A living legend! Rita Moreno belongs to the coveted EGOT club after earning trophies at the Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, Academy Awards and Tony Awards through the years — and she’s aware of her membership’s significance.
“As an EGOT winner, the award that means the most to me is the Oscar because it was my first one and it’s iconic,” the 80 for Brady actress, 91, exclusively reveals in the latest issue of Us Weekly, referring to her trophy for her role as Anita Palacio in West Side Story.
She adds: “Out of all of my projects, I’m most proud of West Side Story for every obvious reason in the world. It gave me an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a kind of fame that I didn’t have heretofore.”
Moreno rose to fame thanks to her star-making role in the 1961 musical about star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria. The One Day at a Time alum, for her part, portrayed Anita, who was the girlfriend of Maria’s brother Bernardo.
A remake of West Side Story, helmed by Steven Spielberg, debuted in 2021 and starred Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as Tony and Maria, respectively. Additionally, Ariana DeBose took over the role of Anita and the Puerto Rico native had a special cameo as local shop owner Valentina.
“Can you believe it? I’m beside myself,” Moreno previously told Us in January 2020 of joining the musical nearly 60 years after the OG’s premiere. “It was thrilling. It was surreal to talk to the young girl who’s playing Anita, Ariana DeBose, who, by the way, is a fierce dancer. She’s fierce — way, way, way superior to what I was as a dancer. I wasn’t so much the dancers I was the dancer/actress kind of thing.”
She gushed at the time: “The kids playing Latinos are Latinos. Can you stand it? You know what, they are their own colors. Some of them are light-skinned, some are Afro-Latino. It’s thrilling. And the kids are so thrilled themselves.”
The Fast X actress — who stars opposite Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field and Tom Brady in 80 for Brady, which is in theaters now — sat down with Us to share some classic truths from her impressive Hollywood career.
Scroll below to learn more about Moreno:
- My favorite meal to cook is any Puerto Rican [dish], like picadillo.
- Out of all of my projects, I’m most proud of West Side Story for every obvious reason in the world. It gave me an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a kind of fame that I didn’t have heretofore.
- My secret to looking and feeling good at 91 years old is that I’m lucky that I have excellent Caribbean genes.
- All I remember about my first car is that it had a rumble seat and I paid something like $100 for it.
- My favorite costar was Marlon Brando in The Night of the Following Day.
- The most starstruck moment I’ve ever had was meeting Clark Gable on the MGM lot. I was 17.
- My favorite movie is the new film Women Talking.
- A keepsake I’ve taken from set is my 80 for Brady jeweled jersey signed by Tom [Brady] himself.
- On a typical Sunday afternoon, you’d find me napping.
- My favorite items in my wardrobe are 75 pairs of shoes!
- My favorite room in my house is the kitchen.
- As an EGOT winner, the award that means the most to me is the Oscar because it was my first one and it’s iconic.
- One place I’d like to go to is Lake Como, Italy, because it’s romantic and beautiful.
- My favorite book is The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
- The actress I looked up to the most growing up was Elizabeth Taylor.
- One thing everyone should know about Marlon Brando is that he had the greatest sense of humor of anyone I’ve ever known.
- My celebrity crush growing up was John Derek.
- I have good skin naturally, so the only beauty product I’ve ever used is moisturizer.
- The roles I was dying to get but didn’t was everything that Meryl Streep did.
- My secret talent is that I love to do pencil drawings.
- A common misconception about me is that I work out. I don’t!
- My alternate profession would be a child psychologist.
- The song that brings back the best memories is “Dream” from the 1940s.
- My favorite gift I’ve received is my daughter Fernanda [Luisa Gordon].
- The character that resonated the most with me was [West Side Story’s] Anita.
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