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Rosa Dolores "Rita" Moreno (Alverío)

Current Location:: Alameda, CA, USA
Birthplace: Humacao, Puerto Rico
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Paco Alverío and Rosa María Moreno
Widow of Dr. Leonard Isadore Gordon
Mother of <private> Gordon-Fisher (Gordon)

Managed by: Eilat Gordin Levitan
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Rita Moreno Rita Moreno (born December 11, 1931) is a Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress. She is the first and only Hispanic female and one of ten performers who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony and at the time the second Puerto Rican to win an Academy Award

Moreno was born Rosita Dolores Alverío in Humacao, Puerto Rico, to Rosa María, a seamstress, and Paco Alverío, a farmer.[2] She moved with her mother to New York City at the age of five, and took the surname of her stepfather, Edward Moreno. When she was eleven years old, she lent her voice to Spanish-language versions of American films.

She had her first Broadway role—as "Angelina" in Skydrift --by the time she was 13, which caught the attention of Hollywood talent scouts. She played a small role in the 1952 movie Singin' in the Rain as Zelda Zanners, a fictional silent screen vamp, and had a supporting role in the 1956 musical The King and I as Tuptim, but disliked most of her other work during this period.

West Side Story

In 1961, Moreno landed the role of Anita in Robert Wise's film adaptation of Leonard Bernstein's and Stephen Sondheim's groundbreaking Broadway musical, West Side Story, which was played by Chita Rivera on Broadway. Moreno won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for that role. Moreno went on to be the first actress (and the first Hispanic) to win an Emmy (1977), a Grammy(1972), an Oscar (1962) and a Tony (1975). In 1985, she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago.

Other Roles

Besides appearing in Singin' in the Rain, The King and I, Summer and Smoke (1961), West Side Story, The Night of the Following Day (1968) and Carnal Knowledge in (1971), Moreno appeared on the PBS children's series The Electric Company in the 1970s, most notably as Millie the Helper. In fact, it was Moreno who screamed the show's opening line, "HEY, YOU GUYS!" She also had roles as the naughty little girl Pandora, and as "Otto", the very short-tempered director. Moreno appeared in the family variety series The Muppet Show, and she made other guest appearances on television series such as The Rockford Files, The Love Boat, The Cosby Show, George Lopez, The Golden Girls, and Miami Vice. She was also a regular on the short-lived sitcom version of Nine to Five (based on the film hit) during the early 1980s.

Broadway and television

Moreno's Broadway credits include The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Gantry, The Ritz, for which she won the 1975 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress, and the female version of The Odd Couple. In 1993 she was invited to perform at President Bill Clinton's inauguration and later that month was asked to perform at the White House. During the mid 1990s, Moreno provided the voice of Carmen Sandiego on the animated Fox show Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?

In the late 1990s, she gained exposure to a new generation of viewers when she played Sister Pete, a nun trained as a psychologist in the popular HBO series, Oz. She made a guest appearance on The Nanny as Coach Stone, Maggie's (Nicholle Tom) tyrannical gym teacher, whom Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) also remembered from her school as Ms. Wickavich.

Performing in the 21st century

Moreno continues to be active on stage and screen. In 2006, she portrayed Amanda Wingfield in Berkeley Repertory Theatre's revival of The Glass Menagerie. She was seen on Law and Order: Criminal Intent as the dying mother of Detective Goren. She was a regular on the short-lived TV series Cane, which starred Jimmy Smits and Hector Elizondo.


On June 18, 1965, Moreno married Leonard Gordon, who remains her husband and manager. They have one daughter, Fernanda Luisa (Gordon) Fisher, and 2 grandsons.


Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004Among Moreno's awards and recognitions are the following:

Academy Award as the Best Supporting Actress "West Side Story" (1961)

Golden Globe Award as the Best Supporting Actress "West Side Story" (1961)

"The Joseph Jefferson Award" Best Chicago Theatre Actress (1968)

Grammy Award The Electric Company Album (1972)

Tony Award Best Featured Actress, "The Ritz" (1975)

Emmy Award for Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program (1977)

Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress - Drama Series (1978)

"The Golden Apple" Cue Magazine Award

Library of Congress Living Legends Award, April 2000

"The Sarah Siddons Awards" for her portrayal of Olive Madison in the female version of the Odd Couple

"Special Recognition Award" from the International Latin Music Hall of Fame (2001)

"Presidential Medal of Freedom" from President George W. Bush in June 2004

Rita Moreno has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7083 Hollywood Blvd.

On December 5, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Moreno into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.



