Rita Moreno: A Memoir

Rita Moreno: A Memoir

by Rita Moreno


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451416377
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/05/2013
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Rita 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.

Table of Contents

Part I Paradise Lost

"Hey, Boy" 3

Puerto Rico 9

The Great Change 23

Frigid City 31

Thawing Out 45

American Dream 52

Papo 57

The Loss of Papo 67

Part II Hyperbolic Hollywood

Making Movies: My Leap to the Silver Screen 77

Hollywood Heaven: Louis B. Mayer and MGM 83

Starlet Days … and Nights 91

Still Rosita 99

Rita Rising 107

Part III Men, Love, and Romance

Eye Candy and Leggy Ladies 117

The Cocktail Party: Pimped? 129

Dating, Hollywood Style 136

Meeting Marlon 150

Love, Obsession, and Mind Games 159

How to Survive Suicide 172

Saved by West Side Story 182

Finding Myself in Politics 193

Falling in Love Again 201

Part IV Reinventing Myself

Marriage and Mami-Hood 215

Marlon and I Make a Movie 226

Big Bird, The Electric Company, and Me 235

The Accusatory Banana 244

Losses and Blessings 257

Perseverance 269

Losing Lenny 273

The Attic 284

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“It's clear Rita Moreno was a pioneer in every aspect of her life.”—The Huffington Post

“Sure to inspire and empower, straight from our very own living legend and the original triple threat:  Rita Moreno.”—Being Latino

