Friday, April 24, 2009

1940's most beautiful redhead: Rita Hayworth

I thought it would be a fun idea to write about some of my idols and start a redhead series. Since my hair has a reddish undertone (to the point of being called a squirrel - European squirrels are red with pointed ears), I find myself drawn to famous redhead women. Silly, I know, but I hope you'll enjoy :)

Rita Hayworth was born in 1918 as Margarita Carmen Cansino. As the daughter of Spanish flamenco dancer, she performed in her father's dancing crew, and this is where, at the age of 16, she was  spotted by film producers. She said: "I never really thought of myself as a sex goddess; I felt I was more a comedian who could dance."

She signed in 1937 with Columbia Pictures and became known as Rita Hayworth (her mother's maiden name). The peak of her career came in 1946 film Gilda, which cast her as an ultimate sex symbol of the time. During World War II, she was one of the most popular pinups among American servicemen. Rita was the producers' first choice for Casablanca, but they couldn't get her and were forced to settle for Ingrid Bergman. She also starred in many musicals and was said to be one of Hollywood's best dancers and, with the arrival of Technicolor, one of Hollywood's most beautiful redheads

She was married five times and was the first movie star to become a princess. Her hands were thought to be the most beautiful in Hollywood and she considered them to be her prettiest feature. She died of Alzheimer's disease. News of her illness and death brought an international awareness of the disease that resulted in a massive increase of funds for care and research. Her daughter, Princess Yasmin, became the president of Alzheimer's Disease International.

"All I wanted was just what everybody else wants, you know, to be loved."


  1. I love Rita Hayworth - one of my parent's favourite films is You Were Never Lovlier which we must have watched a zillion times growing up. She's a helluva dancer too - I prefer her over Ginger Rogers as Fred Astaire's dancing partner.

  2. I love her...she was absolutely gorgeous. The first film I saw of hers was Cover Girl. I didn't know much about her at the time, but I watched it because I've been a Gene Kelly fan for years. I never knew that she was the first pick for Casablanca.

  3. @ Ondine: Fred Astaire actually also said he preferred Rita over Ginger Rogers :)