Wednesday, June 8, 2011
H is for Hayworth - The Love Goddess
Hello from alphabetland! It's Alphabe-Thursday and this week we are studying the letter H. Headmaster, Jenny Matlock, Off On My Tangent, sponsors this weekly meme, where she gets out her yardstick, shakes it at everyone, and then challenges us to write about a subject beginning with the Letter of the Week! I chose Rita Hayworth for two reasons: 1) My bff from preschool assistant days shares the same first name, and 2) Rita Hayworth is one of the movie actresses who worked and survived the "Golden Years" of Hollywood.
I used to be a teacher assistant at a preschool where I worked with some extraordinary ladies. We loved coming to work each day. The suggestion was made that we all take on famous movie stars who shared the same first name, just as a get-to-know-you type of exercise. We had such stars as Elizabeth Taylor, Susan Lucci, Jennifer Lopez, Lisa Marie Presley, and of course, Rita Hayworth. Over the years, Rita and I have become good friends. I no longer work at the preschool, but Rita and I still keep in touch. Rita is a little under the weather right now, so I thought I would dedicate this post to her.
My friend, Rita, and I are about the same age. She has been blessed with a very youthful appearance, great skin, and gorgeous fat hair. After all these years, she still looks like she could be in her 30's or 40's, depending on what she is wearing. We joke about her being "well preserved."
Her counterpart, the movie star, managed to stay well-preserved for most of her career. Rita Hayworth was born Margarita Carmen Dolores Cansino on October 17,1918. Her parents were Volga Hayworth, of Irish and English descent, and Eduardo Cansino, who came from Seville, Spain. Her dad, who was a professional dancer, began teaching Rita traditional Spanish dances as soon as she was on her feet, and she turned out to be a natural. It must have been in the blood, as Volga had been a showgirl as well. She absolutely loved dancing and continued learning from her father, eventually appearing on stage with him. She spent most of her day performing or taking dance lessons. School took a back seat to her new career, and in later years she realized she had not had a chance to "just be a kid" and she resented it.
Her very first movie was Dante's Inferno. She had been signed to a contract with Fox. It led to other roles and the one that confirmed her as a star was Blood and Sand which she made while under contract with Columbia. But the movie that is synonymous with her name is Gilda which was made in 1945. By this time, she had become a redhead, was on her second husband, Orson Welles, and had just returned from giving birth to her first child, Rebecca. During the filming, she and Orson separated and were later divorced.
After a few more movies were made, and a new contract made, Rita formed her own production company in which she involved her family with some of the movies. She loved having this company and continued making movies for the next couple of years. In 1948, she met Prince Aly Khan. She became a princess when they were married in May of 1949. In December of the same year, she gave birth to Princess Yasmin, the second daughter for Rita. (Hmmmmm....timing is everything) She loved just being a mom and not a movie star. Unfortunately, Rita could not get accustomed to life as a royal, so in 1951, she returned to the US with her two daughters. The marriage was finally over in 1953. She came back to the movie business and made Affair in Trinidad, which went on to become a bigger hit than Gilda.
She married for the fourth time to Dick Haymes, which lasted only two disastrous years. After getting out of that marriage, she took a break before jumping back in to Hollywood. Although she was in her late 30's, she still had it all going for her. She started taking on dramatic roles and was recognized for her work as an artist rather than a glamour queen. She was very happy with the new roles. She married writer, James Hill, in 1958, but the marriage did not last very long. She divorced in 1961.
Rita Hayworth's last movie was Wrath of God in 1972. Her appearances became less frequent and in the early 80's, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. From the onset of her diagnosis to her final moments, Rita was very involved with fundraising for Alzheimer research and awareness. This legacy still continues with her daughter, Jasmin, and her dedication to finding a cure for the disease. Yasmin cared for her mother until she passed away in 1987 in Manhattan, New York.
Rita Hayworth has become a symbol of eternal youth, beauty and glamour. Her legend lives on thanks to the impact she continues to have on fans throughout the world. Her dream may have been for a simple life with kids and a husband, but it was not to be. A simple life was apparently never in the cards for Rita. But, what a colorful life she lived!
Thank you for stopping by for my Letter "H" report. Please visit Jenny by clicking on the logo below and see what my classmates have offered.
Enjoy the rest of your week!