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.

July 31 23 Comments

What Is It About Cecil That Makes People Care?

The lion's death wasn't the only shocking poaching incident this week, as five elephants were slaughtered in Kenya.

July 31 Comment

New Film Based On Travels With David Foster Wallace Opens

The film, called "The End Of The Tour," is based on David Lipsky's five-day road trip with the late author in 1996.

July 31 Comment

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise To Stop Virus

The experimental vaccine was tested in Guinea. World Health Organization officials are hopeful it works to stop the deadly virus.

July 30 27 Comments

NAACP To Begin 860-Mile ‘Journey For Justice’ March

The march, which will travel from Selma, Ala. to Washington, seeks to highlight vulnerable communities subject to regressive voting rights.