Customer Reviews

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Rita Moreno 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best movie star memoir I ever read! Rita gives a heartbreaking account of her migration from Puerto Rico to dirty cold NYC. Unable to speak English, she suffered as a child. But she sure was a quick study and was on Broadway by 13. Her backstage stories are hilarious and revealing...and like Rita herself, very smart. She writes very very well. I couldn't put it down and kept the book in bed with me! Her stories about Marlon Brando, Elizabeth taylor, Paul henreid, Ann Miller, Elvis...all so interesting. I felt i was with her all those years- she was a teen starlet then a suffering unemployed actress, Maybe the best parts are her accounts of being a :"generic ethjnic" with an all purpose accent- Indian maiden, Siamese conclubine, Mexican harlot- they all spoke Rita-pidgin English. She had the smarts and compassion to fight for equal rights- for all races, and she deserves to be an icon. She is funny as hell, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is more than the usual movie star tell all. In fact Rita Moreno has exposed her soul without trashing the people in her life. It’s filled with vivid images and the coming of age tale of this immigrant Puerto Rican girl. Tasteful done – Love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An incredible life and an incredible book!
Mik3MF More than 1 year ago
While I've never been an ardent fan of her work, I find her story fascinating. She is a person who understands herself pretty well, seems honest and direct (a quality I adore), makes many mistakes but seems to learn from them (eventually) and I found it hard to put down. The memoir is a bit spotty as it dwells on her torrid "romance" with Brando rendering all else to a minor status. Perhaps this is the seminal event in her life or the one her editor thought would sell best. Her comments about "the Pelvis" confirmed what others have said and I applaud her for that bit. I love memoirs and biographies from interesting people and she is a most interesting person...and to me her performing talent is secondary. I'd like to know her as a person...and this books makes me want to invite her to dinner for a chat. Read it.
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars. Ms. Moreno is an incredible woman; I stand in awe of her, and I enjoyed reading this book very much. Am assuming, since I looked for co-writer or ghostwriting credits and there were none, Ms. Moreno wrote it herself, which is admirable in and of itself. She paints a vivid picture of her life in Technicolor Juncos, Puerto Rico, in the "ice-cream houses," and the contrast in going to gray, cold and grimy New York City was like going from Oz back to Kansas. This was a nice metaphor the first time it was used; by the third of fourth repetition it was annoying. And although she doesn't savage him, it seems that her 45+ year marriage with her now deceased husband was not all that and a bag of banana chips. The most detail she goes into at all is about her long-time affair with Marlon Brando, and yet, many things even in that seem glossed over. WAS she still having sex with him while he was married to other women - and how did she feel about that? She IS heartbreakingly candid about her illegal, botched abortion, and her mental frame of mind at the time she attempted suicide in Brando's house. I think most readers will come away from this as I did - tremendously impressed by M.s Moreno's life and accomplishments, saddened by the racism, sexism, and ageism that she and many other "ethnic" performers have had to endure, and in the end, wanting more. Isn't that the slogan in showbiz, "Always leave 'em wanting more"?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is written very well and keeps your attention. Ms. Moreno has had an interesting life and gives some insight as to how the movie industry worked, especially in the 1950's.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By far one of the sexiest women to ever live.
Nadina85 More than 1 year ago
Moreno's story is broken down into four parts, each one chronicling her evolution from humble little Rosita Dolores Alverio from Juncos into the sizzling songstress/screen siren, Rita Moreno. It's a tumultuous journey of insecurity, doubt, passion and self-discovery told in the most raw and honest of ways. In it, she describes the lush landscape of her native Puerto Rico, her struggle to break on to the Hollywood scene and her harrowing and debilitating relationship with bad boy, Marlon Brando. On the surface, Moreno's life seems so perfect but underneath it all it's one built atop broken promises --- by her mother and father, by Hollywood and by many lovers --- the strength she pulls from all these experiences though, that's what makes this book such an incredible one to read. Her story is as captivating as she herself is on screen.This book is packed with insight as Rita recounts her rise to fame and her experiences on the silver screen. I loved how she reviews her past performances in a more objective way. It's interesting to see what she's most critical about and what of those early performances she can really appreciate.Moreno is a multi-faceted woman --- she's strong, passionate, vivacious, demure and incredibly self-concious. Despite wearing a tough and sexy visage, like many of her contemporaries, she's more than just another pretty face. This book is her personal narrative on how she conqured the world and, if anything, it's one of the most authentic books I've ever read. She's had quite the journey and even though it wasn't alwasy the easiest, it was certainly an incredible one. Rita Moreno: A Memoir is the story about respected singer/actress, Rita Moreno. The story chronicles Moreno's journey from Puerto Rico to America and her struggles for fame, love and leading a fulfilling life. Featuring vignettes on her films, behind-the-scenes gossip on her fellow actors, intimate details about her love life, it's a tale of survival, reinventing yourself and overcoming crippling self doubt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is turly inspirational and amazing. i can relate to it, in sooooo many ways. LOVE it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was your typical movie star story. I understand the pain she endured leaving her family in Puerto Rico, however throughout the entire book, she mentioned only once did she have her husband Lenny try to locate her long lost brother Francesco. Not only did her mother leave her baby boy, but she "forgot" about him also.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well-written autobiography.
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
Rita Moreno's grasp of the English language amazes this reader. Description of setting and characters vibrate on the page. The problem rests with the memoir, which spends half the book explaining an idyll childhood in Puerto Rico, but quickly interrupted by migration to New York. The chapters on Rita's men and family drop a hint or two of the situation and then the story turns to another topic. Rita praises many of her friends, lovers, and co-workers, but in the end, Rita stands as the brilliant star that lesser folk must revolve. The ultimate praise for Rita rests in her determination to succeed and to never give up the battle. Rita wins by sheer forbearance an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, and two Emmys.
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DivineMsMReader More than 1 year ago
A good read about a great lady...it's also an insightful look into the changing America and Hollywood from the WASPY rule through the civil rights shift and to the melting pot we should always have been.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great memoir. I laughed cried and truly found myself really understanding a lot of what Rita Moreno had to go through as a young child. As a latina myself, who moved here when I was 12, could relate with a lot more than many could imagine.
Angi_Simon More than 1 year ago
I can't give a review as it was a gift.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who the h.ell r u