Of all the stars who have ever gone to Hollywood, none have wanted to find love more than Rita Hayworth. “All I wanted was just what everyone else wants — to be loved,” she once said.
The Gilda actress tried her hardest to make her dream a reality, but she was never good at picking the right guys. “She didn’t have any role models,” biographer Adrienne McLean exclusively tells Closer Weekly in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now. “She tended to gravitate toward authoritative, paternalistic people.”
Married 5 times, Rita never learned the true meaning of love. She thought she had found it once in her first husband, Edward C. Judson, but they ended up getting divorced after spending five years together, from 1937 to 1942.
“He married me for an investment,” Rita once said. “He was extremely jealous and quarrelsome. I was never permitted to make any decisions. He told me I couldn’t do anything for myself. My personality crawled deeper and deeper into a shell.”
Her second husband was Orson Welles — of Citizen Kane fame — but that union wasn’t any better. “She thought he was going to settle down,” Adrienne recalled of their marriage, which lasted from 1943 to 1947. “And it was exactly at that point that he was like, ‘I’m outta here!’”
Left heartbroken, Rita tried her luck three more times — to Prince Aly Khan (1949 to 1953), actor Dick Haymes (1953 to 1955) and producer James Hill (1958 to 1961) — but they all ended the same way: in despair.
Near the end of her life, Rita turned to alcohol to try and hide her early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. She thought she had everything under control until her symptoms got worse. At that point, Rita’s daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, 70, had to move in with her.
“There were times Mother would step out of an elevator and not know which way to go,” she once recalled to People. “You could see the panic because she was so confused and disoriented.”
Sadly, in 1987, Rita lost her battle with Alzheimer’s disease. “She was so loving, so caring,” Yasmin remembered to Fox News. “She taught me important things. At home, she would put on music and play the castanets. I had a wonderful childhood. I knew she was famous, but she was my mom — a regular mom.”
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