Rita Hayworth (born Margarita Carmen Cansino; October 17, 1918 – May 14, 1987) was an American actress, dancer, and producer. She achieved fame during the 1940s as one of the era’s top stars, appearing in 61 films over 37 years. The press coined the term “The Love Goddess” to describe Hayworth after she had become the most glamorous screen idol of the 1940s. She was the top pin-up girl for GIs during World War II.
Hayworth is perhaps best known for her performance in the 1946 film noir Gilda, opposite Glenn Ford, in which she played the femme fatale in her first major dramatic role. She is also known for her performances in Only Angels Have Wings (1939), The Strawberry Blonde (1941), Blood and Sand (1941), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Pal Joey (1957), and Separate Tables (1958). Fred Astaire, with whom she made two films, You’ll Never Get Rich (1941) and You Were Never Lovelier (1942), once called her his favorite dance partner. She also starred in the Technicolor musical Cover Girl (1944), with Gene Kelly. She is listed as one of the top 25 female motion picture stars of all time in the American Film Institute‘s survey, AFI’s 100 Years…100 Stars.
In 1980, Hayworth was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, which contributed to her death in 1987 at age 68. The public disclosure and discussion of her illness drew attention to Alzheimer’s, and helped to increase public and private funding for research into the disease. (Source)