Beautiful, good. That she has had more post-death recognition than before. But that has left an indelible mark on the history of cinema. Rita Hayworth was a true icon of world cinema. So much so that the American Film Institute ranked her 19th among the most important stars in the history of cinema. And, of course, she also received a dedicated star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame , precisely at 1645 Vine Street.

But, now, let’s go and see why Rita Hayworth was a giant of American cinema, retracing the main professional steps.


  • Rita Haiworth: the beginnings
  • The success of the famous American actress
  • Rita Hayworth: private life
  • The decline and the disease
  • Filmography Rita Hayworth

Rita Haiworth: the beginnings

Let’s start by saying that Rita Hayworth is not her real name . But, at the birthplace, she is called Margarita Carmen Cansino,  a Spanish father from Andalusia and a mother of Anglo-Irish origins. She was born in New York on October 17, 1918, in addition to making films, she is also a singer and dancer. 

Beautiful, as movie stars must have been in those years, and became famous for being ‘Gilda’ , a temptress of a film of the same name. This, however, also had the silver lining: on the one hand, he showed off his acting skills. On the other hand, she has relegated her to the role of a tempting woman.

Beyond this, however, Hayworth does not have a most peaceful childhood. Her father, a dancer from Spain, practically forbids her to play like all her children to teach her flamenco. 

However , her obstinacy still leads her to act , albeit, at least initially, in films that are not very successful.

Beauty plays in its favor , so much so that producer Harry Cohn noticed it in 1935: an important meeting for two reasons. The first is that it leads her to sign a contract with Columbia Pictures. The second is that from here comes the name of her that made her famous all over the world: Rita Hayworth, in fact. 

She also undergoes cosmetic surgery and, from here, her climb to success begins. He starts in 1941 with the comedy Bionda Fragola and, in the same year, he also tries his hand at the film Sangue e arena . The following year, however, and star of the musical You have never been so beautiful and, in 1944 in Fascino .

The success of the famous American actress

In 1946 he gave vent to his sensuality , becoming provocative (at least for the time), to the point of even unleashing the jealousies of Harry Cohn, the head of Columbia Pictures.

A jealousy so morbid that, according to some rumors, it leads Cohn himself to secretly install microphones to see if something could arise between Hayworth and Glenne Ford, his partner in the film.

By now she becomes very famous, so much so that she is called the Goddess of love’ .

The top of its success?

Basically, when the atomic bomb is dropped on an experimental basis on the Bikini atoll with its costume image, a circumstance that also earns it the nickname of “atomic”

To reduce Rita Hayworth to the mere fact that she was a wonderful and unfair woman to him. So much so that she successfully ventured into dramatic parts, as happened in the film Lona Hanson . Here, however, her star-like whims begin: because of her, according to what Cohn said, several workers she doesn’t like are fired. For this, his contract with Columbia is also suspended. 

Rita Hayworth: private life

It is impossible, however, not to talk about his private life as well. Also because, according to rumors of the time, she got married for the first time, for a pure working calculation, with Judson.

He then falls in love with Orson Welles , the director of ‘ Quarto Potere ‘: a daughter who died in 2004 is born from this relationship.

He married Orson Welles in ’43 and divorced only 5 years later. The beauty of Rita Hayworth also spreads among American soldiers and, as we wrote at the beginning, and with Gilda of her having the success of her who then consecrates her.

After Welles, she remarried in 1949 again with the Ismaili prince Aly Khan, heir to the Aga Khan III. Since her divorce with Welles is not yet complete, Hayworth also suffers the grievances of Pope Pius XII who officially excommunicates her.

A real press campaign against her is unleashed, to the point of having to leave the world of cinema for a while. For two years, she does practically nothing, except the princess, taking refuge between Pakistan and India. In any case, however, even this marriage fails: she divorces in 1953. 

The decline and the disease

From stars to rags, some would say. From the role of princess to economic difficulties. Difficulties that force her to cover her head in ashes and ask Cohn for help. He helps her and has her act in Trinidad in 1952 , but she doesn’t have a great response again.

