Her dancer father, Eduardo Cansino, himself the son of a dancer, came to New York from Spain in 1913 with sister Elisa.
Mother, showgirl Volga Hayworth (sometimes spelled Haworth), met Eduardo on Broadway in 1916; they married 1917.
Her first (uncredited) appearance on film was with the dancing Cansino family in a Vitaphone short La fiesta (1926) (aka "La Fiesta").
When she died, it was her former Paddy O'Day (1935) costar Jane Withers who delivered the eulogy at her funeral.
She played the sister of Barbara Stanwyck in A Message to Garcia (1936), but after a test screening all her scenes were cut at the request of Darryl F. Zanuck.
In the early 1940s, she replaced Jean Arthur as the top female star at Columbia Pictures. Coincidentally, the two stars share the same birthday (October 17).
The famous Bob Landry photo of Rita in "Life", 11 August 1941, p. 33, made her the number 2 soldier pin-up of World War II.
She was the producers' first choice for Casablanca (1942), but they couldn't get her and were fortunate to settle for Ingrid Bergman.
Daughters: Rebecca Welles (17 December 1944 to 17 October 2004) and Yasmin Khan, born 28 December 1949.
Under of the influence of second husband Orson Welles, Rita began to read classic literature. While pregnant in 1944, she was very impressed by Sir Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe" and named her firstborn daughter Rebecca after the novel's heroine.
Her singing was dubbed by Nan Wynn (1941-1944), Martha Mears (1945), Anita Ellis (1946-1948), and Jo Ann Greer (1952-1957).
The image of her face was glued onto an A-bomb which was dropped on the Bikini Atoll during a test in 1946.
Knocked out two of Glenn Ford's teeth during their fight in Gilda (1946).
In 1946, an expedition into the wilderness of Canada's unexplored Headless Valley came across an abandoned trapper's shack. In it the expedition found three things: a candle, a can of beans, and a picture of Rita.
In Italy, all her films were dubbed by either Tina Lattanzi, most notably in Gilda (1946), and later in her career by Lidia Simoneschi.
In 1947, started her own production company, "Beckworth Corporation" (formed from syllables of her daughters name, Rebecca, and her own surname). It was dissolved in 1954 under advice from her fourth husband, Dick Haymes.
On May 27, 1949, she married Prince Aly Khan. Many people forget that Rita, not Grace Kelly, was the first movie star to become a princess.
She appeared in 5 movies with classic leading actor, Glenn Ford: Affair in Trinidad (1952), The Lady in Question (1940), The Loves of Carmen (1948), The Money Trap (1965) and Gilda (1946).
The Maria Vargas character (played by Ava Gardner) in the 1954 Joseph L. Mankiewicz film The Barefoot Contessa (1954)) was based on her.
Her own singing voice is heard in the introductions to her songs (otherwise dubbed by Jo Ann Greer) in Pal Joey (1957).
Was portrayed by Lynda Carter in Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess (1983) (TV).
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 399-400. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.
She was the first bombshell to appear on one of the posters in The Shawshank Redemption (1994). (The other two were Marilyn Monroe and Raquel Welch).
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the "100 Sexiest Stars" in film history (#54). 
Ranked #98 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
The annual Rita Hayworth charity gala, managed by daughter Princess Yasmin Khan, raised $1.8 million in 1999 alone for the Alzheimer's Assn.
Is portrayed by Veronica Watt in Hollywoodland (2006).