Old Hollywood’s Most Tragic Screen Sirens

Rita Hayworth

In movies, Rita Hayworth appeared as a teasing temptress, but in reality, Margarita Carmen Cansino was a painfully shy girl who spent her life trying to please everyone she encountered. She began her career as a Spanish dancer with her family, leaving no room for school or friends. Biographies on the pinup insist that she was sexually and physically abused by her father, which could have been the reason why she married a 41-year-old car salesman at 18. For her Americanized transformation as a ’40s icon, Hayworth underwent torturous electrolysis and diets, which weren’t enough to get her lucky in love. Hayworth married five times, but all ended in divorce. The insecure star eventually faced several custody battles, public emotional outbursts, and alcoholism. Hayworth passed away in 1987 at age 68 from Alzheimer’s, a disease that was greatly misunderstood during her lifetime.