Photo of Rita Hayworth Rita Hayworth

Shy and unassuming in real life, Rita Hayworth turned into the sultry siren the public knew when the cameras began rolling. Born Oct. 17, 1918, in Brooklyn, N.Y., she came from a famous family of Spanish dancers, and it was as part of their act ("The Dancing Cansinos") that she attracted Hollywood's attention.

Hayworth first made a splash in Only Angels Have Wings (1939) and The Strawberry Blonde (1941). But she achieved true stardom after showing off her considerable dancing talent in a series of musicals, including You'll Never Get Rich (1941) and You Were Never Lovelier (both with Fred Astaire), and 1944's Cover Girl (opposite Gene Kelly).

The titian-haired beauty also gave notable performances in nonmusical films such as Gilda (1946), The Lady from Shanghai (with then-husband Orson Welles) and Pal Joey (1957). Hayworth died May 14, 1987, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Rita Hayworth in Pal Joey

Pal Joey

1957 NR

Using his charming wile and debonair dance moves, Joey Evans (Frank Sinatra, in a Golden Globe-winning performance) beguiles vixen widow Vera Simpson (Rita Hayworth) into financing his nightclub. He's set up for success until good-natured chorus girl Linda English (Kim Novak) enters the picture and steals the show -- and his heart. The Rodgers and Hart musical features such memorable tunes as "I Could Write a Book" and "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered."

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