MvVO Art Launches AD ART SHOW
Film

Being With A Sex Goddess On Her Birthday: A Homage to Rita Hayworth’s Centennial

Being With A Sex Goddess On Her Birthday: A Homage to Rita Hayworth’s Centennial

Today would have been Rita Hayworth’s 100th Birthday. In honor of this legend. A loving tribute from her former agent and friend

By Budd Burton Moss

Each year on October 17th, I find myself looking back at one of my fondest memories of being with the world’s most famous sex goddess on her 50th birthday. The first time I saw her in the movie Blood and Sand I couldn’t have dreamed that one day I would be one of Rita Hayworth’s best friends, let alone her agent.

I had brought Rita to Spain to replace the legendary Joan Crawford in the Italian co-production of I Bastardi. The producers had given her a surprise birthday party on the set the night before and they told me she could have the day off to enjoy her birthday.

I told her that I had a special day planned in Toledo, which was just an hour away from Madrid. We visited the home of the painter El Greco, saw Goya’s famous paintings, and marveled at the great “Portrait of Innocent” and “Las Meninas” of the master Diego Velazquez in the historic Santa Iglesia cathedral. I also arranged an intimate lunch in an old cave, which was a Four Seasons restaurant. Paella and roast pheasant were her favorite dishes that day. At the end of the afternoon, as we sat in the town square waiting for our driver to arrive, a paparazzi spotted us and took the photo of  Rita and I…it went around the world that same day!

page1image58940320

Born Margarita Cansino in Brooklyn, Rita went from a childhood performing with her parents in vaudeville to become one of America’s top-25 film stars of all time (according to the American Film Institute). She was known for her striking beauty, screen presence, and dancing ability. She appeared in 61 films over 37 years and co-starred with the biggest names of the day including Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Anthony Quinn, Tyrone Power, Gene Kelly, Glenn Ford, Orson Welles (her husband at the time), Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra. Co-star Fred Astaire named her his favorite dancing partner.

page1image58968096

Margarita Cansino in 1935

During World War II, she was American soldiers’ favorite Pinup Girl. She used her fame to boost morale during the war, performing with the USO, visiting injured soldiers, and selling war bonds. She purchase the first war bond of 1943 on a nationally-broadcast radio show.

Every man I have ever known has fallen in love with Gilda and awakened with me -Rita to Virginia Van Upp

Her longest-lasting legacy may, however, be her contributions to the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease, which has become one of the greatest public health threats of our time. Before she died from complications of Alzheimer’s in 1987, she showed great courage in going public with her diagnosis. By doing so she increased awareness of and reduced the stigma associated with the often misdiagnosed disease. In her memory, her daughter Princess Yasmin Aga Khan has raised over $70 million for Alzheimer’s research and treatments.

page2image58969344

Her longest-lasting legacy may, however, be her contributions to the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease, which has become one of the greatest public health threats of our time. Before she died from complications of Alzheimer’s in 1987, she showed great courage in going public with her

diagnosis. By doing so she increased awareness of and reduced the stigma associated with the often misdiagnosed disease. In her memory, her daughter Princess Yasmin Aga Khan has raised over $70 million for Alzheimer’s research and treatments.

page2image58968512

Rita Hayworth’s daughter Princess Yasmin flanked by Budd & Carolyn Moss

Rita Hayworth was (and remains) one of the most popular performers of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Indeed, the American Film Institute named her one of the top-25 female motion picture stars of all time. Some of her most memorable films include Angels Over Broadway (1940), Blood and Sand (1941), You’ll Never Get Rich (1941), You Were Never Lovelier (1942), Cover Girl (1944), Gilda (1946), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Fire Down Below (1957) and Pal Joey (1957).

page2image58971840

Rita & Fred Astaire in You’ll Never Get Rich
page3image58943440
Rita & Fred in You Were Never Lovelier

While Rita’s stunning beauty and flamboyant hair contributed to a mesmerizing stage presence on screen, her abilities as a dancer added greatly to her prestige. In his autobiography Steps in Time, Fred Astaire said she was his favorite dancer—an astounding validation given that Astaire’s legendary professional dance partners included the likes of Ginger Rogers, Eleanor Powell, Cyd Charisse, Ann Miller, Audrey Hepburn and Barrie Chase. Today, there are thousands of social media groups and websites around the world with millions of members and fans dedicated to studying and admiring all aspects of Rita Hayworth’s life.

page3image58944480

Budd Moss introduces star-struck Bing Crosby to Rita

page3image58937200

Rita & Budd Moss arrive in Buenos Aires for a special television interview with Argentina’s most popular talk show Lunch with Mirtha Legrand. The stern-looking woman at left rear is Rita’s highly trained German bodyguard! She carried a Luger pistol in a shoulder rig and later shielded Rita when a bomb exploded near their hotel!

I’ve had a lot of unhappiness in my life–and a lot of happiness. Who doesn’t? Maybe I’ve learned enough to be able to guide my daughters -Rita Hayworth

On October 25, 2017, Rita Hayworth’s legacy as a screen icon was further recognized when the first annual Burton Moss Hollywood Golden Era Award was dedicated to Rita and accepted by her daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan. The award was established by Regina Gil (founder & president of the prestigious Gold Coast Arts Center and its Gold Coast International Film Festival) as a special tribute to selected screen pioneers & legends whose lifetimes of dedication and contributions to the film industry are in danger of being forgotten or overlooked by newer, younger filmgoers.

Rita Hayworth’s daughter Princess Yasmin accepts the Burton Moss Hollywood Golden Era Award from Regina Gil. On left is the award’s sculptor, renowned artist Edwina Sandys (MBE),  a grand-daughter of Sir Winston Churchill. Budd Burton Moss on right.

Recipients of the Burton Moss Hollywood Golden Era Award are selected by an Advisory Board which includes such notables as Joel Grey, Larry King, Richard Thomas, Edwina Sandys, Mrs. Anthony Katherine Quinn, Tippi Hedren, Greg Mullavey, Carole Shelley, Angie Dickinson, Diane Baker, Stefanie Powers and Constance Towers Gavin. (Ms. Gil and the Advisory Board has selected actor Robert Wagner as the honoree for 2018.

Rita Hayworth’s legacy marches, or perhaps “dances” on…it has been announced that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science (AMPAS) will host a gala event to pay tribute to Rita in the summer of 2019. ¡Viva Rita! ¡Viva Margarita Cansino!

Film

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email: suzanna@t2conline.com

More in Film

Barbara Harris – Life and Death of a Broadway Star Who Shined on Hollywood Too

WriterNovember 9, 2018

How Netflix and Online Movies are Becoming a Threat to Hollywood

WriterNovember 1, 2018
Ciara Renée

Hawkgirl’s Ciara Renée Kickstarter Has Funded Her Project Reddy Records

Suzanna BowlingNovember 1, 2018
KRISTIN CHENOWETH

LA News: Kristin Chenoweth and Rachel Bloom

Suzanna BowlingOctober 29, 2018

My View: Hollywood Comes to Long Island – Robert Wagner Honored at Gold Coast

Stephen SorokoffOctober 27, 2018

November in New York Has Something For Everybody

Suzanna BowlingOctober 27, 2018

How To Make Your Own Indie Film on a Budget

WriterOctober 27, 2018

‘Tejano’ Takes Film Festival Circuit by Storm with Thoughtful Direction

ElizaBeth TaylorOctober 20, 2018
Kelli Barrett, Emma

Streaming Musicals A Good Way to See New Musicals But Needs Better Film Work

Suzanna BowlingOctober 20, 2018