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« Yuletide cinema | Main | Goodbye, Eleanor Parker »

Rita Moreno turns 82

Anne Marie here with some happy news: It's Rita Moreno's birthday! The Puerto Rican showbiz legend has a list of awards as long as her gorgeous legs, and soon she's going to add to it! As Nathaniel reported earlier, the Screen Actors Guild is adding the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award to her much-deserved accolades in January.

In addition to being the third Triple Crown winner (Emmy, Tony, Oscar) and one of twelve EGOT winners (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony), Rita Moreno has had an absolutely fascinating career for its depth and diversity. She's said that her success in West Side Story was actually a double-edged sword, after winning an Oscar in 1962 for her firey performance as Anita, most of the film roles offered to her were as the token minority. As a result, she refused to appear in film for another seven years. Moreno instead turned to television and theater. As part of the cast of The Electric Company (along with a very young Morgan Freeman), Moreno won her Grammy in 1972. In 1975, Moreno won a Tony for the play The Ritz. Then she completed her EGOT with two Emmy wins: first in 1977 for The Muppet Show, and again in 1978 for The Rockford Files. But her career didn't stop there. She's done everything from voice work (Carmen Sandiego in Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?) to TV Drama (Oz), and even an occasional Law And Order episode in the past few years. One thing she's never been in is a rut.

Today in honor of Rita's birthday, here are clips from her EGOT winning performances.

Emmy: The Muppet Show (1977)

Grammy: The Electric Company (1972)

Oscar: Anita in West Side Story (1961)

And finally her incredible Tony acceptance speech for The Ritz (1975)

What's your favorite performance by Miss Moreno?

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Reader Comments (10)

Favorite performances are Anita in West Side Story ("America") and Sister Pete on Oz (especially with Christopher Meloni).

December 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Rita Moreno voiced Carmen Sandiego, bitches! Imagine her voice as you read my posts and die woth envy! *dramatically throws feather boa over the shoulder

December 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

Paul, tell me about it in Oz...

I LOVE this woman. Always have.

December 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk


I just realized Christopher Meloni was born the year West Side Story came out!

December 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

My favorite performance is in The Ritz:

December 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMS

I second the Ritz. Love her in everything she has done, even Miami Vice......but The Ritz is priceless.

December 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

I have fond appreciation of her from The Cosby Mysteries.

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

omg that acceptance speech! I just died.

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterG.ShaQ

Patryk, she had more chemistry with Meloni than she did with Chakiris. ;-)

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Right now, it's a tie between Anita and her Tony acceptance speech. I'll be watching The Ritz this weekend.

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

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