Rita Hayworth was an American film actress and dancer who attained fame during the 1940s as one of the era's top stars. 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 in Brooklyn, New York, Hayworth was the daughter of Spanish flamenco dancer Eduardo Cansino, Sr. and Ziegfeld girl Volga Hayworth who was of Irish and English descent. She was raised as a Roman Catholic. Her father wanted her to become a dancer while her mother hoped she would become an actress.
She attended dance classes every day for a few years in a Carnegie Hall complex under the instruction of her uncle Angel Cansino.
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 Hayworthto 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.
For three consecutive years, starting in 1944, Rita Hayworth was named one of the top movie box office attractions in the world. In 1944, she made one of her best-known films, the Technicolor musical Cover Girl (1944), with Gene Kelly. The film established her as Columbia's top star of the 1940s. Hayworth was adept in ballet, tap, ballroom, and Spanish routines. Cohn continued to effectively showcase Hayworth's talents in Technicolor films: Tonight and Every Night (1945), with Lee Bowman, and Down to Earth (1947), with Larry Parks.
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, it was reported that 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. However, recent research suggests all that was on the bomb was the word 'GILDA'.
Hayworth got married and divorced five times and had two daughters.
Rita Hayworth lapsed into a semicoma in February 1987. She died a few months later on May 14, 1987, aged 68 from Alzheimer's disease in her Manhattan apartment.
A pair of gilt fringe drop earrings, each designed as a triangular open work foliate panel with multiple bell-shaped drops, to a swirl design panel suspension, screw fittings- made for Rita Hayworth as Salome in the 1953 Columbia Pictures film of the same name, with documents concerning as provenance, including: a letter of congratulations on Picture Show and Film Pictorial Headed notepaper, My very sincere congratulations on your postcard entry which wins this unique prize of Rita Hayworth's earrings worn by her during the filming of 'Salome'.,1p; a page from picture show magazine advertising the competition in instructing candidates to write a sentence about Rita Hayworth using words that contain the letters of her name:a machine-print illustration of the earrings and a still from the film annotated in blue ink in the winners hand with the winning combination of letters, a copy of Picture Show 5th September, 1953, vol. 61 illustrated on the cover with a publicity shot of Stewart Granger and Rita Hayworth in Salome.