A Gorgeous Dame

I love Rita Hayworth, she's gorgeous.  I can be a bit shallow like that sometimes...I love you because you're beautiful!

Most know her as Rita Hayworth, but if you dig a little deeper you'll find that she was born Margarita Carmen Cansino in Brooklyn, NY.  She came from a family of professional dancers and learned to dance from the moment she could walk.  Early in her career, she was often cast as the exotic beauty or Latina dancer in bit parts and was credited as Rita Cansino.  In an effort to compete with the larger studios like MGM, Columbia decided to turn Rita into "the next big starlet".  In order to do so, Rita would have to make drastic changes in her appearance. She underwent hairline surgery to soften her widows peak and dyed her hair bombshell red, which brought out her gorgeous features. And lastly, she changed her name to Rita Hayworth.  Rita's butterfly transformation (good or bad), proves that image is a big part of succeeding in Hollywood.  Soon Rita would star in classic films such as, You'll Never Get Rich (1941), Tales of Manhattan (1942) and her signature films, Cover Girl (1944), Gilda (1946) and The Lady from Shanghai (1947).  It also shouldn't go unnoticed that Rita starred alongside two of the most celebrated dancers in Hollywood, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Hayworth was trained in ballet, tap, ballroom and Spanish dance and she was a natural.  Her movements were free and she held her own, right along side the greats of dance. She appeared on the cover of Life magazine in black lingerie in 1941 and became the #2 pin up during the war, second to Betty Grable.  And with the success of Gilda, she will forever be known as the iconic femme fatale.



p.s. Not to toot my own horn but Rita Hayworth's birthday is October 17th and my birthday is October 18th...toot toot! ;-)

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