Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Rita Moreno

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Marlon Brando


Rita Moreno

Years active

Fernanda Luisa Gordon

Rita Moreno Oscar Winner Rita Moreno 39I39m the Happiest Hispanic I39ve

Full Name
Rosa Dolores Alverio

December 11, 1931 (age 91) (
Humacao, Puerto Rico, U.S.

Actress, Singer, Dancer

Leonard Gordon (m. 1965–2010)

Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award

Movies and TV shows
Rio 2, Oz, The Electric Company, The King and I, Singin' in the Rain

Similar People
George Chakiris, Richard Beymer, Natalie Wood, Russ Tamblyn, Marlon Brando

Puerto Rican-American

Rita moreno winning best supporting actress

Rita Dolores Moreno (born Rosa Dolores Alverío; December 11, 1931) is a Puerto Rican-American actress, dancer and singer. Her career has spanned over 70 years; among her notable acting work are supporting roles in the musical films The King and I and West Side Story, as well as a 1971–77 stint on the children's television series The Electric Company, and a supporting role on the 1997-2003 TV drama Oz.


Rita Moreno Rita Moreno Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Moreno is one of twelve performers to have won all four major annual American entertainment awards: an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony. She is also one of 23 people who have achieved the so-called Triple Crown of Acting, with individual competitive Academy, Emmy and Tony awards for acting; she and Helen Hayes are the only two who have achieved both distinctions. She has won numerous other awards, including various lifetime achievement awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor.

Rita Moreno Rita Moreno To Receive La Musa Legacy Award At LSHOF 3rd

Rita moreno talks about being brought up as a caribbean girl on the queen latifah show

Early years

Rita Moreno Rita Moreno Photo 1 Pictures CBS News

Moreno, was born Rosa Dolores Alverío in Humacao, Puerto Rico, to Rosa María (née Marcano), a seamstress, and Francisco José "Paco" Alverío, a farmer. She was originally nicknamed "Rosita". Moreno, whose mother was 17 at the time of her birth, was raised in nearby Juncos. Rita's mother moved to New York City in 1936, taking her daughter, but not her son, Rita's younger brother, Francisco. Rita later adopted the surname of her first stepfather, Edward Moreno, Rosa Maria's second husband.

Early career

Rita Moreno myamericanlatinomuseumorgblogRitaNRFPT01jpg

Rita began her first dancing lessons soon after arriving in New York with a Spanish dancer known as "Paco Cansino", who was a paternal uncle of film star Rita Hayworth. When she was 11 years old, she lent her voice to Spanish language versions of American films. She had her first Broadway role—as "Angelina" in Skydrift—by the time she was 13, which caught the attention of Hollywood talent scouts.


Rita Moreno httpssmediacacheak0pinimgcomoriginals2f

Moreno acted steadily in films throughout the 1950s, usually in small roles, including in The Toast of New Orleans (1950) and Singin' in the Rain (1952), in which she played the starlet "Zelda Zanders". In March 1954, Moreno was featured on the cover of Life Magazine with the caption "Rita Moreno: An Actress's Catalog of Sex and Innocence".

Rita Moreno httpswwwbiographycomimagetshareMTE5NDg0M

Moreno disliked most of her film work during this period, as she felt the roles she was given were very stereotypical. One exception was her supporting role in the film version of The King and I as Tuptim.

In 1961, Moreno landed the role of Anita in Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins' film adaptation of Leonard Bernstein's and Stephen Sondheim's groundbreaking Broadway musical West Side Story, which had been played by Chita Rivera on Broadway. Moreno won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for that role.

Rita Moreno httpsipinimgcom736x9747ae9747ae5029e6384

After winning the Oscar, Moreno thought she would be able to continue to perform less stereotypical film roles, but was disappointed:

Moreno had a major role in Summer and Smoke (1961), released soon after West Side Story. She did appear in one film during her self-imposed exile from Hollywood – Cry of Battle (1963) – although it had been filmed directly before and after she won the Academy Award.

She made her return to film in The Night of the Following Day (1968), and followed that with Popi (1969), Marlowe (1969), Carnal Knowledge (1971) and The Ritz (1976). Another notable role was in the hit film The Four Seasons (1981). She has continued to work in film since then, including a small voice role in the 2014 film Rio 2, perhaps her most commercially successful film.


From 1971 to 1977, Moreno was a main cast member on the PBS children's series The Electric Company. She screamed the show's opening line, "HEY, YOU GUYS!" Her roles on the show included Millie the Helper, the naughty little girl Pandora, and Otto, a very short-tempered director.

Rita Moreno appeared in the variety series The Muppet Show, and she has made numerous guest appearances on television series since the 1970s, including The Love Boat, The Cosby Show, George Lopez, The Golden Girls, and Miami Vice.

