Rita Moreno is an all-round entertainer who was born in Puerto Rico, but grew up in New York. Moreno has been in the entertainment business since she was an adolescent, gaining her 1st movie experience at just 11 years old. Aged 13 Rita Moreno made her debut Broadway appereance in ‘Skydrift’ at the Belasco theatre. She played alongside Arthur Keegan and a young Eli Wallach.
Due to the lack of decent material, Rita Moreno often had to give in to stereotypes and play roles of a sexualised nature. She found these roles degrading and was determined to battle through these stereotypes as she established herself within the entertainment industry. A turning point came when she got the role as ‘Anita’ in the West Side Story in 1961. Moreno won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, for her portrayal of this tough but vulnerable character. This made her the first Hispanic actress to win an Oscar in this category. Following this success Moreno was able to take on a range of interesting roles on stage and in film. She joined the cast of The Electric Company, a children’s TV programme in the 1970s. She stayed for 6 seasons and won a Grammy award along with the rest of the cast for the programme’s soundtrack.
Rita Moreno has had a remarkable career spanning almost 6 decades. She has had 19 award wins and 22 nominations. She is one of the few actresses and the very first to win an Oscar, Emmy, Tony and a Grammy. These being the most prestigious awards in the entertainment business. Moreno has appeared in classics such as Singing in the Rain (1952) and The King and I (1956). Despite many obstacles throughout her career Moreno has made herself into an astounding entertainer, continuing to perform well into the 21st century. She has always had a sense of humour and continues to rock her trendy outfits well into her 80s. Moreno is a true inspiration and even with her very busy work schedule, has always found time for her family; especially her 2 grandchildren, which she says are her pride and joy. Rita Moreno has also contributed to the arts and Hispanic communities and in 2015 added the Kennedy Center Honours to her remarkable trophy shelf. Rita Moreno Caribbean1st absolutely salutes you.