custody of Yasmin, requiring "insurance" money to
discourage him from keeping her,
then Hayworth changing her mind at the last minute,
and her fourth husband interfering with the entire process.
When Rita and Dick first
met, he was still married and his
singing career was waning, but when
the Love Goddess showed up at the clubs,
he got a larger audience. (Without
her, hardly anyone paid attention.) Haymes was desperate for money; he was a deadbeat
dad and two of his former wives were after him for alimony. In fact his financial problems were so bad he
could not even return to California without being arrested. On July 7,
1954, his ex-wife Nora Haymes got a
bench warrant for his arrest,
because he owed her $3,800 in
alimony. Less than a week prior, 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.
It was Hayworth who ended up paying most of Haymes's debts.
Haymes was born in
Argentina, and didn't have solid
proof of American citizenship. The
authorities initiated proceedings to have him deported back to Argentina for
being an illegal alien not long after he met Hayworth.
He hoped, however, she could influence the government and keep him in
the United States. Haymes
manipulated the situation, exploiting
Hayworth for publicity at every opportunity and getting her to throw herself
publicly behind his case. When she
assumed responsibility for his citizenship,
a bond was formed that led to marriage.
The two were married on 24 September 1953
at the Sands Hotel, Las Vegas, their wedding procession marching through the
From the start, their marriage was in trouble with Haymes deeply
indebted to the Internal Revenue Service.
When Rita took time off from attending his comeback performances in Philadelphia, crowd numbers plummeted and when Haymes's $5000
weekly salary was attached by the IRS to pay a
he was unable to even pay his pianist.
Meanwhile ex-wives continued to hound Haymes for money while Hayworth publicly
bemoaned the lack of alimony she was receiving from Aly Khan. At one point,
the couple was effectively imprisoned in a hotel room for 24 hours in New York
at the Hotel Madison as sheriff's deputies waited outside threatening to arrest
the hysterical Haymes for outstanding debts.
All of this happened against a backdrop of death threats to Hayworth's children
and an ongoing custody battle she was fighting with Khan.
During this time, while she was
living in a hotel in New York,
Hayworth sent the children to live with their nanny in deprived area of
Westchester. There they were found
and photographed by a reporter from Confidential magazine. That the photographer had been able to access them
easily at the time of death-threats to them was one thing,
but the article also depicted them "in a trash littered backyard, playing among an assortment of loaded ash cans." The article caused a national scandal, highly damaging to Hayworth,
bringing charges of neglect and bad parenting against her.
Hayworth and Haymes's
world descended further into a maze of litigation,
injunction and Haymes's verbal and physical violence.
After a tumultuous two years together Haymes overstepped the mark when in 1955
he struck her in the face in public at the Coconut Grove night club in Los
Angeles. It was the final straw in
their relationship. Hayworth packed
her bags, walked out, and never returned.
The extreme event leading
to Hayworth's separation shook her so badly she had a "severe emotional
shock," according to her doctor, who ordered her to remain in bed for several days. Hayworth also found herself very short of money
after her marriage to Haymes and having pursued Aly Khan for child support
money throughout her marriage to Haymes,
she now sued Orson Welles for back payment of child support she claimed had
never been paid. As well as being
ultimately unsuccessful, this only
added to her stressed condition and on the set of Fire Down Below she
was seen tearing up her bundle of mail and scattering the scraps in the sea. On being told one of these letters may have
contained money she remarked "more trouble than money".
After Haymes, Hayworth began another relationship with film
producer James Hill, whom she went
on to marry. By his own account, Hill started with the best intentions but wound up
'as anxious to use her as all the rest.'
On February 2, 1958, Hayworth married Hill,
who put her in one of her last major films,
Separate Tables. On September
Hayworth filed for divorce from Hill,
alleging extreme mental cruelty. He
later wrote the book Rita Hayworth: A Memoir in which he suggested their
marriage collapsed because he wanted Hayworth to continue making movies while
she wanted both of them to retire from the Hollywood scene.
Charlton Heston, in his book,
In the Arena, sheds some
light on Hayworth's brief marriage to Hill.
Heston had never met her when he and his wife Lydia joined Hayworth and Hill
for dinner in a restaurant in Spain with director George Marshall and Rex
Harrison, Hayworth's co-star in The
Happy Thieves. Heston, who was in Spain making El Cid, writes on page 253 of his memoir (HarperCollins
paperback version) that "it turned into the single most embarrassing
evening of my life," describing
how Hill heaped "obscene abuse" on Hayworth until she was
"reduced to a helpless flood of tears,
her face buried in her hands."
Heston writes how they all sat stunned,
witnesses to a "marital massacre" and though he was "strongly
tempted to slug him" (Hill), he
instead simply took his wife Lydia home when she stood up,
almost in tears herself. Heston ends
by writing, "I’m ashamed of
walking away from Miss Hayworth’s humiliation.
I never saw her again."
She never married again.
Hayworth struggled with
alcohol throughout her life. "I
remember as a child," said her
daughter, Yasmin Aga Khan, "that she had a drinking problem. She had difficulty coping with the ups and downs
of the business. . . . As a child,
I thought, 'She has a drinking
problem and she's an alcoholic.'
That was very clear and I thought,
'Well, there's not much I can do. I can just,
sort of, stand by and watch.' It's very difficult,
seeing your mother, going through
her emotional problems and drinking and then behaving in that manner. . . . Her
condition became quite bad. It
worsened and she did have an alcoholic breakdown and landed in the hospital."