Then, partly because she urgently needs money, she tries her hand at parts where she plays the role of ‘libertine’ women, like in Pioggia , a 1953 melodrama where she plays a prostitute who wanted to go back to a different job. She insists on saying that there was nothing wrong with playing these parts but, now, her difficulties continue to grow day by day. 

In any case, however, in 1957 he acted in Pal Joey and, the following year, in Tavole Separate . But, by now, the decline of Rita Hayworth is a reality. Maybe slow, but inexorable. To such an extent that she is reserved only for secondary roles. 

Of course, private life is also involved, because he marries other times: the first with the singer Dick Haymes and the second with the producer James Hill.

In order not to miss anything, moreover, he ‘throws himself’ in alcohol. 

What’s missing from all of this?

Between the 60s and the 70s he begins to suffer from Alzheimer’s. You want because she is very famous, or because the medicine at the time was not what it is today, but she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s only in 1980 . A problem for her, even if, however, she had the affection of her daughter Yasmin for her until her death on May 14, 1987.

Buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, she was among the most controversial figures in American and world cinema. But, you know, many stars are genius and recklessness. And, sure enough, Rita Hayworth was with all the excesses of her.

Filmography Rita Hayworth

We leave you with the official filmography of Rita Hayworth:

  1. Under the Pampas Moon, regia di James Tinling (1935)
  2. The Secret of the Pyramids (Charlie Chan in Egypt), directed by Louis King (1935), credited as Rita Cansino
  3. Dante’s Inferno, by Harry Lachman (1935)
  4. Carmencita (Rebellion), by Lynn Shores (1936)
  5. Meet Nero Wolfe, regia di Herbert Biberman (1936)
  6. Dancing Pirate, by Lloyd Corrigan (1936)
  7. Fiamme nel Texas (Trouble in Texas), by RN Bradbury (1937)
  8. Who killed Gail Preston? (Who Killed Gail Preston?), By Leon Barsha (1938)
  9. C’e sotto una donna (There’s Always a Woman), directed by Alexander Hall (1938)
  10. Only Angels Have Wings, by Howard Hawks (1939)
  11. Susan and God, by George Cukor (1940)
  12. Seduction (The Lady in Question), by Charles Vidor (1940)
  13. Angels Over Broadway, directed by Ben Hecht and Lee Garmes (1940)
  14. You’ll Never Get Rich, by Sidney Lanfield (1941)
  15. Affectionately Yours, by Lloyd Bacon (1941)
  16. Blood and Sand, by Rouben Mamoulian (1941)
  17. The Strawberry Blonde, by Raoul Walsh (1941)
  18. Destino (Tales of Manhattan), by Julien Duvivier (1942)
  19. You Were Never Lovelier, directed by William A. Seiter (1942)
  20. My Gal Sal, by Irving Cummings (1942)
  21. Fascino (Cover Girl), by Charles Vidor (1944)
  22. Tonight and Every Night, by Victor Saville (1945)
  23. Gilda, by Charles Vidor (1946)
  24. Beauties in Heaven also known as “Down to Earth”, directed by Alexander Hall (1947)
  25. The Lady from Shanghai, by Orson Welles (1947)
  26. Gli amori di Carmen (The Loves of Carmen), by Charles Vidor (1948)
  27. Trinidad (Affair in Trinidad), regia by Vincent Sherman (1952)
  28. Salome, by William Dieterle (1953)
  29. Rain (Miss Sadie Thompson), by Curtis Bernhardt (1953)
  30. Fire Down Below, directed by Robert Parrish (1957)
  31. Pal Joey, regia in George Sydney (1957)
  32. Separate Tables, by Delbert Mann (1958)
  33. Cordura (They Came to Cordura), by Robert Rossen (1959)
  34. The Story on Page One, by Clifford Odets (1959)
  35. The Happy Thieves, directed by George Marshall (1962)
  36. Circus World, directed by Henry Hathaway (1964)
  37. The Money Trap, by Burt Kennedy (1965)
  38. The Poppy Is Also a Flower, directed by Terence Young (1966)
  39. L’adventuriero (The Rover), directed by Terence Young (1967)
  40. The bastards, by Duccio Tessari (1968)
  41. Road to Salina, directed by Georges Lautner (1970)
  42. The Wrath of God, by Ralph Nelson (1972)