Rita's Leading Men

Glenn Ford

Rita and Glenn FordGlenn Ford co-starred with Rita Hayworth in five films- The Lady In Question, Gilda, The Loves of Carmen, Affair In Trinidad and finally The Money Trap. Beginning with their second film together, the legendary, Gilda, Hayworth and Ford were regarded as the one of the best romantic screen couples of the 40's and early 50's, along with Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd, Jane Russell and Robert Mitchum, etc. There was amazing chemistry between them off screen, and on the screen it transformed them into a captivating couple. Ford said of Gilda, "There was an electricity on the set and it was translated to the screen." Glenn has admitted in interviews that "I loved her very deeply at the time," but as for Rita, she appears to have regarded him more as a best friend. They were very close. She loved him like a brother. They were great friends from the time they met until Rita's passing in 1987. He served as a pallbearer at her funeral. In her later years, they lived next to each other in Beverly Hills. Ford later called her "the best friend I ever had." He keeps a framed picture of Rita to this day with a fresh rose.

Fred Astaire

with Fred AstaireRita was certainly one of the best female dancers in Hollywood, so it's fitting that she was paired with Fred Astaire for two of her most popular films. Their two movies were Columbia's 1941 film You'll Never Get Rich and 1942's You Were Never Lovelier. They were both gifted dancers, so putting them together made for a magnificent piece of entertainment. Astaire had known Rita's father, Eduardo Cansino, from his vaudeville days before Rita was even born. Although he was partnered by many of Hollywood's most beautiful and skilled dancers on-screen, he named Rita his favorite leading lady. He maintained, "She was more professional than I was" -Truly high praise from a notorious perfectionist like Astaire. By all accounts they got along wonderfully.

Victor Mature

with Victor MatureVictor Mature co-starred in only one film with Rita, Fox's My Gal Sal. Victor was new to Hollywood at the time. Nicknamed "The Hunk", he was known as a brawny "beefcake" type, often co-starring in lightweight musicals starring the queen of 20th Century-Fox, Betty Grable. I personally don't think he and Rita had much chemistry onscreen, in comparison with some of her other co-stars, which is odd in light of the fact that they actually were romancing each other off screen. Victor would escort her to all the Hollywood events and they appeared to be very happy together. Indeed, their relationship was so serious rumor had it they would soon marry. Alas, the romance was not to last. While Victor was away with the Coast Guard, Rita entered into a more lasting love affair with Orson Welles, whom she married on September 7, 1943. I think Victor was one of the great romances of Rita's life. They remained friends afterwards. But considering the fact that she sort of "left him" for Orson, it seems unlikely that a marriage between them would have endured.

Tyrone Power

Rita and Tyrone PowerTyrone Power was Rita's co-star in the movie that shot her into superstardom, Blood and Sand. He was Juan Gallardo, the struggling matador, she was Dona Sol, the beautiful femme fatale he falls head over heels for. Later known as a swashbuckling hero type, he was already one of Hollywood's most popular leading men. He had made such hits as In Old Chicago and Alexander's Ragtime Band during the 30's with Alice Faye. In my opinion Tyrone Power was the most handsome male star of his time, and Rita Hayworth the most beautiful, so when they were paired they made a strikingly handsome duo. Unfortunately, Blood and Sand was the only film they ever made together.

Gene Kelly

Rita and Gene KellyCover Girl, the quintessential war-time musical, designed to boost morale, was the only movie to co-star Rita Hayworth with Gene Kelly. Relatively new to movies, Gene was not the first choice for the male lead, but the circumstances that brought him into the picture were a lucky mistake. They made a terrific partnership that carried the film to astronomical heights. Their teaming undoubtedly played a key role in the film's success, helped along by the Academy Award nominated musical score. Both superb dancers, they looked incredible in their numbers together. Gene had starred in musicals in the past two years for MGM, but after Cover Girl he became one of the public's favorite stars. As Rusty Parker and Danny McGuire, they gave us one of our most memorable musical pairings.

Previous Feature/ Back to Features/ Next Feature