Rita Moreno: A Memoir

Publié le par Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno - A MemoirIn this New York Times bestselling memoir, Rita Moreno shares her remarkable journey from a young girl with simple beginnings in Puerto Rico to Hollywood legend—and one of the few performers, and the only Hispanic, to win an Oscar, Grammy, Tony and two Emmys.

Born Rosita Dolores Alverio in the idyll of Puerto Rico, Moreno, at age five, embarked on a harrowing sea voyage with her mother and wound up in the harsh barrios of the Bronx, where she discovered dancing, singing, and acting as ways to escape a tumultuous childhood. Making her Broadway debut  by age thirteen—and moving on to Hollywood in its Golden Age just a few years later—she worked alongside such stars as Gary Cooper, Yul Brynner, and Ann Miller.

When discovered by Louis B. Mayer of MGM, the wizard himself declared: “She looks like a Spanish Elizabeth Taylor.”  Cast by Gene Kelly as Zelda Zanders in Singin’ in the Rain and then on to her Oscar-winning performance in West Side Story, she catapulted to fame—yet found herself repeatedly typecast as the “utility ethnic,” a role she found almost impossible to elude.

Here, for the first time, Rita reflects on her struggles to break through Hollywood’s racial and sexual barriers. She explores the wounded little girl behind the glamorous façade—and what it took to find her place in the world. She talks candidly about her relationship with Elvis Presley, her encounters with Howard Hughes, and the passionate romance with Marlon Brando that nearly killed her. And she shares the illusiveness of a “perfect” marriage and the incomparable joys of motherhood.

Infused with Rita Moreno’s quick wit and deep insight, this memoir is the dazzling portrait of a stage and screen star who longed to become who she really is—and triumphed.

Fiche Technique

  • ISBN-13 : 9780451416377
  • Publisher : Celebra Hardcover
  • Publication date : 03/05/2013
  • Author : Rita Moreno



Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Rita Moreno is one of the very few performers who have won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony; but though she started her Broadway career at the tender age of thirteen, this is her first memoir. That she continues to look for new frontiers should not surprise us: She launched a live solo autobiographical show in her octogenarian year. Knowing her candor and her apparently undiminished vivacity, we are not surprised that this new effort displays her characteristic boldness. One Hollywood read you won't want to miss.

Publishers Weekly

Most famous as Anita in West Side Story, Moreno, now 81, shares her life story in this candid memoir spanning her unceremonious childhood arrival from Puerto Rico to her decades-long career in show business. Born Rosita Alverio in Juncos, Puerto Rico, Moreno gets a rude awakening when in 1936 her single mother moves her to New York City. She finds a passion for singing and dancing while her mother looks for a new husband. Soon, Hollywood knocks on her door. Moreno gives the "Old Hollywood" studio system a long, honest look: she receives her stage name from a studio executive, she is regularly sent out on arranged "dates" with young actors, is made to attend a "troll-and-starlet" mixer with studio funders, and romances several celebrities of her time. In an era when actresses were rampantly "pretending to be ethnicities they obviously not," Moreno is cast again and again as the "hot Latin spitfire" when she was a "reliable, hardworking actor always in search of a better part." There is no question that Moreno's career wound its way through an interesting era; the memoir is a capably composed, entertaining read for anyone with a pre-existing interest in Moreno or 1950s Hollywood. (Apr.)

Library Journal

Actress Moreno’s memoir begins with dreamy recollections of her early childhood in Puerto Rico, and then proceeds in a more straightforward fashion, sometimes with the air of someone consulting a well-preserved date book to remind herself of events that need to be covered. Moreno’s life has had significant high points, including having won Emmy, Oscar, Grammy, and Tony awards—known as an EGOT—which she mentions several times, yet she doesn’t flinch at examining low points, such as her suicide attempt or the “roller coaster ride” of her career. She dishes, sometimes intimately, on Hollywood associates, both at length (Marlon Brando, Elvis Presley) and in brief tidbits (e.g., Mario Lanza, Donald O’Connor, Gene Kelly, John Kennedy, Rory Calhoun, Ann Miller, and many others). Though Moreno at times complains of being typecast as an ethnic spitfire, she would also emphasize her accent or exotic looks for laughs or to get a part. Perseverance is a theme throughout.

Verdict This readable and sometimes moving story of Moreno’s life in movies, on television, stage, and screen is surrounded by details of her politics and personal life.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch., Fort Worth, TX

Meet the Author

Rita MorenoRita Moreno is one of the few artists to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. She has also received a Golden Globe Award and a National Medal of Honor. She recently concluded a sold-out run of her one-woman show, Life Without Makeup, at the Berkeley Repertory Theater in Berkeley, California, and regularly appears in the television show, Happily Divorced.


Publié dans Bibliothèque

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