Back to :- Holy Cross Cemetery - Celebrity Graves.
The Final Resting Place of Rita Hayworth.
17th.October 1918 - 14th.May 1987.
Located at the side of the Grotto near the path.
Cause of Death - Alzheimer's Disease.
Rita Hayworth was an American actress of Spanish and English descent who reached fame during the 1940s as the era's leading sex symbol. She was sometimes called "The Love Goddess" or "The Great American Love Goddess," and was celebrated as an expert dancer and great beauty.
She was born Margarita Carmen Cansino, the daughter of Eduardo Cansino (Sr.) and Volga Haworth in Brooklyn, New York. The Cansinos, of Roma ancestry native to Spain, were a famous family of Spanish dancers working in vaudeville. Hayworth was trained as a dancer from childhood, and was on stage by the age of twelve. First attracting the attention of film producers as part of the dance team "The Dancing Cansinos," Hayworth was signed first by Fox Studios in 1935, then freelanced for several years before signing with Columbia Pictures. After a name change from Rita Cansino to Rita Hayworth, and painful electrolysis to raise her hairline, Rita made a splash as part of the ensemble cast in Howard Hawks' Only Angels Have Wings (1939). The Strawberry Blonde with James Cagney followed in 1941. Finally her sizzling "other woman" part in Rouben Mamoulian's Blood and Sand (1941) with Tyrone Power solidified her new-found stardom.
Hayworth's fame as a beautiful redhead arose from this Technicolor film. The "love goddess" image was cemented with Bob Landry's Life magazine photograph of her (kneeling on a bed in a nightgown), which caused a sensation and became (at five million copies) one of the most requested wartime pinups. During World War II she ranked with Betty Grable, Dorothy Lamour, Hedy Lamarr, and Lana Turner as the pinup girls most popular with servicemen. Rita would soon become Columbia's biggest star of the 1940s, under the watchful eye of studio chief Harry Cohn. Hayworth's well-known films include the musicals that made her famous: You'll Never Get Rich (1941) and You Were Never Lovelier (1942) (both with Fred Astaire), My Gal Sal (1942) with Victor Mature, and her best known musical, Cover Girl (1944) with Gene Kelly. Although her singing voice was dubbed in her movies, Rita was one of Hollywood's best dancers, imbued with power, precision, and unearthly grace. 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 Gilda (1946), a film noir directed by Charles Vidor, which encountered some difficulty with censors. This role — in which Hayworth performed a legendary one-glove striptease — made her into a cultural icon as the ultimate femme fatale. Other films include The Lady from Shanghai (1948) with husband Orson Welles, The Loves of Carmen (1948) with Gilda costar Glenn Ford, Salome (1953) with Stewart Granger, and the 1953 remake of Miss Sadie Thompson. Rita left her film career in 1948 to marry Prince Aly Khan, but after the marriage collapsed she returned with great fanfare in 1951 to film Affair in Trinidad (1952) with favorite costar Glenn Ford. In 1957, after making Fire Down Below with Robert Mitchum and Jack Lemmon, and Pal Joey with Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak, Rita finally left Columbia. She continued working throughout the 1960s, and made her last film in 1972.
Naturally shy and reclusive, Hayworth was the antithesis of the characters she played. She once complained that all the men she knew fell in love with Gilda, but woke up with Rita. She was close to her frequent co-star and next-door neighbour Glenn Ford.
According to Barbara Leaming's biography on Hayworth, If This Was Happiness, her relationships with men were often difficult due to the physical, sexual and emotional abuse she endured from her father at a young age. These revelations were made during interviews with Orson Welles in later years. She confided in him about the incest in particular, as well as several beatings. At one point in the biography Welles recalls that when Cansino tried to visit he would always have to throw him out. "He was a terrible man," Welles recalls. "And she really hated him. She couldn't deal with him at all." Hayworth was married five times: first to Edward C. Judson (1937-1943), followed by actor-director Orson Welles (1943-1948, one daughter Rebecca Welles), to Prince Aly Khan (1949-1953, one daughter Princess Yasmin Aga Khan), then to actor-singer Dick Haymes (1953-1955), and finally to director James Hill (1958-1961). She also had a nephew named Richard Cansino.
After about 1960, Hayworth suffered from extremely early onset of Alzheimer's disease, which was not diagnosed until 1980; she continued to act in films until the early 1970s and made a well-publicized appearance on The Carol Burnett Show near the end of her career. Lynda Carter starred in a 1983 biopic of her life. She lived in an apartment at the San Remo in New York City.
Following her death from Alzheimer's in 1987 at age 68, she was interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.