They say the third time’s a charm. But that’s not always the case. Actually, in the case of Rita Hayworth, it appears not the third, fourth nor fifth time sealed the deal. But we find it interesting that she was married to four of her five husbands for five years each. The one exception: Dick Haymes, to whom she was only married for two. And now we know why. Here’s the story of Rita Hayworth and Dick Haymes.
It didn’t start off poorly (most weddings don’t). Or did it? It seems that while Rita had walked down the aisle a few times before (ok, three) Haymes had been down a couple times himself. But with a declining singing career, one that was propped up when his super famous girlfriend would show up to his performances, his ability to pay those ex-wives the money they were due was next to impossible. He was so indebted that he couldn’t even step into the state of California without getting arrested. It was Rita that ended up paying those debts.
Haymes, an Argentinian by birth, didn’t have solid proof of American citizenship. It wasn’t too long after he met Hayworth that the US initiated proceedings to have him deported back to his native land. Rita assumed responsibility for his citizenship by essentially agreeing to marry him. So on September 24, 1953 the two wed at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, with their wedding procession marching right through the casino itself. And then there was the cake! Oh, the cake. It was perhaps the best thing about the marriage, they were soon to learn.
But that wasn’t the end of the troubles. It may have really only been the beginning. As a man with many debts, he was also behind with the IRS and those folks were coming ’round knocking. Once Rita stopped attending his shows, his audiences once again declined and it had gotten so desperate, he didn’t even have enough money to pay his pianist, much less the IRS. It was so bad that at one point, the couple was basically imprisoned for 24 hours in their hotel room in New York City as sheriff’s deputies waited outside threatening to arrest Haymes for outstanding debts.
Rita Hayworth and Dick Haymes’ tumultuous relationship was short-lived, as we said. They’d been together for two years when Haymes struck Rita in the face while they were Coconut Grove nightclub in Los Angles. That was the end for Rita. She packed her bags and left and didn’t look back. But it shook her. Her doctor put her on bedrest for a number of days afterwards. Yet another marriage down the tubes. But at least there had been that cake.