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Rita Moreno: A Memoir

Rita Moreno: A Memoir

by Rita Moreno
Rita Moreno: A Memoir

Rita Moreno: A Memoir

by Rita Moreno



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In this New York Times bestselling memoir, West Side Story star Rita Moreno shares her remarkable journey from a young girl with simple beginnings in Puerto Rico to Hollywood legend—one of the few performers, and the only Hispanic, to win an Oscar, Grammy, Tony and two Emmys.

Born Rosita Dolores Alverio in the idyll of Puerto Rico, Moreno, at age five, embarked on a harrowing sea voyage with her mother and wound up in the harsh barrios of the Bronx, where she discovered dancing, singing, and acting as ways to escape a tumultuous childhood. Making her Broadway debut  by age thirteen—and moving on to Hollywood in its Golden Age just a few years later—she worked alongside such stars as Gary Cooper, Yul Brynner, and Ann Miller.

When discovered by Louis B. Mayer of MGM, the wizard himself declared: “She looks like a Spanish Elizabeth Taylor.”  Cast by Gene Kelly as Zelda Zanders in Singin’ in the Rain and then on to her Oscar-winning performance in West Side Story, she catapulted to fame—yet found herself repeatedly typecast as the “utility ethnic,” a role she found almost impossible to elude.

Here, for the first time, Rita reflects on her struggles to break through Hollywood’s racial and sexual barriers. She explores the wounded little girl behind the glamorous façade—and what it took to find her place in the world. She talks candidly about her relationship with Elvis Presley, her encounters with Howard Hughes, and the passionate romance with Marlon Brando that nearly killed her. And she shares the illusiveness of a “perfect” marriage and the incomparable joys of motherhood.

Infused with Rita Moreno’s quick wit and deep insight, this memoir is the dazzling portrait of a stage and screen star who longed to become who she really is—and triumphed.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101615225
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/05/2013
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: eBook
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 15,469
File size: 4 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Rita Moreno is one of the few artists to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. She has also received a Golden Globe Award and a National Medal of Honor. She recently concluded a sold-out run of her one-woman show, Life Without Makeup, at the Berkeley Repertory Theater in Berkeley, California, and regularly appears in the television show, Happily Divorced.

Table of Contents

Part I Paradise Lost

"Hey, Boy" 3

Puerto Rico 9

The Great Change 23

Frigid City 31

Thawing Out 45

American Dream 52

Papo 57

The Loss of Papo 67

Part II Hyperbolic Hollywood

Making Movies: My Leap to the Silver Screen 77

Hollywood Heaven: Louis B. Mayer and MGM 83

Starlet Days … and Nights 91

Still Rosita 99

Rita Rising 107

Part III Men, Love, and Romance

Eye Candy and Leggy Ladies 117

The Cocktail Party: Pimped? 129

Dating, Hollywood Style 136

Meeting Marlon 150

Love, Obsession, and Mind Games 159

How to Survive Suicide 172

Saved by West Side Story 182

Finding Myself in Politics 193

Falling in Love Again 201

Part IV Reinventing Myself

Marriage and Mami-Hood 215

Marlon and I Make a Movie 226

Big Bird, The Electric Company, and Me 235

The Accusatory Banana 244

Losses and Blessings 257

Perseverance 269

Losing Lenny 273

The Attic 284

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“It's clear Rita Moreno was a pioneer in every aspect of her life.”—The Huffington Post

“Sure to inspire and empower, straight from our very own living legend and the original triple threat:  Rita Moreno.”—Being Latino

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