Congratulations to "Anita" herself, Rita Moreno. The EGOT winner, West Side Story MVP, and showbiz legend will be honored with the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award this coming January at the SAG Awards Ceremony live on TNT and TBS on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. Unlike the Academy Awards (for shame) the Screen Actors Guild still understands the importance of honoring the giants of showbiz history each year on their broadcast, bless them.
Rita was the third actor to win the coveted "Triple Crown" (Tony, Emmy, Oscar) and coincidentally also the third performer to manage an "EGOT" (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony). What's most impressive about both achievements is that the awards were spread out over two decades and came for entirely different things (it's possible, after all, to win Grammys and Oscars for the same film and theoretically possible to win Emmys for performing on a Tony Awards show ;). This indicates true staying power and a lovely capacity to evolve. And, in Rita's case, she did this in an industry that was notoriously difficult for actresses of color to navigate. It still is to some degree but less so thanks to people like Rita.
The Puerto Rican triple threat first made waves via movie musicals -- Singin' in the Rain (1952), The King and I (1954), West Side Story (1961, Oscar) -- but maintained her fame through work on stage (The Ritz won her the Tony in '75), and television in such memorable shows as The Muppet Show (Emmy), Electric Company (Grammy), HBO's Oz and so on and so on. Children's Television, Immortal Musicals, and Racy Maximum-Security Drama; that's some range! And she's still working. She recently wrapped filming on a little movie called Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks which co-stars other wonderful older actresses like Gena Rowlands and Jacki Weaver.
Now about the award... while my personal preference is to give lifetime achievement and honorary prizes to people who haven't logged a lot of hours holding golden statues up in triumph, we all know this is not how Hollywood works. They love a winner so you have a lot better shot getting a lifetime achievement for your career if you've already won prizes for that career over the years and don't need the lifetime honor for anyone to remember you. In this case we don't mind so much since Rita is a truly special figure and breakthrough in Hollywood history. Bring this on.
Anita's gonna get her kicks, SAG Nii-iiii-iiiight ♩ She'll have a private little mix, SAG Nii-iiii-iiight
Tell us how much you love Rita in the comments. You know you do.