Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Women We Love: Rita Moreno

Rita and a few friends on Sunday Morning

Did you happen to catch CBS Sunday Morning this past weekend? Rita Moreno was featured in an interview, and— well— you gotta love her. Possibly best known for her role as Anita in the film "West Side Story", Rita Moreno has (and is still having) a long career— and a lot of fun. At 81 she is a bundle of energy.

As the "Latin Liz"

Rita Moreno emigrated from Puerto Rico to the Bronx at 5. She was performing from an early age and made it to Broadway where she was discovered by Hollywood talent scouts. She had a few bit movie parts before being promoted as "the Spanish Elizabeth Taylor". The roles that followed were laughably stereotypical but did lead to meeting Marlon Brando (long and tempestuous affair) and Elvis Presley (to make Marlon jealous). She earned an Oscar for "West Side Story" in 1961 and is one of very few performers who are EGOTs— winners of an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.

Better film roles did not automatically follow, but plenty of Broadway and television work did. Broaway credits include "Last of the Red Hot Lovers", "Gantry" and "The Ritz". TV appearances span the "Electric Company" to "The Love Boat", "Rockford Files", "Miami Vice" all the way up to a recurring role in Fran Drescher's latest, "Happily Divorced".

I've never heard anything negative about her. She comes across like a wise cracking broad in Tinkerbell's body. Adorable. She performed a one-woman autobiographical show in 2011 and has recently released a memoir:

Has she "had some work"? Well, maybe. She gets a pass. Could she ditch the floppy attire and distracting costume jewelry? Yea, maybe. Should she change a thing? Nope. Sometimes being who we are is the best person we can be.

If you can Hulu "Sunday Morning", see for yourself. She's a lulu.

Some Sunday morning high-stepping with Moe Larocca

1 comment:

  1. She was also on an NPR program this week. I could not get over how much fun she and the interviewers were all having. By the end of the program they were all laughing and talking at the same time, and begging Moreno to pay another visit soon. I want to be her when I'm 80.