In 1972, aged 54,
Hayworth no longer wanted to act,
but she signed up for The Wrath of God because she had money problems. The experience,
however, exposed her bad health and
worsening mental state. She couldn't
remember her lines, so they had to
film her scenes one line at a time.
Extreme memory loss left her very nervous and resistant to doing at least one
scene, which was then done by a
Even so, the following year Hayworth agreed to do one more
movie, Tales That Witness Madness
(1973). Her health was even worse by
that time, so she abandoned the
movie set, and returned to America. She never returned to acting.
In March 1974, both her brothers died within a week of each other, saddening her greatly,
and causing her to drink even more heavily than before.
In 1976 at London's
Heathrow Airport, Hayworth was
removed from a TWA flight during which she had an angry outburst while
traveling with her agent. "Miss
Hayworth had been drinking when she boarded the plane,"
revealed a TWA flight attendant,
"and had several free drinks during the flight."
The event attracted much negative publicity; a disturbing photograph was
published in newspapers showing her looking very disheveled, sad,
and barely recognizable.
Rita Hayworth's drinking
problem confused her family, friends, colleagues—and even doctors—who were unable to
immediately recognize Alzheimer's disease.
"For several years in the 1970s,
she had been misdiagnosed as an alcoholic."
"It was the
outbursts," said her daughter, "She'd fly into a rage.
I can't tell you. I thought it was
alcoholism-alcoholic dementia. We
all thought that. The papers picked
that up, of course. You can't imagine the relief just in getting a
diagnosis. We had a name at last, Alzheimer's! Of course,
that didn't really come until the last seven or eight years. She wasn't diagnosed as having Alzheimer's until
1980. There were two decades of hell
In July 1981, Hayworth's health had worsened to the point where
a judge in Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that because she was suffering from
senile dementia, and no longer able
to care for herself, she should be
placed under the care of her daughter,
Princess Yasmin Khan of New York City.
She then lived in an
apartment at The San Remo on Central Park West next to her daughter, who looked after her during her final years until
Rita Hayworth lapsed into
a semicoma in February 1987. She
died a few months later on May 14 at age 68 of Alzheimer's disease in her
A funeral service for
Hayworth was held on May 19, 1987 at
the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills,
California. Pallbearers included
actors Ricardo Montalbán, Glenn Ford, Don Ameche and choreographer Hermes Pan.
She was interred in Holy
Cross Cemetery in Culver City,
California (location: Grotto, Lot
196, Grave 6 (right of main sidewalk, near the curb)).
Her headstone includes the inscription: "To yesterday's companionship and
Hayworth appeared with
John Wayne in Circus World (1964) (U.K. title: Magnificent Showman), for which she received a Golden Globe Award
nomination for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama,
her only notable-award nod.
In 1977, Hayworth was the recipient of the National
Screen Heritage Award.
Despite appearing in 61
films over 37 years, including
leading roles in successful, classic
films like Gilda, she never
received an Academy Award nomination.
Nevertheless, Rita Hayworth is
listed as one of the American Film Institute's Greatest
Stars of All Time.
One of the major fund
raisers for the Alzheimer's Association is the annual Rita Hayworth Gala, held in New York City and Chicago, Illinois.
Hayworth's daughter, Yasmin Aga Khan, has been the hostess for these events. Since 1985 they have raised more than US$42
million for the Association. The
film I Remember Better When I Paint (2009) features a stirring interview
with Hayworth's daughter describing how her mother took up painting while
struggling with Alzheimer's and produced beautiful works of art.
Actress Lynda Carter
portrayed Hayworth in the television movie "Rita Hayworth: The Love
Goddess" (1983). Actress
Veronica Watt also portrayed her in the feature film Hollywoodland (2006).
Anna Case in La Fiesta (Short subject, 1926,
Cruz Diablo aka The Devil's Cross
In Caliente (1935) (scenes deleted)
Under the Pampas Moon (1935)
Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935)
Dante's Inferno (1935)
Paddy O'Day (1935)
Human Cargo (1936)
Meet Nero Wolfe (1936)
The Dancing Pirate (1936)
Old Louisiana (1937)
Hit the Saddle (1937)
Trouble in Texas (1937)
Criminals of the Air (1937)
Girls Can Play (1937)
The Game That Kills (1937)
Paid to Dance (1937)
The Shadow (1937)
Who Killed Gail Preston? (1938)
Special Inspector (1938)
There's Always a Woman (1938)
Juvenile Court (1938)
The Renegade Ranger (1938)
Homicide Bureau (1939)
The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939)
Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
Music in My Heart (1940)
Blondie on a Budget (1940)
Susan and God (1940)
The Lady in Question (1940)
Angels Over Broadway (1940)
The Strawberry Blonde (1941)
Affectionately Yours (1941)
Blood and Sand (1941)
You'll Never Get Rich (1941)
My Gal Sal (1942)
Tales of Manhattan (1942)
You Were Never Lovelier (1942)
Show Business at War (1943) (short subject)
Tonight and Every Night (1945)
Down to Earth (1947)
The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
The Loves of Carmen (1948)
Champagne Safari (1952)
Affair in Trinidad (1952)
Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)
Fire Down Below (1957)
Pal Joey (1957)
Separate Tables (1958)
They Came to Cordura (1959)
The Story on Page One (1959)
The Happy Thieves (1962)
Circus World (1964)
The Money Trap (1965)
The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1966)
I Bastardi (1968)
The Naked Zoo (1971)
Road to Salina (1971)
The Wrath of God (1972)
This item has been shown 243 times.
Rita Hayworth Authentic Original Signed Glamour Photograph Autographed: $330