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Rita Moreno
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Rita Moreno

Rosita Dolores Alverio (December 11, 1931), born in Humacao, Puerto Rico is better known as Rita Moreno, an actress who has achieved fame both in Hollywood and Broadway.

At the age of five Rita and her mother moved to New York. When she was eleven years old Rita lent her voice to Spanish-language versions of Anerican films. She had her first Broadway role by the time she was thirteen, which caught the attention of Hollywood talent scouts.

For the next ten years Rita played roles in movies which she felt degrading.

Finally, in 1961 she landed the role of "Anita" in Robert Wises film "West Side Story", an epic film about the lives of the Puerto Ricans in New York during the 1950's. Moreno gained fame and an "Oscar" as the best supporting actress that year.

Moreno was the second person in history to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award, the first and only Hispanic entertainer to have done so.

Rita Moreno married Doctor Lenny Gordon on June 18, 1965, who still remains her husband and manager, and later had a daughter, Fernanda Gordon.

Moreno also appeared in "Singing in the Rain" (1952) and Tennessee Williams "Summer and Smoke".

 
Moreno's popularity grew even more in the 1970s when she appeared on the PBS series The Electric Company and the "Muppet Show". She also made appearances in the "Rockford Files" T.V. series. During the late 1990s, she gained exposure to a new generation of viewers as she played a psychologist in the popular HBO series, Oz.

Rita Moreno has participated in more than 50 productions, combining her television, movie and theatrical works.

Riat Moreno's real contribution has been her ability to transcend the discriminatory practices of Hollywood and set a precedent for Latino actors to be recognized by talent rather than ethnicity.

Rito Moreno became the first Puerto Rican to have been awarded the Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy's. In June 2004, she became the first Hispanic to be awarded the "Presidential Medal of Freedom" by President George W. Bush.

 

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