On this Day in Movie History, October 17, 1918 : Rita Hayworth Born

It was on this day, October 17, 1918, American dancer and film actress, one of the 1940s top stars Rita Hayworth was born. Appearing first as Rita Cansino, she agreed to change her name to Rita Hayworth and her hair color to dark red to attract a greater range of roles. Her appeal led to her being featured on the cover of Life magazine five times, beginning in 1940.

Born the oldest child of two dancers, Margarita’s father wanted her to become a professional dancer, while her mother hoped she would become an actress. From the age of three and a half, ” … as soon as I could stand on my own feet, I was given dance lessons.” Rita later recalled. She performed publicly from the age of six.In 1926 at the age of eight, she was featured in La Fiesta, a short film for Warner Bros.

The first dancer featured on film as a partner of both the stars Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, Hayworth appeared in a total of 61 films over 37 years.

She is listed by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 Greatest Stars of All Time.

1893 – Spring Byington (actress: Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, Angels in the Outfield, In the Good Old Summertime, Jezebel, Little Women, Laramie, December Bride; died Sep 7, 1971)

1900 – Jean Arthur (Gladys Georgianna Greene) (actress: Shane, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Devil and Miss Jones, The Jean Arthur Show; died June 19, 1991)

1902 – Irene Ryan (Noblette) (actress: The Beverly Hillbillies, Heading for Heaven; died Apr 26, 1973)

1920 – (Edward) Montgomery Clift (actor: From Here to Eternity, Suddenly Last Summer, Judgment at Nuremberg, The Misfits, A Place in the Sun, Raintree County; died July 23, 1966)

1926 – Beverly Garland (Fessenden) (actress: My Three Sons, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, The Bing Crosby Show, DOA, The Desperate Hours; died Dec 5, 2008)

1947 – Michael McKean (actor: LaVerne & Shirley, Grand, The Brady Bunch Movie, Radioland Murders, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, This is Spinal Tap, Coneheads, The Big Picture, Used Cars)

1948 – Margot (Ruth) Kidder (actress: Superman series, The Amityville Horror, Vanishing Act, Nichols)

1948 – George Wendt (actor: Cheers, Man of the House, Never Say Die, Fletch, No Small Affair)

1950 – Howard E. Rollins Jr. (actor: In the Heat of the Night, A Soldier’s Story, Ragtime, The Member of the Wedding; died Dec 8, 1996)

1955 – Sam Bottoms (actor: The Witching of Ben Wagner, Project Shadowchaser 3000, Return to Eden, East of Eden, Bronco Billy, Apocalypse Now, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Class of ’44, The Last Picture Show; died Dec 16, 2008)

1957 – Vincent Van Patten (tennis; actor: The Break, The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission, Payback, Charley and the Angel, Apple’s Way; son of actor Dick Van Patten)

1963 – Norm Macdonald (actor, comedian, celebrity impersonator: Saturday Night Live, Billy Madison, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Doctor Dolittle, The Norm Show, Screwed)

1978 – Sharon Leal (actress: Boston Public, Legacy, The Guiding Light, Face the Music)


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