By Wallace Wyss
This is a story of unrequited love all the way around. It occurred in the early ‘50s. Think film noir, mood lighting, moonlight on the Riviera, that sort of thing.
First, (and good casting for this story I might add) as the female lead was Rita Hayworth, born Margarita Carmen Cansino, to a Spanish Flamenco dancer father and Ziegfield girl mother. She was reportedly an under-age dancer at a Tijuana club when she was discovered by Fox Studios.
She became one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood. Her one-glove strip tease in the movie Gilda put her on the map. Rita was a top movie star and a popular pinup girl during the forties. Her second husband was famed director Orson Wells, who she married in 1943. Her career bloomed during that time, but she lived on the edge, by having a fling around 1948. Not with some ordinary Joe, mind you, but with an Ismaili prince, Aly Kahn.
I had heard about Aly Khan since I was a teenager but back then (you might say “before Wikipedia”) I never actually had been able to figure out what country he was a prince of, primarily because the Ismaili sect of Muslims have no country or territory of their own. Prince Ali Salman Aga Khan, known as Aly Khan, was a son of Sultan Mohammed Shah, Aga Khan III, the head of the Ismaili Muslims. Aly Khan’s son, born in 1957, is the current Sultan Aga Khan IV and worth about $800 million.