90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
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.
  • Peter B

    My father, now retired from the Foriegn Service (ie State Department), always thought that  Rita’s “I want to be in America…” should have been the official State Department anthem. He, nor I, have approached Ms Clinton with this propoasal. As far as I know…

  • Wendy

    I love Rita Moreno. Will she be performing in Boston?

  • Peggyc2001

    When will she be coming to Boston?

Robin and Jeremy

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

April 21 Comment

Remembering Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter

We remember the boxing champion, who was twice wrongly convicted of murder, with his longtime friend and defender.

April 21 2 Comments

‘Wait Wait’ Host Peter Sagal Runs Boston Marathon As Guide

For the second year in a row, the host of NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" is running with a legally blind athlete.

April 18 12 Comments

When Your Life Is On Fire, What Would You Save?

Erik Kolbell's new book asks what's most important to us in life -- loved ones, possessions, personal beliefs and more.

April 18 3 Comments

Adrianne Haslet-Davis Becomes Advocate For Amputees

The professional ballroom dancer reflects on the struggles and triumphs of the year since the marathon bombing.