One notable guest appearance was a three-episode arc on The Rockford Files in 1977 as former call girl Rita Kapcovic. For her portrayal, Moreno won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress - Drama Series. As a result, she became the third person (after Richard Rodgers and Helen Hayes) to have won an Oscar (1962), a Grammy (1972), a Tony (1975), and an Emmy (1977).

She was a regular on the first three seasons of the sitcom version of Nine to Five (based on the film hit) during the early 1980s.

During the mid-1990s, Moreno provided the voice of Carmen Sandiego on Fox's animated series Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?

In the late 1990s, she gained exposure to a new generation of viewers when she played Sister Pete, a nun trained as a psychologist in the popular HBO series Oz, for which she won several ALMA Awards. She made a guest appearance on The Nanny as Coach Stone, Maggie's tyrannical gym teacher, whom Fran Fine also remembered from her school as Ms. Wickavich.

She had a recurring role on Law & Order: Criminal Intent as the dying mother of Detective Robert Goren. She played the family matriarch on the short-lived 2007 TV series Cane, which starred Jimmy Smits and Hector Elizondo. She played the mother of Fran Drescher's character in the 2011–13 TV sitcom Happily Divorced.

In 2014, Moreno appeared in the NBC television film Old Soul, alongside Natasha Lyonne, Fred Willard and Ellen Burstyn. The film was intended as a pilot for a television series, but it was not picked up.

Moreno co-starred, as the matriarch of a Cuban-American family, in the Netflix sitcom One Day at a Time, a remake produced by Norman Lear of Lear's own 1975-84 sitcom One Day at a Time. The first season was released in January 2017. Critics overall praised the show, and especially the performances of Moreno and the series' star, Justina Machado.


Moreno's Broadway credits include Last of the Red Hot Lovers (1969), the very short-lived musical Gantry (1970) and The Ritz, for which she won the 1975 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress. She appeared in the female version of The Odd Couple, that ran in Chicago, for which she won the Sarah Siddons Award in 1985.

In 2006, she portrayed Amanda Wingfield in Berkeley Repertory Theatre's revival of The Glass Menagerie.

In September 2011, Moreno began performing a solo autobiographical show at the Berkeley Rep (theater) in Berkeley, California, Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup written by Berkeley Rep artistic director Tony Taccone after hours of interviews with Moreno.


In 1993 she was invited to perform at President Bill Clinton's inauguration and later that month was asked to perform at the White House.

She released an eponymous album of nightclub songs in 2000 on the Varèse Sarabande label, with liner notes by Michael Feinstein.

Personal life

Moreno had an eight-year-long affair with actor Marlon Brando. In an interview with Good Day LA, Moreno stated that Elvis Presley was not a good lover. They dated for quite some time, but whenever the opportunity presented itself to take the relationship to another level, Presley backed off. Moreno would later confirm that she only dated Presley to make Brando jealous.

Moreno has also had relationships with actors Anthony Quinn and Dennis Hopper, and theater critic Kenneth Tynan. She claims that Tynan stalked her.

On June 18, 1965, Moreno married Leonard Gordon, a cardiologist who was also her manager. He died on June 30, 2010. They have one daughter, Fernanda Luisa Fisher, and two grandsons, Justin and Cameron Fisher. Moreno once considered leaving her husband but could not because she did not want to break up the family.


Among Moreno's awards and recognition are the following:

  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (West Side Story), 1961
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress (West Side Story), 1961
  • Joseph Jefferson Award: Best Chicago Theatre Actress, 1968
  • Grammy Award for Best Album for Children (The Electric Company Album), 1972
  • Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play (The Ritz), 1975
  • Emmy Award for Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program, 1977
  • Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress – Drama Series (for The Rockford Files), 1978
  • Sarah Siddons Award for her portrayal of Olive Madison in the female version of The Odd Couple, 1985
  • Library of Congress Living Legends Award, April 2000
  • The Hispanic Organization of Latin actresses (HOLA) renamed their Award for Excellence in her honor (known as the HOLA Rita Moreno Award for Excellence since 2000)
  • Special Recognition Award from the International Latin Music Hall of Fame, 2001
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush, June 2004
  • A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Inducted into the California Hall of Fame, 2007
  • National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama, 2009
  • Hispanic Organization of Latin actresses (HOLA) Lifetime Achievement Award, 2010
  • Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012
  • Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, 2013 (presented on Saturday, January 18, 2014)
  • Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award, 2015
  • Honorary doctorate of music, awarded by the Berklee College of Music, May 7, 2016.
  • References

    Rita Moreno Wikipedia