Today is the 89th birthday of the actress that broke ground everywhere she stopped: Rita Moreno. She is one of only 12 people to ever win an Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy. I think I first learned of her when I was a kid while watching The Electric Company and The Muppet Show, I even remember on The Rockford Files. Watch her West Side Story clip below, it’s a bit sad that the lyrics from a 50 year old musical are still relevant today. Watch the clip with her and Morgan Freeman, it’s brilliant. She is brilliant. he world is a better place because she is in it.
NAME: Rita Moreno
BIRTH DATE: December 11, 1931
PLACE OF BIRTH: Humacao, Puerto Rico
OSCAR for Best Supporting Actress 1962 for West Side Story
GOLDEN GLOBE 1962 for West Side Story
EMMY 1977 for The Muppet Show (single episode)
EMMY 1978 for The Rockford Files (single episode)
TONY 1975 for The Ritz
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS LIVING LEGEND 2000
PRESIDENTIAL MEAL OF FREEDOM 23-Jun-2004
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME 7080 Hollywood Blvd.
BEST KNOWN FOR: Rita Moreno is a Puetro Rican actress, of West Side Story (1961) fame, who throughout her career has broken new ground for Latinos in entertainment.
Born Rosa Dolores Alverio on December 11, 1931, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Rita Moreno has broken new ground for Latinos in the field of entertainment throughout her career. Moreno began her career in show business at early age. She appeared on Broadway and in her first film role in her early teens, and left school around the same time.
Moreno is perhaps best known for her work in West Side Story (1961), a modern musical inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. A versatile performer, she had to sing, dance and handle very dramatic scenes during the course of the film. She won an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her portrayal of Anita, the tough but vulnerable girlfriend to the Sharks’s gang leader—becoming the first Hispanic actress to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
After her success with West Side Story, Moreno took on a range of interesting roles on stage and in films. She performed with the likes of Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson and James Garner. Her career took another interesting turn in the 1970s, when joined the cast of The Electric Company, a children’s television program. She stayed with the program for six seasons and became known for her trademark catchphrase: “Hey, you guys.” She and the rest of the cast won a Grammy Award in 1972 for the show’s soundtrack.
Only a few years later, Moreno won a Tony Award (best featured actress in a play) for her work in Broadway’s The Ritz (1975). Accolades didn’t stop there for Moreno. She went on to win two Emmy awards for guest appearances on The Muppet Show (1977) and The Rockford Files (1978). She is one of only 12 people to have received the four major entertainment honors—Emmy, Tony, Oscar and Grammy awards (also known as the EGOT).
Moreno again impressed critics with her turn as a no-nonsense nun on the cable television series Oz from 1997 to 2003. Today, she continues to act in feature films, make guest appearances on television, and sing and perform in theatrical productions.
Once romantically linked to Marlon Brando, Moreno married Dr. Leonard Gordon in 1965. The couple has a daughter, Fernanda, and two grandchildren. Her husband died in 2010 at the age of 90.
Happily Divorced Dori (2011-)
Cane Amalia Duque (2007)
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Frances Goren (2006-07)
The Guardian Caroline Novack (2003)
Oz Sister Peter Marie Reimondo (1997-2003)
Top of the Heap Alixandra Stone (1991)
The Cosby Mysteries Angie Corea (1994-95)
9 to 5 Violet Newstead (198-83)
The Electric Company (various, yelled “Hey You Guys!”, 1971-77)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Rio 2 (20-Mar-2014) [VOICE]
King of the Corner (2004) · Inez
Casa de los Babys (5-Sep-2003) · Señora Muñoz
Blue Moon (16-Jan-2000)
Slums of Beverly Hills (14-Aug-1998)
The Spree (18-Apr-1998)
Angus (15-Sep-1995) · Madame Rulenska
The Wharf Rat (3-Sep-1995) · Mom
Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business (13-Apr-1995) · Herself
I Like It Like That (12-Sep-1994)
Italian Movie (1993)
Portrait of a Showgirl (4-May-1982)
The Four Seasons (22-May-1981) · Claudia Zimmer
Happy Birthday, Gemini (2-May-1980) · Lucille
Anatomy of a Seduction (8-May-1979) · Nina
The Ritz (8-Jul-1977)
Carnal Knowledge (30-Jun-1971) · Louise
The Night of the Following Day (26-Dec-1968) · Vi
Cry of Battle (9-Oct-1963) · Sisa
Summer and Smoke (16-Nov-1961) · Rosa
West Side Story (18-Oct-1961) · Anita
This Rebel Breed (19-Mar-1960)
The Deerslayer (10-Sep-1957)
The Vagabond King (29-Aug-1956)
The King and I (28-Jun-1956) · Tuptim
The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (11-Jan-1956) · Sandra Roberts
Seven Cities of Gold (Sep-1955) · Ula
Garden of Evil (9-Jul-1954) · Singer
The Yellow Tomahawk (May-1954)
Latin Lovers (12-Aug-1953) · Christina
Fort Vengeance (29-Mar-1953)
The Ring (26-Sep-1952)
Cattle Town (6-Sep-1952)
Singin’ in the Rain (27-Mar-1952) · Zelda Zanders
Pagan Love Song (25-Dec-1950) · Teuru
The Toast of New Orleans (24-Aug-1950) · Tina
So Young So Bad (20-May-1950)