“Rita Moreno: A Memoir” in Bookstores & Online

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Whenever you hear the song “America” from West Side Story, no doubt Rita Moreno comes to mind. Moreno’s ‘Anita’ won her the Oscar and stardom. She is in the exclusive club of artists that have won the grand slam of arts awards including an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony…plus a Golden Globe and the National Medal of Honor.

At 80, Moreno is still singing, dancing, acting and writing.  Performing since the age of 7, Rita was discovered by Louis B. Mayer, the famed filmmaker of old Hollywood who remarked upon seeing her that she looked like a ‘Spanish’ Elizabeth Taylor.  Moreno was in her late teens/early twenties when she was rubbing shoulders with the greats of old Hollywood- Clark Gable, Yul Brynner, Gene Kelly, Marlon Brando- and yes, Elizabeth Taylor, too.

Last year Moreno starred in her autobiographical one-woman show, Life Without Makeup, to rave reviews at the Berkeley Repertory Theater. Earlier this month she released  Rita Moreno: A Memoir.  Born Rosa Dolores Alverío in Humacao, Puerto Rico, her mother moved the family to New York City when she was 3. She takes us on her life journey once again- as an immigrant, as a starlet, and as a heartbroken young woman. To say she was involved with bad boy Marlon Brando is an understatement; infidelity, an unwanted pregnancy, and a suicide attempt made for good tabloid fodder publicly but privately it was a source of much pain.

Get the book and read all about Rita.

@SFLucho

Happy Birthday, Rita!

HEY,YOU GUYS!  The iconic Rita Moreno turned 81 this week (December 11)!

If you know what that line is from that’s probably one of the first times you saw Rita. She screamed the opening line of the Electric Company, the PBS children’s show that aired from 1971-1985. Rita is a singer, dancer, and actor with many credits to her name in film, tv, stage, and music. You probably have seen her in West Side Story (1961) as Anita, the role for which she is best remembered and which earned her an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress.  If you’re a fan of cable programming, perhaps you saw her on HBO’s OZ,  the prison dramatic series where she played Sister Pete, a psychiatrist nun counseling prisoners. She’s currently on TV Land’s “Happily Divorced”  where she plays Fran Drescher’s mother.

Rita is entertainment royalty. She’s part of an elite small club of artists that have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award.  She was also honored with the National Medal of Arts in 2009 by President Barack Obama.

Happy birthday & many more, Rita!

@SFLucho