Rita Moreno is a Puerto Rican actress, dancer, and singer who was born Rosa Dolores Alvero Marcano on December 11, 1931. She is known for her work in a variety of fields of the entertainment industry, having performed in a number of film, television, and theatrical projects throughout the course of her seven-decade career. She is one of the few living stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Her film credits include supporting roles in Singin’ in the Rain (1952), The King and I (1956), and the 1961 and 2021 film adaptations of West Side Story. Popi (1969), Carnal Knowledge (1971), The Four Seasons (1981), I Like It Like That (1994), and the cult classic Slums of Beverly Hills are among her other significant films (1998). She is well renowned for her roles in the children’s television series The Electric Company (1971–1977) and the HBO series Oz (1997–2003) as Sister Peter Marie Reimondo. From 1994 to 1999, she was the voice of Carmen Sandiego in the animated series Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? She’s also known for her parts in Jane the Virgin (2015-2019) and Norman Lear’s One Day at a Time reprise (2017-2020). She is well remembered for her portrayal in 1975 musical The Ritz as Googie Gomez.
Among her many honors, Moreno is one of the few actors who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award (EGOT). She is also one of only 24 people to have won the Triple Crown of Acting, which includes individual Academy, Emmy, and Tony awards for acting. George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, the highest civilian honor granted by the United States. President Barack Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts in 2009. She was honored with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2013. Her commitment to American culture through the performing arts earned her a Kennedy Center Honor in 2015. In 2019, she received the Peabody Award. Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It, a documentary released in 2021, chronicled her life.
Early Years and The Start of A Career
Rita Moreno was born Rosa Dolores Alvero Marcano in Humacao, Puerto Rico, on December 11, 1931. Rosa Maria, her mother, was a seamstress, and Francisco José Alvero, her father, was a farmer. Francisco Moreno is Moreno’s younger brother. Moreno moved to New York City with her mother when she was a child. She began taking dancing lessons from a Spanish dancer shortly after her arrival. Moreno began doing Spanish-language dubs of American films when she was 11 years old. She made her Broadway debut at the age of 13 in “Skydrift,” which drew the attention of Hollywood talent scouts. Moreno lived in Valley Stream, Long Island, at the time.
Rita Moreno’s Net Worth Is Unknown.
Rita Moreno is an actress, dancer, and singer who has worked in the entertainment industry for almost 70 years. Rita Moreno has a $10 million net worth. The film musicals “Singin’ in the Rain,” “The King and I,” and “West Side Story,” for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, are among her significant credits. Moreno is one of the few people to have earned the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) award.
Honors and Personal Life
Moreno married physician Leonard Gordon, who also happened to be her manager, in 1965. Gordon died in 2010, and the couple remained together till then. They had a daughter named Fernanda together.
Moreno has garnered numerous prizes, including multiple lifetime achievement awards, in addition to her EGOT. A Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Peabody Award has also been bestowed upon her.
A Career in The Theater
Moreno’s Broadway credits include “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” “Gantry,” and “The Ritz.” For her latter performance, she received the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress. Following that, Moreno starred in “The Odd Couple” in a Chicago production.
A Career in Television
Moreno appeared on shows like “Fireside Theatre,” “China Smith,” “General Electric Theater,” “Cavalcade of America,” “And Climax!” “Father Knows Best,” and “Trackdown” during the 1950s. “Richard Diamond, Private Detective,” “Zorro,” “Adventures in Paradise,” “Burke’s Law,” and “Run for Your Life” were among her credits throughout the next decade. Moreno had one of her most famous appearances as a prominent cast member on the PBS children’s show “The Electric Company” from 1971 to 1977. She played Pandora, Otto, and Millie, among other roles, in addition to delivering the show’s classic opening line, “Hey, you guys!” Moreno earned an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for his appearance on “The Muppet Show” in the 1970s. She became only the third person to earn the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) in the process. Her guest-starring turn on “The Rockford Files” earned her another Emmy the following year.
A Career in Film
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Moreno began her career in the movies in the latter years of the Golden Age of Hollywood. She made her film debut in 1950, with roles in three MGM musicals, including “The Toast of New Orleans” and “Pagan Love Song.” Moreno starred as silent cinema star Zelda Zanders in Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen’s musical comedy “Singin’ in the Rain” in 1952. Moreno went on to star in films including “The Fabulous Senorita,” “Fort Vengeance,” “Latin Lovers,” “Jivaro,” “Untamed,” “The Vagabond King,” and “The Deerslayer,” among others, throughout the 1950s. She was, however, dissatisfied with her roles at the time, believing she was being typecast in traditional Hispanic roles. Her minor role as a Burmese concubine in “The King and I” was an exception.
In 1961, Moreno played Anita in the big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical “West Side Story,” which became her most renowned role. The film went on to win ten Academy Awards, including one for Moreno for Best Supporting Actress. Following that, she starred in “Summer and Smoke” and “Cry of Battle,” before taking a self-imposed hiatus from the entertainment industry. She returned in 1969 with three films: “The Night of the Following Day,” a crime drama starring Marlon Brando, “Popi,” a dramedy starring Alan Arkin, and the neo-noir “Marlowe,” starring James Garner.