Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles

This Thursday, September 7, 2000 is the 57th anniversary of the day Rita Hayworth married Orson Welles. As I haven't made a "features" page in a while, I thought it would be a good idea to make a page about their relationship.

Rita and Orson Welles on their wedding day

Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles on their wedding day, September 7, 1943. One of the great couples of Hollywood history are wed.

Rebecca, Rita and Orson Welles After a party given by actor Joseph Cotton, a romance immediately blossomed between Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles. During the time they dated, Rita did guest spots on Welles' Mercury Theater radio show. They also teamed up to entertain the troops during they early part of the US involvement in World War II. Welles did a magic act in which he sawed Rita in half! During the filming of Cover Girl, Rita kept secret her plans to marry Orson. Only a few close friends were told before the marriage took place. On September 7, 1943, Rita was picked up at the studio by Orson and they were married in the judge's chambers. The director of Cover Girl, Charles Vidor said, "During his courtship of her, she was positively illuminated. When she was expecting her baby, she was like a goddess, walking far off the earth, touched with glory." This was certainly one of the happiest times of Rita's life. Their daughter, Rebecca Welles was born December 17, 1944. The press dubbed them "The Beauty and The Brain". Orson, also know as the "genius", introduced Rita to an entirely new strata of people- politicians, intellectuals and others who had nothing to do with the motion picture industry. Rita had been in show business ever since she was a child, so her education was cut short. During this time Rita worked on educating herself. Unfortunately, the happiness couldn't last, the couple separated around the Fall of 1945.

Rita and Orson in 1945

On the town with Orson. Although they didn't remain together, many say Rita considered Orson the great love of her life. Rita never spoke ill of him after the divorce. She said, "I admire him greatly. We just don't get along"

The Lady from Shanghai

Their marriage is commemorated by the film The Lady from Shanghai. It was not a bitter divorce. Though separated during filming of the movie, they remained on good terms. Rita and Orson are still thought of as one of the great Hollywood romances.

***Rita and Orson's wedding picture on this page was kindly provided by Caren Roberts-Frenzel, creator of The Rita Hayworth Fan Club. A must for all Rita fans!!!***

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