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1930s & Earlier / Hollywoods Sex Goddess Rita Hayworth
Rita Hayworth was born Margarita Carmen Cansino in Brooklyn NY, on October 17, 1918. She found fame as an American actress during the 1940's as the era's leading sex symbol. Although there was prejudice against Hispanic actors at the time, she is now widely regarded to be one of the first Hispanic-American "sex goddess" of "Golden Age" Hollywood with leading roles in film. Rita left her film career in 1948 to marry Prince Aly Khan, the son of the Aga Khan, the leader of the Ismaili sect of Shia Islam. After the marriage collapsed in 1951, Rita returned to America to star in a string of hit films, Affair in Trinidad, Salome, and Miss Sadie Thompson. Then she was off the big screen for another four years, due mainly to a tumultuous marriage to singer Dick Haymes. In 1957 she starred in Fire Down Below. Her last musical was Pal Joey. She got good reviews for her acting in such films as Separate Tables, and The Story on Page One, and continued working throughout the 1960s. It was during that time that she suffered an early onset of Alzheimer's disease, which was not diagnosed until 1980. In 1964 she appeared with John Wayne in Circus World and in 1972 she made her last film, The Wrath of God. She died of complications from Alzheimer's disease in 1987 at age 68.