"All I wanted was just what everybody else wants, you know, to be loved." ~ Rita
Rita Hayworth was born Margarita Carmen Cansino on October 17, 1918, in Brooklyn, New York. Her Spanish father was a dance instructor and Rita began performing with him when she was a teenager. She later confided to friends that her father had sexually abused her. In 1935 she made her film debut in the drama Dante's Inferno. When she was eighteen she married her older manager Edward Judson. He spent her money and encouraged her to sleep with powerful men in Hollywood. To help her career Rita dyed her dark hair red and had her hairline raised with electrolysis. She was offered a contract with Columbia pictures where she worked with Tyrone Power in Blood And Sand and with Fred Astaire in You Were Never Lovelier. Fred said that she was his favorite dancing partner. She divorced her husband and became engaged to Victor Mature. In 1943 she married Orson Welles and had a daughter, Rebecca. Rita became a popular World War 2 pin up and was nicknamed "The Love Goddess". Her biggest success came when she played a seductive femme-fatale in Gilda. Orson directed her in the 1948 film-noir The Lady from Shanghai.