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Download If This Was Happiness: A Biography of Rita Hayworth Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample If This Was Happiness: A Biography of Rita Hayworth Audiobook, by Barbara Leaming Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (214 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Leaming Narrator: Anna Fields Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2009 ISBN: 9781455172900
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Rita Hayworth was the epitome of 1940s Hollywood glamour. A huge box office star, her sultry figure was pasted by GIs onto the first atom bomb ever detonated. Yet behind the smoldering image lay a tragic secret that wrecked her private life. A pathologically shy child, Rita was thrust into the sordid limelight as her vaudevillian father’s dancing partner at an early age, suffering sexual and physical abuse at his hands. A desperate need for protection led her into five disastrous marriages, including those to Orson Welles and Prince Aly Khan. At the age of forty-two, Alzheimer's disease began to ravage her mind, cutting short her career at its peak.

This is a haunting and sympathetic tribute to a talented but insecure beauty who was created, and ultimately destroyed, by the movies.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Hayworth fans will learn much from this biography by the author of Orson Welles. The surprising story of the acutely shy Margarita Carmen Cansino, who was dubbed ‘the Love Goddess,’ contains more melodrama than most romance novels.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Anna Fields simply aims to make herself disappear into this heartrending narrative, giving center stage to Leaming’s economical and insightful chronicling of a train wreck of a life. The reader paces the story with precision, giving emphasis where needed but taking care to avoid theatricality.”

    Audiobookstoday.com

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 7/21/2013

    " This was good, but I lost interest somewhere after her marriage to Orson Welles. It convinced me to never have anything to do with Hollywood. Then I moved to Hollywood shortly thereafter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie Nakasone | 12/30/2012

    " What a sad life. I think she could have been a great actress if she didn't have the trauma and lack of support. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kit Fox | 9/26/2012

    " Rita Hayworth will always be one of my favorite film goddesses, it's a shame she had such an effed up life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally | 5/19/2012

    " This one I think was a pretty decent biography, though as usual focused a lot on the trashier, tabloid types of gossip. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 8/15/2011

    " Sad life story of Hayworth. Compelling reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 7/31/2011

    " Tragic life of a memorable film actress. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Althea | 12/25/2010

    " Not much to say about this book. It was a very ordinary biography about a famous person who despite the fact that she was beautiful and made a lot of money had a mostly sad and lonely life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara | 10/29/2010

    " One of the best Hollywood biographies I've read in a long time. Rita's life was not an easy one and Barbara Leaming captures the troubled woman behind the star image with great sensitivity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laini | 7/31/2010

    " Learned lots I didn't know! For all her glamour, Rita was a neurotic mess, clinging to men who were really bad for her. And all this because of the incest that occurred, thanks to her narcissistic father. An excellent read that explains many of the bad decisions she made. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 4/6/2010

    " Sad life story of Hayworth. Compelling reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laini | 8/28/2009

    " Learned lots I didn't know! For all her glamour, Rita was a neurotic mess, clinging to men who were really bad for her. And all this because of the incest that occurred, thanks to her narcissistic father. An excellent read that explains many of the bad decisions she made. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leah | 7/7/2009

    " What a very sad life she lived all the way til the end. Before you read about these stars you see them as their characters but it's always a shock to read what life was really like for them.
    Very interesting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 9/9/2008

    " This was good, but I lost interest somewhere after her marriage to Orson Welles. It convinced me to never have anything to do with Hollywood. Then I moved to Hollywood shortly thereafter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kit | 12/2/2007

    " Rita Hayworth will always be one of my favorite film goddesses, it's a shame she had such an effed up life. "

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About the Author

Barbara Leaming is the author of the New York Times bestseller Katharine Hepburn. She was for many years professor of theater and film at Hunter College. Her articles have appeared in Vanity Fair and the New York Times Magazine. She lives in Connecticut.

About the Narrator

Kate Fleming (a.k.a. Anna Fields) (1965–2006), winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award in 2004, was one of the most respected narrators in the industry. Trained at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, she was also a director, producer, and technician at her own studio, Cedar House Audio.