Rita Moreno opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about 25 things you might not know about her — including her favorite snack, her titanium knee and the job she would’ve pursued if she weren’t an actress. Read on to learn more about the EGOT winner.
1. My favorite sweet is brownies with nuts accompanied by a glass of half-and-half. Yes, I said half-and-half.
2. I was a Spanish dancer from the age of 5.
3. My very first job, at age 5, was performing my Spanish dances at a bar mitzvah.
4. I still play the castanets at my concerts.
5. I’m 88 now and still do concerts and lectures around the country.
6. I usually wake up humming. I’m a very happy person.
7. Pet peeve: people who don’t listen and then complain that they were left out.
8. I adore holidays, especially Christmas. Anything that doesn’t move gets decorated … including humans.
9. The last thing I do at night before bed is watch forensic television shows and tsk-tsk my way through them.
10. I have very naturally curly hair.
11. I attended the March on Washington and sat not more than 10 feet from Dr. Martin Luther King as he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. It inspired me to become an activist. Best thing I ever did for my soul!
12. One of my great joys is to tootle around in a car with my daughter, Fernanda, and look at the gorgeous scenery. We listen to — and sing along with — Broadway cast albums.
13. Prince was one of my favorite performers.
14. I actually did a music video with Prince. He was a fan. When I heard that [come] from his lips, I damn near peed!
15. Damn near peeing is a specialty. I laugh really hard.
16. I’ve talked to myself since I learned how to talk. I’ll [also] mutter something amusing and laugh at my own jokes. I don’t need anybody.
17. I love New York and maintain a flat near Lincoln Center in NYC.
18. A guilty pleasure: reading all the magazines for free at the supermarket while I’m on line.
19. I’m a fiend for word games.
20. I have three hobbies: I love cooking, gardening and setting beautiful tables.
21. The best advice I’ve ever received, other than “shut up,” is to learn to “savor the moment.”
22. I’m a big fan of jazz and the great crooners of my era.
23. Chita Rivera and I are joined at the hip for life. We’re very often mistaken for the other. Not so bad to be mistaken for such a talent.
24. I have a titanium left knee, which sets off alarms everywhere. It’s most troublesome at sports arenas, where being a celebrity suddenly means nothing!
25. If I weren’t an actor, I would have been a child psychotherapist. I can’t think of anything more noble than restoring a human being’s self-esteem.
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