Rita Hayworth, born Margarita Carmen Cansino on 17 October 1918, was an American actress and dancer. She achieved fame during the 1940s as one of the era's top stars, appearing in a total of 61 films, over 37 years. Hayworth is perhaps best known for her performance in the 1946 film noir, Gilda, opposite Glenn Ford, in which she played the femme fatale in her first major dramatic role. Her greatest success was in the
Technicolor musical Cover Girl, with Gene Kelly. In 1980,
Hayworth was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, which
contributed to her death aged 68 on 14 May 1987. The
public disclosure and discussion of her illness drew attention to Alzheimer's, helping to increase public & private funding for Alzheimer's research.