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Rita Moreno: A Memoir

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  579 ratings  ·  112 reviews
In this luminous 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 an
ebook, 304 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Celebra (first published December 31st 2012)
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JoAnne Pulcino

Rita Moreno

The wonderful journey of a young girl from Puerto Rico brought to New York who became an actress, a dancer, a singer and an outspoken advocate for great causes. She is one of few performers who has won all four acclaimed awards in the entertainment industry. She is the proud winner of the OSCAR, the EMMY, the TONY and the GRAMMY.

It is the story of her early start in show business at age fourteen as a dancer who rises to the top of her field. Her triumphs, her chall
Full Review at Foil the Plot

Most of us probably know of Rita Moreno from her role as Anita in West Side Story. Her trademark? Being the Latina "spitfire." She's the "Hispanic Elizabeth Taylor." If you know anything else about her, it's probably that she's the first Hispanic woman to win the Oscar. Or more notably, that she's one of the only performers to EVER receive an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony and an Emmy. Well, now she can add best-selling author to that ever-growing list of talents. In her se
A quick, easy read that I found hard to put down due to its glimpses of vintage Hollywood glamour and what it felt like to play "the ethnic type" for so many years. As with most star bios, you get the stories of misbehaving costars and fun anecdotes along the way, but I wish she had said more about the making of West Side Story - it was done in a flash. Still, her stories were mostly interesting and surprisingly frank.

Also, a little more editing might have helped - I spent most of the book wonde
Wonderful memoir. Rita Moreno's account of life Puerto Rico and NYC is so spot on. An excellent actress! I specially enjoyed reading about her mother and her marriage.

"One of the few things that I disdained while filming the movie (West Side Story) was the makeup used to paint Puerto Ricans the same color. We Sharks were all the same homogeneous brown! Our gang, including me, was a uniform tobacco brown color, and that was just plain wrong and inaccurate. Puerto Ricans, with their varied geneti
Marisa Gonzalez
Rita Moreno's is a great one! She tells her story of childhood in Puerto Rico, moving to "Nueva York" and her rise to fame and success. Reading this book was like sitting down and having a conversation with her. I loved its honesty, its ups and downs and its humor. I highly recommend this book for young Latinas. It is very inspirational. A truly classy lady!
My connection to Rita goes back more than fifty years. I loved Rita Moreno as enslaved TupTim in The King and I. But my favorite performance of Rita’s was on the enormous screen at a downtown Cleveland movie theatre, where my reserved seat ticket for WSS put me in the first row of the balcony. It was Chakiris with whom I corresponded (actually his Greek immigrant father who was a delightful responder) but was thrilled that the Rita/Anita role received an Oscar, too.
Rita doesn’t hide anything, in
Adrian Jackson
My experiences with Rita Moreno were limited to The Electric Company and West Side Story prior to reading this book. I knew nothing about her fantastic screen career or love affairs. I enjoyed hearing her tell her own story on audio and I respect her honesty. A bio with no sugar coating!
Willo Font
Unexpected , fast read, enjoyed every page of it. To top it all just a few weeks ago she got the Screen Actors Guild Award for Lifetime achievment. 82 ans still kicking.
Thanks , we need more of you.
V. Briceland
In her memoir, multiple award-winning performer Rita Moreno shares a story about spending a weekend at a wealthy party in the Hamptons, early in her career. Invited as arm candy along with Ann Miller, another studio stalwart who was attempting to make a name for herself, the pair gleefully proceed to neglect their duties as showcase Hollywood glamor girls, knock back a few drinks, and then mischievously traipse from bathroom to bathroom in the mansion, so that they can peek in all of the host's ...more
An amazing tale from such a talented beauty. Her life behind the scenes is inspiring for a girl who grew up near poverty in Puerto Rico only to make it big. She experienced just enough dirt to make this a fabulous read. It provides a great prospective in trying to break into Hollywood as a Latina woman and faced with hard choices to hold onto her convictions. Her love affair with Marlon Brando is worth the read by itself.
I've always enjoyed Rita Moreno's performances whenever and wherever I've seen them. I especially loved her wacky and often over-the-top work in the original incarnation of The Electric Company, a children's reading show on PBS. I'd known her as one of the few people to win all the major performance awards: Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy. I'd seen her on talk shows, or speaking for political causes, but, oh boy, I didn't know what was going on behind the scenes!
In this book, Ms. Moreno reveals al
Maybe I am still being affected from when I met Rita Moreno on March 6th and got her autograph at a bookstore...

Or it could be I have idolized since I saw her as Anita on West Side Story. I was mesmorized by her performance. Maria who?

Either way, I really enjoyed her memoir. It was short, my only complaint really, simple and to the point. It wasn't a salacious tell-all and it wasn't supposed to be. That would have cheapen her story.

