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Rita Hayworth was born in 1918. During the early 1940s she was one of the greatest sex symbols the movies has ever had, most notably in the 1946 movie, Gilda. But she was born Margarita Cansino, and was originally a child dancer with her father. She later caught the attention of Harry Cohn at Columbia, who cast her as a sexy dancer in some late 1930s movies, first billing her as Rita Cansino, and then renaming her to Hayworth (her mother's maiden name). Cohn did all he could to get rid of her Spanish ethnicity, changing her name, having her dye her black hair red, and having her hairline raised! She made many memorable dance movies (including ones opposite both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly!), but she is probably best remembered for her five steamy melodramas opposite Glenn Ford. She had a tumultuous private life, marrying five times, most memorably to Orson Welles and Prince Aly Khan (this was before Grace Kelly married her prince!). Her most famous quote (explaining why she married so many times) was "Every man I have ever known has fallen in love with Gilda and awakened with me." She exhibited erratic behavior in her later years because she suffered from early Alzheimer's, which went undiagnosed for quite some time. Rita passed away in 1987 at the age of 68. In those later years, she was cared for by her daughter, Princess Yasmin Khan, who has also been a champion of raising money for Alzheimer's research. She is also best remembered for her roles in The Lady from Shanghai, Only Angels Have Wings, Separate Tables, Tales of Manhattan, and many others!
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