The real Rita Hayworth knew only the Mr Evils of this world

The actress’s endless series of disastrous relationships with men began with her abusive father

15 October 2020 - 20:00 By Martin Chilton

There’s a Stephen King novella in which a man, wrongly imprisoned for life, spends 25 years staring at a picture of Rita Hayworth on the wall of his cell. The photograph hides a hole he has patiently chiselled in the concrete, his only means of escape. For the prisoner, the pin-up is a symbol of freedom and hope.

Yet the real Hayworth knew little of either. Abused by her father, then mistreated by a succession of studio heads and appalling husbands, she made 61 films in 37 years before a dismal end, ravaged by alcoholism and Alzheimer’s...

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