Andrew Embiricos, grandson of Hollywood actress Rita Hayworth and Prince Aly Khan, was found dead of an apparent suicide at his West 17th Street apartment in Chelsea, New York City on Dec. 4. Embiricos was 25.
Andrew Ali Aga Khan Embiricos was the son of economist and shipping heir Basil Embiricos and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan. He was also the nephew of Prince Karim, Aga Khan IV. As such, Embiricos was purportedly a direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed. His body, lying face up in bed with a bag over his head, was found Sunday evening by a friend, Aaron Edwards, who then called 911. An autopsy is to be performed.
Because the handsome Embiricos had appeared in amateur gay sex video clips on X-Tube, New York and gay tabloids have gone on to claim that his death wasn’t actually suicide, but an experimentation with autoerotic asphyxiation gone wrong. Those are the same sensational rumors that surrounded the deaths of David Carradine in 2009 and gay British reality television celebrity Kristian Digby last year.
Although everything is possible – and morons everywhere love to believe sensational stories; the nastier the better, especially if sexually related – Embiricos had reportedly attempted suicide in the past and had had trouble dealing with his HIV-positive status.
Rita Hayworth was married to Aly Khan from May 1949 to January 1953. The couple had one daughter, Yasmin. Months after her divorce from the prince, Hayworth married actor-singer Dick Haymes. They were divorced in 1955. Three years later, she married writer-producer James Hill. They were divorced in 1961. Her two previous husbands were Orson Welles and promoter Edward C. Judson.
A dancer turned small-time actress in the 1930s, Hayworth (born Margarita Carmen Cansino in Brooklyn) became Columbia’s top star in the mid-’40s. Among her film credits are Howard Hawks’ aviation drama Only Angels Have Wings (1939), with Cary Grant and Jean Arthur; two Fred Astaire musicals, You’ll Never Get Rich (1941) and You Were Never Lovelier (1942); Charles Vidor’s Technicolor musical Cover Girl (1944), with Gene Kelly; Vidor’s romantic, film noir classic Gilda (1946), with Glenn Ford and George Macready; and Orson Welles’ cult film noir The Lady from Shanghai (1948).
Following her divorce from Aly Khan, Hayworth had trouble recovering her former popularity. On the other hand, it was in the ’50s and ’60s that she delivered her most effective dramatic performances: as a sex worker who unwittingly destroys the rabidly puritanical Christian Jose Ferrer in Curtis Bernhardt’s Miss Sadie Thompson (1953); as the middle-aged woman romantically entangled with Burt Lancaster in Delbert Mann’s psychological drama Separate Tables (1958); lost in the desert with Gary Cooper, Van Heflin, and Tab Hunter in Robert Rossen’s They Came to Cordura (1959); and as Claudia Cardinale’s mother in Henry Hathaway’s otherwise dismal Circus World (1965), with John Wayne.
Hayworth, who for years suffered from chronic alcoholism, died of Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 68 in 1987. Embiricos’ website includes the following resume:
Through his philanthropic efforts, Andrew Embiricos has demonstrated an unequivocal commitment to improving the quality of life for those around him. While working toward a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Fordham University in New York City, Andrew Embiricos founded a Facebook-based charity designed to clothe those living without homes in the city. Andrew Embiricos makes significant contributions to the research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association and has been involved in fundraising initiatives for an HIV/AIDS awareness and research organization.
Note that most mainstream obits omitted the HIV information found above, focusing instead on Embiricos’ efforts to help the homeless and find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
Another of Hayworth’s grandsons, Marc Welles, is the focus of Kimberly Reed’s 2008 documentary Prodigal Sons.