About this Famous Person
American film actress and dancer
Source : Tim DOWLING
Hayworth was born in Brooklyn, New York as Margarita Carmen Cansino, the daughter of Spanish dancer Eduardo Cansino, Sr. and Volga Hayworth, a dancer of Irish and English descent, who had performed with the Ziegfeld Follies. The Catholic couple married in 1917 and had two boys after Margarita, Eduardo, Jr. and Vernon.
Rita's father wanted her to become a professional dancer while her mother hoped she would become an actress. Her grandfather, Antonio Cansino, was the most renowned exponent in his day of Spain's classical dances; he popularised the bolero. His dancing school in Madrid was world famous. Rita recalled, "From the time I was three and a half,... as soon as I could stand on my own feet, I was given dance lessons.""I didn't like it very much,... but I didn't have the courage to tell my father, so I began taking the lessons. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, that was my girlhood." She attended dance classes every day for a few years in a Carnegie Hall complex under the instruction of her uncle, Angel Cansino, performing publicly from the age of six. In 1926, she featured in La Fiesta, a short film for Warner Bros..
In 1927, when Hayworth was eight years old, the family moved to Hollywood. Her father was convinced there was a great future for dancing in the movies and that his family could be part of it. He established his own dance studio and Hollywood luminaries, including James Cagney and Jean Harlow received specialized training from him. During the Great Depression the family's investments were wiped out. Musicals were no longer in vogue and commercial interest in her father's dancing classes waned. Hayworth partnered with her father to form "The Dancing Cansinos". Since Hayworth was not of legal age to work in nightclubs and bars according to California state law, she and her father traveled across the border to the city of Tijuana in Mexico, a popular tourist spot for Los Angeles citizens in the early 1930s. Due to her work schedule, Hayworth did not finish high school but completed ninth grade at Hamilton High, in Los Angeles. She took a bit part in the films Cruz Diablo (1934) which led to another in In Caliente (1935) with Mexican actress Dolores del Río. Hayworth danced in such nightspots as the Foreign Club and the Caliente Club and was at the Caliente Club where she was seen by the head of the Fox Film Corporation, Winfield Sheehan. A week later, Hayworth did a screen test for Fox. Impressed by her screen persona, Sheehan signed her for a short-term six-month contract, under the name of Rita Cansino.
- Category Actor