90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, October 24, 2011

Rita Moreno Goes Beyond ‘West Side Story’

Rita Moreno in Los Angeles in 2007. (AP)

Rita Moreno in Los Angeles in 2007. (AP)

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the film “West Side Story.”

The “Romeo and Juliet” story, set amongst 1950s gangs in New York City, picked up 10 Academy Awards, including one for Rita Moreno, who won for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita, the girlfriend of gang leader Bernardo.

But as Moreno shows in her new one woman show, she has had a career well beyond that film. She is one of only a handful of EGOT winners (that’s the entertainment world’s grand slam, when performers take home an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award).

But there was frustration too.

Rita Moreno told Here & Now‘s Robin Young that as a Puerto Rican actress in 1950s and 1960s Hollywood, she was the “resident utility ethnic” playing Native Americans, a girl from Thailand, a Polynesian, and often prostitutes and spitfires.

And there was also heartbreak, with an ill-starred love affair with Marlon Brando.

Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup” is premiering at the Berkeley Rep Theater in Berkeley, California.

Guest:

  • Rita Moreno, actress

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

April 23 12 Comments

Iconic Images From Rock And Roll Photographer Henry Diltz

Crosby Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, the Doors, the Eagles, all became his friends and subjects.

April 23 25 Comments

Police Shooting Of Tamir Rice Still An Open Wound In Cleveland

Five months after the 12-year-old was shot, Peter O'Dowd visits the neighborhood and speaks with Tamir's mother.

April 22 6 Comments

Saving Food Scraps From The Trash To Make Better Meals

Are you throwing away your broccoli stems and peach pits? Food writer and cookbook author Eugenia Bone says don't.

April 21 Comment

Photographing Armenian Lives Around the World

Photojournalist Scout Tufankjian started the Armenian Diaspora Project to explore what it means to be Armenian.