Rita Moreno is one legendary actress, who can be credited for paving the way for Latinas in Hollywood. In honor of the iconic Boricua, we’re taking a look at some of the biggest and most inspiring moments throughout her career.
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On November 11, 1945, Rosita Dolores Alverio made her Broadway debut in the play Skydrift. She was credited in the play as Rita Moreno -- the name she would be known as by all for the rest of her career.
In 1950, Rita landed her first major film role, starring as Dolores Guerrero in So Young So Bad.
In 1961, Rita landed the role of Anita in the hit film, West Side Story. The now 83-year-old would go on to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first Hispanic female to win an Academy Award. “I can’t believe it! Good Lord! I’ll leave you with that,” she said during her acceptance speech.
During the 70’s, Rita appeared on the PBS show The Electric Company as Millie the Helper. In 1972, she won a Grammy Award for her contribution to the show’s soundtrack.
The year was 1975 when Rita won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress as Googie Gomez in The Ritz.
In 1977, Rita won her first Emmy Award for her appearance in The Muppet Show. At this very moment, Rita made history, becoming the first Hispanic to have won all four major annual American entertainment awards (Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Grammy). One year later, she would continue her series of success, winning yet another Emmy, this time for time on The Rockford Files.
Rita officially gained her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995. When her star was unveiled, she began to cry uncontrollably and said, “I had been dreaming of this day since I was six!”
Former President George W. Bush honored Rita with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in June of 2004.
On February 25, 2010, the Puerto Rican star made us proud once again, having been award the American National Medal of the Arts for her service and contribution to the arts. That same year, Rita was given the HOLA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Earlier this year, the beautiful and inspirational Rita was honored with the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award.