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Bella Donna: Rita Hayworth


If one actress could be considered responsible for prototyping old Hollywood glamour, it's Rita Hayworth. Born in Brooklyn in 1918 as Margarita Carmen Cansino, by the age of 19 she had signed with Columbia Pictures and changed her name to Rita Hayworth. Four years later she dyed her naturally brown hair a fiery shade of auburn, and a femme fatale was born. Oozing sex appeal on screen, she quickly became known for her risqué roles as a seductress.

A Life magazine photo shoot in 1941 provided pinup fodder for nearly every serviceman in the military during WWII. A picture of her was even strapped to the nuclear warhead that was tested in the Marshall Islands, paying tribute to her "bombshell" status.

Hayworth is remembered as a feisty, red-headed screen siren who wasn't afraid to mix power and sex appeal. And her look continues to influence today's red-carpet styles; her signature face-framing soft curls are just as glamorous now as they were back in her day.

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