Year Film Role Other notes

1950 So Young So Bad Dolores Guererro as Rosita Moreno

The Toast of New Orleans Tina

Pagan Love Song Terru

1952 The Ring Lucy Gomez

Singin' in the Rain Zelda Zanders

The Fabulous Señorita Manuela Rodríguez

Cattle Town Queli

1953 Fort Vengeance Bridget Fitzgibbon

Ma and Pa Kettle on Vacation Soubrette uncredited

Latin Lovers Christina

El Alaméin Jara

1954 Jivaro Maroa

The Yellow Tomahawk Honey Bear

Garden of Evil Cantina Singer

1955 Untamed Julia

Seven Cities of Gold Ula

1956 The Lieutenant Wore Skirts Sandra Roberts

The King and I Tuptim

The Vagabond King Huguette

1957 The Deerslayer Hetty Hutter

1960 This Rebel Breed Lola Montalvo

1961 West Side Story Anita Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress

Golden Globe

Summer and Smoke Rosa Zacharias

1963 - "Cry of Battle" or "Officers and Men" (Black and White Movie) - Sisa; Leopoldo Salcedo, Van Heflin, James MacArthur. Description: Movie during WWII in the Philippines. Two Americans are forced into hiding after the Japanese invade the Philippines. They soon team up with a Filipino commando group, and with them the struggle to rid the island of the invading forces.

1968 The Night of the Following Day Vi

1969 Popi Lupe

Marlowe Dolores Gonzáles

1971 Carnal Knowledge Louise

1976 The Ritz Googie Gomez Nominated - BAFTA Award

Nominated - Golden Globe

1977 Voodoo Passion

1978 The Boss' Son Esther Rose

1980 Happy Birthday, Gemini Lucille Pompi

1981 The Four Seasons Claudia Zimmer

1991 Age Isn't Everything Rita

1993 Italian Movie Isabella

1994 I Like It Like That Rosaria Linares

1995 Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business Herself documentary

Angus Madame Rulenska

1998 Slums of Beverly Hills Belle Abromowitz Nominated - ALMA Award

1999 Carlo's Wake Angela Torello

The Puerto Ricans: Our American Story Herself documentary

2000 Blue Moon Maggie

2001 Piñero Miguel's Mother

2003 Casa de los Babys Señora Muñoz

Beyond Borders: John Sayles in Mexico Herself documentary

2004 King of the Corner Inez

2006 Play It By Ear Ruth


Year Title Role Other notes

1958 Father Knows Best

Chanthini, an exchange student

from India episode: Fair Exchange (24 Nov 1958)[8]

1971 – 1977 The Electric Company Carmela

Otto The Director

Pandora the Little Girl, Millie the Helper 780 episodes

1974 Dominic's Dream Anita Bente

Out to Lunch Various Nominated - Emmy Award

1976 The Muppet Show Herself Episode #1.5 - Emmy Award

1978 The Rockford Files Rita Capkovic 3 episodes

Emmy Award - For episode "The Paper Palace"

Nominated - Emmy Award - For episode "Rosendahl and Gilda Stern are Dead".

1979 Anatomy of a Seduction Nina

The Muppets Go Hollywood Herself/Host Special[9]

1981 Evita Perón Renata Riguel

1982 – 1983 9 to 5 Violet Newstead Nominated - Emmy Award; Nominated - Golden Globe

1982 Working Waitress

Portrait of a Showgirl Rosella DeLeon Nominated - Emmy Award

1989 – 1990 B.L. Stryker Kimberly Baskin 2 episodes

1994 The Nanny Miss Wickervich/Mrs. Stone Episode - The Gym Teacher

1994 – 1998 Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? Carmen Sandiego voice

1994 – 1995 The Cosby Mysteries Angie Corea 2 episodes

1995 The Wharf Rat Mom

1997 – 2003 Oz Sister Peter Marie Reimondo 44 episodes

ALMA Award - 1998, 1999, 2002

Nominated - ALMA Award - 2000, 2001

1998 The Spree Irma Kelly

1999 Resurrection Mimi

2004 Copshop Mary Alice

2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mildred Quintana Episode - "Night"

Law & Order: Trial by Jury Mildred Quintana Episode - "Day"

2006 – 2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Frances Goren 3 episodes: "Endgame"

"The War at Home"

"Brother's Keeper"

2007 The George Lopez Show Luisa Diaz Episode - "George Testi-Lies for Benny"

Ugly Betty Aunt Mirta Episode - "A Tree Grows in Guadalajara"

Cane Amalia Duque 13 episodes

See also

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Rita Moreno's Timeline

December 11, 1931
Humacao, Puerto Rico