I felt like it was a love song or an ode to the places and peopl
Zacarias Rivera, Jr.
This is a phenomenal read which I couldn't put down. The actress, dancer, singer, pellucidly and transparently delivers her trials and triumphs, her tears and jubilee. She courageously relates her insecurities and doubts about her identity and her experiences playing the stereotypical roles assigned or proffered to her. She articulates her determination to pursue her dreams amid a business that didn't seem to appreciate her talents and creativity as anyone other than a hot Latina. As I reader, I ...more
Paola Guijarro
Loved it! She led a very interesting life, is a real trooper and boy can she act, sing and dance! Short and light read! Orgullo puertorriqueno!!
I really enjoyed this memoir. I thought it was such a unique memoir about a Puerto Rican woman going from PR, to the Bronx and onto Hollywood. I loved that she was honest about her climb to fame and the struggle of what it was like to be a Hispanic and a woman in the 1950's and 60's. I think as things progress we tend to have a nostalgia for the past, and for some of us old Hollywood, but I think it's important to remember that it wasn't all our imaginations make it out to be.
(I did have som
I have always been a fan of Rita Moreno. I remember as a little girl when I first saw her on video in West Side Story. And when I heard her coming out with a memoir, I just had to get it. I loved how she told her story from childhood, to Hollywood, to family. It was an amazing, inspiring story. It's amazing what you can find out from a person when you read their personal story. I would have never known about her and Marlon or Elvis. It was great. Her story made me laugh, cry, and mad. But it was ...more
This is a fun book--even just to see what Hollywood was like through the eyes of a young actress in the 1950’s. Also cool to get the back story on movies like West Side Story and Singing in the Rain. And while most people know Rita M for her standout performance in WSS, how many place her as the beautiful blonde non-singer Debbie Reynolds trumps in SitR, and the escaped concubine who’s lover is killed in The King and I?

Further there is the whole eight year affair with Marlon Brando (was she, pe
Linda Doyle
I surprised myself by reading a second celeb biography in a month but am glad that I chose this one. I already knew a few things about Moreno's life: she is one of the few actors who has received the four top coveted awards (Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony), she lit up the screen in West Side Story, and she had an affair with Marlon Brando. But I didn't know that she was born in Puerto Rico, lived in poverty during her early years in New York City, started her career as a teen, and had a very long mar ...more
Rita Moreno's dramatic life has had more twists and turns than I ever knew. A strong yet vulnerable woman who can dish the old school Hollywood dirt with the best of them, yet she does it with respect. Her journey to America as a child was harrowing, her rise to fame was a bumpy road, yet she persevered and succeeded. The stories of her relationships with Brando and her husband Lenny was told with appreciable candor. Cheers to Rosita (Rita), a fascinating and incredible woman!
This isn't the best written or the most in depth autobiography you will ever read. It jumps from anecdote to anecdote and feels more like a conversation you are involved in, listening to this living legend recount her life, her loves, her tragedies as they come to mind, but despite that, I loved it. It worked for me, because it made me feel like I was really there, really listening to her describe her childhood growing up in New York, or her tempestuous love affair with Marlon Brando, or the hea ...more
Three and a half dtars really: A lovely book and quick read, intensely and wonderfully evocative of the immigrant experience in the early pages which I loved. I'm not above a bit of gossip either, you got Marlon Brando, Elvis, James Garner and plenty of Hollywood (and some London) machinations. You also have Rita Moreno on that amazing planeful of folks rounded up by Harry Belafonte to go to the great civil rights march in Washington. Awesome. I also loved her anger combined with humour, picture ...more
Candace R
I did not realize how much a part of my childhood Rita Moreno was, until I picked up this book. Electric Company, the Muppets, of course West Side Story. She was ubiquitous in the 60's and 70's. What struck me was how honest and unflinching she was in detailing what can be described as nothing as but a relationship addiction to Marlon Brando. If you have any interest at all in this topic, those chapters alone are worth reading. Excellent all around
This memoir flows very well. I feel a bit like Rita Moreno is having a conversation with you about her life. She sounds like a woman with a lot of spirit which makes the telling of her life story really fun to read.

I did not know a lot about Moreno before I read this book so a lot of it was quite surprising to me. I really enjoyed reading about her life and mark this as one of the memoirs of actresses that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Tina Peak
Loved this book. I listened to it in audiobook format. Ms. Moreno's narration was wonderful. Brought the book to life.

As a Puerto Rican living in New York. I was very impressed of Rita's ambition to follow her dreams and reach them. I got to learn alot about her survival in Hollywood and the love of her life. She is a role model to all women of every color. Loved the book.
I read a few of the other reviews of this book, and I have to say that the main problem with those reviews is that people are confusing "Memoir" with "Autobiography." This is a Memoir, a recollection of memories and experiences by the author. This is not an autobiography, and so some topics which people might want to hear about may be glossed over or completely left out. That's Moreno's choice, as this is a book of her memories and experiences.

I enjoyed this book very much. The way she wrote it
Just finished this book and will try later to write a more insightful review, but will now simply say that when I finished reading, without thinking, I flipped to the flyleaf and wrote A+ as if I were grading a paper and that were my gut reaction.

I have loved Rita Moreno since the first time I saw West Side Story; I love her even more now.
Well writtem. fast moving read..good insight into the author.

If you are looking for a book with information about other hollywood stars etc. this is not it. This book is exactly what it is advertised as..a memoir of Rita Moreno, her early life, rise to stardom and her two great loves. I thououghtly enjoyed it.
Gorgeously written. How Rosita Alverio became Rita Moreno is a heartbreaking and engrossing journey. Rita is a wonderful writer who shares with great emotional detail the story of her life, loves, losses, tragedies and triumphs with candor. Stunning
Excellent. I agree with others that Rita spent more time celebrating those who surrounded her. She was more interested in sharing her life than it being all about her. It was refreshing how she also was not ashamed of her African roots.
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Rita Moreno is a Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress. She is the only Hispanic and one of the few performers to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony, and was the second Puerto Rican to win an Academy Award.
More about Rita Moreno...
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