Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno Headshot

Actress • Dancer • Singer

Birth Date: December 11, 1931

Age: 92 years old

Birth Place: Humacao, Puerto Rico

Rita Moreno weathered the ups-and-downs of an acting career that spanned seven decades to become an icon of the Hispanic community. A native of Humacao, Puerto Rico, she began working on Broadway in her early teens. She first became involved in movies by dubbing English-language films into Spanish. Her screen career began in her late teens with a role as a reform school student in "So Young So Bad" (1950). She had her first brush with stardom when she scored a supporting role as a starlet in the musical "Singin' in the Rain" (1952). She continued working steadily in standard studio fare and television productions throughout the 1950s. Her most high profile role was playing Tuptim in the Oscar-winning adaption of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "The King and I" (1956). Her celebrity status was cemented with her appearance in another landmark musical. The actress played Anita in the big screen version of the hit Broadway show "West Side Story" (1952). The film went on to earn 10 Academy Awards, with Moreno winning for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first Latina actress to win an Oscar. Unhappy with the stereotypical roles being offered after "West Side Story," she retreated to working primarily on stage, with occasional TV appearances, for most of the '60s. She returned with a role opposite then-boyfriend Marlon Brando in "The Night of the Following Day" (1969). She then appeared in high-profile roles in Arthur Hiller's "Popi" (1969), with James Garner in "Marlowe" (1969), and in Mike Nichols' "Carnal Knowledge" (1971). Her career took an unexpected turn when decided to join the original cast of the children's educational program "The Electric Company" (PBS, 1971-77). During the show's run she continued working on stage and screen, including starring in both the Broadway and film versions of the Tony-award winning musical "The Ritz" (1976). After, a recurring role on Garner's "The Rockford Files" (NBC, 1974-80), she joined Alan Alda and Carol Burnett in the big screen drama "The Four Seasons" (1981). She starred in the sitcom "Nine to Five" (ABC, 1982-83), playing the role originated by Lily Tomlin in the film. She remained a regular on television throughout her career. Moreno appeared with Burt Reynolds in "B.L. Stryker" (ABC, 1989-90) and opposite Bill Cosby in "The Cosby Mysteries" (NBC, 1994-95). She earned critical raves for her dramatic turn on the prison drama "Oz" (HBO, 1997-2003). The actress also made additional forays into children's' television, voicing the title character on "Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?" (Fox Kids, 1994-99) and the grandmother on "Nina's World" (Universal Kids, 2015-).

Sixty years after her film debut, Moreno was a series regular on Fran Drescher's sitcom "Happily Divorced" (TV Land, 2011-13). She wowed critics and audiences alike again with her role on Norman Lear's reboot of his '70s sitcom "One Day at a Time" (Netflix, 2017-). Moreno holds the distinction of being the third person to complete the EGOT, winning Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards.

Credits

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