RITA MORENO Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Rita Moreno                                                                       
Birth name: Rosita Dolores Alverío                                                     
Born: 11 December 1931 Humacao, Puerto Rico                                             
Rita Moreno (born December 11, 1931) is a singer, dancer and an Academy Award-winning   
actress and the first female and only Puerto Rican actress in history to have           
won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award.                                       
Moreno (born Rosita Dolores Alverío in Humacao, Puerto Rico) moved with her           
mother to New York City at the age of five. When she was 11 years old, she lent         
her voice to Spanish-language versions of American films. She had her first             
Broadway role (Angelina in Skydrift) by the time she was 13, which caught the           
attention of Hollywood talent scouts. She played a small role in Singin' in the         
Rain as a silent screen vamp but disliked most of her other work during this           
In 1961, Moreno landed the role of "Anita" in Robert Wise's film adaptation of         
Leonard Bernstein's and Stephen Sondheim's groundbreaking Broadway musical, West       
Side Story. Moreno gained fame and an Academy Award as the Best Supporting             
Actress for that role.                                                                 
Moreno went on to be the first actress, and the first Hispanic, to win an Emmy,         
a Grammy, an Oscar (as mentioned), and a Tony. In 1985, she won the Sarah               
Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre.                                         
Moreno appeared in Singin' in the Rain (1952), The King and I (1956), and Carnal       
Knowledge in (1971). In the 1970s, she appeared on the PBS children's series The       
Electric Company notably as Millie the Helper (in fact it was Rita who screamed         
the show's opening line, "HEY, YOU GUYS!"); the often naughty little girl,             
Pandora; and as "Otto", the very short-tempered director. Moreno also appeared         
in the family variety series The Muppet Show. She made guest appearances on             
television series such as The Rockford Files, The Love Boat, The Cosby Show, The       
Golden Girls, and Miami Vice. She was also a regular on the short-lived sitcom         
version of Nine to Five (based on the hit film) during the early 1980s.                 
On June 18, 1965, Moreno married Lenny Gordon, who remains her husband and             
manager. They have one daughter, Fernanda (Gordon) Fisher.                             
Moreno's Broadway credits include The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Gantry, The           
Ritz, and the female version of The Odd Couple.                                         
In 1993 she was invited to perform at President Bill Clinton's inauguration and         
later that month was asked to perform at the White House. During the mid 1990s,         
Moreno provided the voice of Carmen Sandiego on the hit animated FOX show Where         
on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? In the late 1990s, she gained exposure to a new           
generation of viewers, as she played Sister Pete, a nun trained as a                   
psychologist in the popular HBO series, Oz. Moreno has participated in more than       
50 productions, combining her television, movie, and theatrical works. She made         
a guest appearance on The Nanny as Coach Stone, Maggie's tyrannical gym teacher,       
whom Fran Fine also remembered from her school as Ms. Wickavich.                       
Moreno continues to be active on stage and screen. In 2006, she portrayed Amanda       
Wingfield in the Berkeley Repertory Theater's revival of The Glass Menagerie.           
She was seen on Law and Order: Criminal Intent as the dying mother of Detective         
Goren. She is a regular on the TV series Cane.