logo
Getty Images
Getty Images

Rita Hayworth's Second Husband Orson Welles Once Shared Why She 'Hated Her Father'

Rebelander Basilan
Jun 19, 2019
10:11 A.M.

Orson Welles once revealed to biographer Barbara Leaming that Rita Hayworth detested her father Eduardo Cansino because she suffered not only merciless beatings at his hands but sexual abuse too.

Advertisement

This unexpected disclosure appears in Leaming’s book titled "If This Was Happiness." Welles, the second husband of Hayworth, revealed this secret to Leaming in 1983, as reported by PEOPLE.

“She made herself into one of Hollywood’s greatest stars, and it never gave her any happiness.”

Rita Hayworth at Ascot racecourse | Photo: Getty Images

Rita Hayworth at Ascot racecourse | Photo: Getty Images

THE INCESTUOUS RELATIONSHIP

Leaming was researching a biography of Welles at the time. She recounted:

“I kept hearing stories about how much Rita hated her father. People explained that she resented having to go to work as a young girl and had never gotten over it. But this was a sweet woman who would forgive anything."

Advertisement

"Then, when Orson started telling me about her rages and personality changes, I knew there had to be something else there. One day it just clicked, and I asked him about incest. That incredible voice broke. And he said, yes, it was true.”

Leaming then decided that Hayworth would be her next subject. She set to work interviewing the star’s companions, relatives, and partners in the film business in 1986.

Rita Hayworth sunbathes in circa 1939 | Photo: Getty Images

Rita Hayworth sunbathes in circa 1939 | Photo: Getty Images

Her research led her to the conclusion that the acclaimed actress and dancer's incestuous relationship with Cansino made her adult life a mess. Leaming said:

“Until I knew what had happened between Rita and her father, there were things that she’d done that I blamed her for, such as her behavior with her own kids.”

Advertisement

“She desperately wanted to be the perfect mother, as many incest victims do. But because their own mothers failed to protect them, they often try to set up an ideal of what a mother should be, which dooms them to failure.”

According to Leaming, Hayworth’s relationships with men were likewise bound as a result of her past. Hoping in vain to discover genuine love and security, she wedded five times.

Pin-up photo of Rita Hayworth for the 1944 issue of Yank, the Army Weekly | Photo: Wikimedia

Pin-up photo of Rita Hayworth for the 1944 issue of Yank, the Army Weekly | Photo: Wikimedia

EDWARD JUDSON

In 1937, aged just 18, she embarked on her first, marrying her manager Edward Judson, who was more than twice her age. Although Judson helped her with her career, he was as wicked as her dad. The two finally divorced when Hayworth turned over their assets to him.

Advertisement

ORSON WELLES

In September 1943, Hayworth married Welles during the run of "The Mercury Wonder Show," a magic-and-variety stage show by the Mercury Theatre. The couple had a daughter, Rebecca, who was born in December 1944.

Hayworth and Welles struggled in their marriage. Despite this, she considered him the "great love of her life." Hayworth was granted a divorce in November 1947 and was finalized the following year.

Rita Hayworth performing "Amado Mio" in the Gilda trailer | Photo: Wikimedia

Rita Hayworth performing "Amado Mio" in the Gilda trailer | Photo: Wikimedia

PRINCE ALY KHAN

In 1949, she tied the knot with Prince Aly Khan, the playboy son of the leader of the Ismaili sect of Shia Islam, Sultan Mahommed Shah, Aga Khan III. Their marriage was a short-lived affair that ended in a bitter divorce. The two had a daughter, Princess Yasmin.

Advertisement

DICK HAYMES

In 1953, Hayworth married actor and singer Dick Haymes, who took financial advantage of her before she divorced him as well two years later.

JAMES HILL

Hayworth then started a relationship with film producer James Hill. They got married in 1958 but ended in divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty in 1961.

Rita Hayworth in the Gilda trailer | Photo: Wikimedia

Rita Hayworth in the Gilda trailer | Photo: Wikimedia

HEALTH AND DEATH

After their divorce, Hayworth struggled to make films for a few additional years. However, her health had deteriorated and she could not remember her lines. While disembarking from a plane in 1976, the press described her as “drunk, agitated and confused."

Advertisement

In 1981, her daughter Yasmin became her conservator. It was Yasmin, who gave the true love her mom had constantly looked for.

In February 1987, Hayworth lapsed into a semi-coma. Three months later, she passed away at age 68 from complications related to Alzheimer's disease. Leaming said:

“Rita Hayworth hated being Rita Hayworth. She made herself into one of Hollywood’s greatest stars, and it never gave her any happiness.”

Leaming pointed out that she's writing the book "not only to make Hayworth better understood but to let us know a bit more about the devastating effects of incest.”

BEST FILMS AND ACCOLADES

Hayworth, who had become the most charismatic screen idol of the 1940s, appeared in a total of 61 films over 37 years. She was best known for "Gilda," "Cover Girl," "You Were Never Lovelier," and "The Lady from Shanghai."

She earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama for her exemplary performance in the 1964 drama film "Circus World."

Hayworth was recognized as one of the top-25 greatest female stars of Classic Hollywood cinema in the American Film Institute's survey, AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars, in 1999.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
Related posts

People Share the Darkest Family Secrets They've Ever Discovered

October 19, 2023

31 Times People Took Brutal Revenge on Their Cheating Partners

October 04, 2023

Robin Williams Wept Every Night & Did Not Share Wife's Bed in His Last Days: His Family Fought for His Heritage

October 16, 2023

This Bond Girl with Unusual Eyes Ended Up ‘Homeless’ with a $9M Debt & Posed for Playboy at 67

October 21, 2023

43 Notable Parent Fails That Were Less Than Perfect

September 27, 2023

40 People Reveal How They Caught Their Partners Cheating

October 25, 2023

This Star Lost Her Virginity to Her Ex Who 'Didn't Want to Be a Father' – She Became a Young Mom & Is Proud of Her Boys

October 26, 2023

43 Real-Life Stories of the Worst Betrayals of Best Friends

October 30, 2023

People Reveal the Craziest Wills They Ever Saw

October 18, 2023

Julia Roberts Was Called ‘Husband Stealer’ by Spouse’s Ex — Actress Is Living Her Dream with Him & 3 Kids Today

September 28, 2023

Hilary Swank Sparked Strong Reactions after Giving Birth at 48 – Inside New Mom's Mountain Home

October 11, 2023

Richard Dean Anderson ‘Looks Great’ despite Going through Physical Changes as a Single Parent to His Daughter

October 16, 2023

This Millionaire Child Star Who Began Acting at 9 Months Quit Hollywood & Feared Losing Home Due to Banker Husband

October 26, 2023

John William McDonald Was Eartha Kitt's Ex-husband and Kitt Shapiro's Father - Story of Their Family

August 14, 2023