The Life of Rita Moreno

She recently won a Peabody award to add to her Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony collection — making her the first Latina to achieve PEGOT status. 😲 Get to know Rita Moreno. 👇

The Life of Rita Moreno

Actress / singer / activist Rosa Dolores Alverio was born on December 11, 1931 in Puerto Rico. At 5, she moved with her mom to New York. She took the last name of her stepfather Edward Moreno. In East Harlem, she experienced discrimination for being Puerto Rican. At 11, she began dubbing American movies into Spanish. She chose her stage name inspired by the famous actress Rita Hayworth.

At 21, she appeared in a role in the movie Singin’ in the Rain. At 22, she met Marlon Brando. They were a couple for eight years. At 23, this photo became her first cover of Life magazine. But Moreno had no idea that it would make the cover.

In 1962, she won an Oscar for her role as Anita in West Side Story, she was the first Puerto Rican to receive the award. After winning the golden statue, she left Hollywood in protest of the stereotyped roles she was being offered.

In 1968, she returned to the big screen with Summer and Smoke. In 1975, she won a Tony for her role in the musical The Ritz. That year, she became the first Latina woman to EGOT — having won an Emmy / Grammy / Oscar / Tony.

In 1995, she was given a star on the cinema entertainment Hollywood Walk of Fame. At 81, she published her biography, in which she revealed that her relationship with Marlon Brando was abusive. At 84, she returned to television with One Day at a Time, playing the role of a Cuban grandmother.

In 2017, she joined Lin Manuel Miranda to help victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. At 87, she attended the Oscars, wearing the dress she wore to collect her own Oscar. In 2019, she received a Peabody award, one of three people in history to be a PEGOT winner.

She is Rita Moreno, a pioneering Latina in Hollywood.