Let’s take a weekend break from this coarse, brutish world and travel back to the mid-1940s of Hollywood.
Since watching the 1946 film, Gilda, for the very first time in January of this year, I have become subjugated by the beauty (inside and out) of Rita Hayworth. Why it took me so long to see Gilda is beyond me, but everything about the movie blew me away, including the controlled, gritty performance of Glenn Ford. Gilda is the role that defined Rita Hayworth.
But what a sad personal life she had. Rita’s real name was Margarita Carmen Cansino and she started dancing at the age of 6 to support her family. Throughout her teen years she was subjected to sexual and physical abuse by her father who was also her dancing partner. She would be exploited by men for most of her life – in her personal life, her professional life and even in the onscreen characters she played. Her five failed marriages included Orson Welles and playboy Prince Aly Khan. She would maintain a lifelong friendship with Glenn Ford. Her later years were marked with struggles with alcoholism and then the disease that ultimately took her from us in 1987 at the age of 68 – Alzheimer’s.
I wonder how Rita’s life would have been had she been born 20, 30 or even 40 years later.
Such was her talent, she could dance with the best of them (Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly).
Here’s a short YouTube video showing best moments of Gilda –