Celebrating Rita Hayworth With an Old-Time Radio Tribute

When Margarita Carmen Cansino was born 100 years ago this week no one could have known she’d become the movie star of movie stars, one of the silver screen’s greatest beauties, and a woman who would keep an entire Hollywood studio running on her talent alone. Of course I’m referring to Rita Hayworth who epitomizes the dream factory in many ways and who reached the top echelon of fame when the star system reigned supreme.

Rita in a publicity still circa 1945. (Photo by Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Rita has been appearing on TCM all month in celebration of what would have been her 100th birthday and I certainly hope you’ve been watching her memorable film appearances. Hayworth was one of a kind, adored by every classic movie fan I know – the love goddess who breaks my heart a little whenever I think of her. Today I celebrate Rita in the best way I can, by gathering her radio performances in preparation for my workday. I hope you like them. Rita Hayworth did not appear in the number of radio shows appropriate for a star of her caliber, but there is still plenty to enjoy.


  • From May 29, 1939 Rita reprising her movie role in “Only Angels Have Wings” along with Cary Grant and Jean Arthur in this Lux Radio Theatre presentation:


  • From March 23, 1942, the Lux Radio Theatre presentation of “The Strawberry Blonde” starring Rita, Don Ameche, and Gail Patrick:


  • From May 25, 1942 Rita stars alongside Robert Taylor and Robert Preston in the Lux Radio Theatre presentation of “Test Pilot.” Rita kicks off the program with a message for the troops:


  • From December 29, 1942 here’s an episode of the Burns and Allen Show titled “Gracie’s Dating Service” wherein she tries to fix Rita up with a date after learning the movie star can’t do it on her own:

  • From January 5, 1943 here’s Rita as guest on “The Pepsodent Show” starring Bob Hope aka “The Bob Hope Program/Show”:


  • From February 13, 1943 Rita is MC of this episode of Command Performance with Betty Hutton and Burns and Allen as guests:

  • From April 23, 1943 Here are Rita Hayworth and William Powell in the Lux Radio Theatre presentation of “The Lady Has Plans”:


  • I couldn’t find the exact date that this episode aired, but it’s a fun one. Hollywood’s most congenial stars as the above image illustrates, Rita Hayworth and Bob Hope star in this episode of the Screen Guild Theatre titled, “Elmer the Great”:


  • From March 21, 1944 here’s Rita on an episode of The Burns and Allen Show titled “George the Genius”:


  • From September 11, 1944 it’s Rita and Orson Welles in the Lux Radio Theatre presentation of “Break of Hearts”:


Rita and Orson prepare for a Lux Radio Theatre performance


  • From May 20, 1945 here’s “The Jack Benny Program” with guest Rita Hayworth:


From January 20, 1946 it’s “The Charlie McCarthy Show” featuring Edgar Bergen. Guest star is Rita Hayworth:


  • Finally, from October 3, 1946 Suspense episode, “Three Times Murder” starring Rita Hayworth:


A la querida Rita. No habra otra como tu.

11 thoughts

  1. So sad that this gloriously vibrant creature died relatively young (68) of Alzheimer’s. Let’s hope the human race will be free of this scourge soon. If so, it will be in part because of the work done by her daughter in her memory.

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