Rita Hayworth's Decades-Long Relationship With Glenn Ford Survived Her Breaking His Teeth

People often say that come what may, love endures all. When Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford appeared alongside one another in "Gilda" (1946, via IMDb), they showcased a sort of passion that transcended trial, tribulation, torment, and tempest. Audiences became enraptured by the on-screen romance between two of Hollywood's most desirable faces, and while the classic noir tale of betrayal and lust was able to seduce the masses with its allure and daring voyage into the treacherous depths of human emotion, few people knew the truth of the matter: that Hayworth and Ford were madly in love with one another in real life (via Closer Weekly). 

"There's never been anybody but you and me," Gilda famously proclaimed while staring deeply into Johnny Farrell's (Ford's) eyes. According to Closer Weekly, that statement was indicative of a much larger and far more impassioned relationship that would end up lasting some 40 or so years. It would seem that nothing could have come between the two — not their marriages, not their time apart, and certainly not the broken teeth that Ford suffered after Hayworth delivered a uncomely blow straight to his mouth during the filming of "Gilda." 

Rita Hayworth broke Glenn Ford's teeth

According to Movies! TV Network, one particular scene in "Gilda" required Hayworth to slap Ford in the face a few times. "She wouldn't do that in real life any more than she'd commit murder," director Charles Vidor once shared. "She's much too gentle, much too feminine." Still, the script required that she bone up and do the ugly deed, so she summoned all her internal strength and reluctantly carried through with the task. In hindsight, however, it turned out to be a little too much strength. 

She only had to strike him twice, but one of blows had enough force behind it to actually break a few of Ford's teeth. That's some serious method acting. Still, instead of losing his composure and wailing over his chipped chompers, the actor kept his composure and carried on with the scene without a single shred of distraction or bother (per Movies! TV Network). 

Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford's relationship

While "Gilda" is considered Hayworth and Ford's collective tour-de-force, they actually met six years earlier on the set of another film, "The Lady in Question" (1940, per IMDb). In time, they would come to view one another as far more than just an on-screen paramours who feigned romance before the camera – they would become real-life lovers who, against all odds, never lost sight of one another emotionally. "They never married because either one or the other was married to someone else," Glenn Ford's son Peter once shared with Closer Weekly. "It was a relationship that lasted many, many decades."

According to Vanity Fair, Rita Hayworth was married no less than five times throughout her life. Glenn Ford, in turn, was married and divorced four separate times (via The New York Times). Both stars were reputed to have engaged in various affairs with several of their show business colleagues, though no other marriage or relationship could have held a candle to the flame of their ongoing, resilient passion for one another (per Closer Weekly). 

The best neighbor a woman ever had

Perhaps even a shrouded love affair can become vulnerable to the stressors of a traditional long-distance relationship. By means of closing the space between them, Ford went so far as to move in directly next door to his beloved "Gilda" costar and her husband, screenwriter James Hill, in 1960. "That's where he built his dream house," Peter Ford told Closer Weekly. "The day after he finished that house and moved into it, she filed for divorce. The two of them were back together again. He installed a little gate in the back of his property so she could come from her house over to his." 

The younger Ford also stated that the two were "constantly together," and Hayworth even told the press once that Ford was "the best neighbor a woman ever had." In the later years of his life, Ford admitted that he loved his former costar and neighbor "very deeply" while she lived, and he even stood in as a pallbearer at her funeral in 1987. Rarely do you see the majestic aura of movie romance bleed over into real life, but in the case of Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford, not even the director's eye could fully encompass the grand magnitude of their profound and long-lasting love for one another (per Closer Weekly).