Rita, Sex Idol, Chess & Alzheimer’s
Don’t Stop the Music. Ever
What an incredible beauty! Actress Rita Hayworth (1918 – 1987). She had it all. Looks, talent and a certain ‘artful indecency‘ that oozed from every pore of her body. No wonder that she became the #1 pin-up girl in WW2.
The images above are from the 1946 film GILDA, arguably her first major hit. She was performing the song ‘Put the Blame on Mame’
But don’t believe everything that comes out of Hollywood. Rita did not really sing the song: it was dubbed with voice of Anita Kert Ellis. Infact, almost all of Rita’s films where she sings are dubbed. For example, in the excerpt below from ‘Blood and Sand‘ (1941) Rita is dubbed by the voice of Graciella Parraga:
Of course, I am just pulling your leg! I know that you already know not to trust all that phony Hollywood film glamour! That is what acting is all about, isn’t it?. Pretending!
Below Rita also pretends to know how to play chess when she challenges co-star Tyrone Power in the 1941 film ‘Blood and Sand‘:
Actually, Tyrone Power did know how to play chess! No one seems quite certain when and where he picked it up, though, but he did play it! A number of his films even has him playing chess…
Rita’s abused childhood….
“Her father’s failing fortunes – he lost his money during the depression – meant his hopes were pinned on Rita and her natural dance talent.
By now, Rita was 12 but looked older. Her father took her out of school, dressed her in sexy clothes, added scarlet lipstick and made her his dance partner.
They toured seedy casinos and nightclubs in Mexico, where child labour laws were less strict. Eduardo made out his daughter was his wife – and he also overstepped that boundary when he wasn’t on the dance floor.” LINK
The price of success?
Growing older was not very kind to her. Rita Hayworth’s success led to alcohol excesses and … 5 marriages and 5 divorces! By her early 30’s the alcohol had already changed her physically and fewer and fewer film roles became the norm.
She began to show signs of dementia in her 50’s and by 1980 (her early 60’s) it was confirmed that she had Alzheimer’s disease. She died at age 68. Alone.
Rita had 2 daughters. One from her 2nd husband, Orson Welles, Rebecca, who died in 2004 and the other with Prince Aly Khan (Pakistan), her 3rd husband.
This daughter, Princes Yasmin Aga Khan, is still alive and well and dedicates considerable time to Alzheimer’s disease charities in memory of her mother.
Memorable Rita Hayworth Quotes
“Old age – that’s when a woman takes Vitamins A through G, and still looks like H.”
“I think all women have a certain elegance about them which is destroyed when they take off their clothes.”