Rita Moreno, the 84-year old Puerto Rican-American actress, was honored by the Los Angeles Music Center at its inaugural Summer Soirée for her decades of contributions towards the field of performing arts.
Amazingly, Rita Moreno is one of the few celebrities who have been awarded an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony in the course of her illustrious career that has spanned over six decades. In fact, she is the only Latin American celebrity who has won all four of the coveted awards.
The actress won the Oscar award for her role as Anita in 1961’s West Side Story. Later, she won Emmy awards for her work in The Rockford Files and The Muppet Show.
Additionally, Rita Moreno has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Medal of Arts. Her contribution towards the American culture was also appreciated when she received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2015. Rachel Moore, the president and CEO of the Music Center, recognized Rita’s commitment to excellence by calling her a trailblazer who has delivered performances that have raised the bar in the field of arts. Further, Rachel Moore dedicated the award to Rita’s potential to push the limits by defying stereotypes.
According to Variety, Rita received the award from the hands of Fran Drescher, the star of The Nanny, who appreciated Rita’s efforts in using her celebrity status for the advancement of women, the Latin American community, and other marginalized sections of the society.
— KWWK-DB (@KWWKRADIO) July 8, 2016
The event was witnessed by more than 340 fans that included other recognized achievers in the field of arts. Rita was full of humor and humility when she graced the stage to accept the award, which she devoted to her loved ones and especially to her immigrant mother. According to the Pasadena Star News, Rita Moreno credited her fans and supporters for encouraging her to unleash her inner creativity.
“That sweet elixir I call ‘art’ requires more than the creativity and passion of the artist. There would be no Misty Copelands, no Stella Abreras and no Rita Morenos without those who encourage, support and applaud!”
Rita Moreno might have had an extremely successful stint in television, film, and theater, but it was only after the loss of her husband that she has become serious in money matters. Rita faced a major predicament after Dr. Leonardo Gordon, her husband of 46 years, passed away when she realized that she was basically incapable of handling her finances. In essence, Rita Moreno’s husband used to take care of all the finances while the actress was focused on her career. According to the Huffington Post, Rita was not only emotionally exhausted after her husband’s death, but she was also perplexed when she had to deal with the complexities of financial planning.
Realizing that there are numerous other widows who would be struggling with the same difficulties, Rita Moreno decided to become a spokesperson for Life Unscripted, an initiative of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that aims to educate people about insurance issues. The program offers advice to customers from various age groups, and it particularly benefits older women like Rita Moreno. Rita Moreno attributes her unpreparedness to the Latino way of life, which stipulate that men must be in charge of the financial planning.
Incidentally, the 84-year-old Rita Moreno is playing the role of a widowed mother in Netflix’s Latino version of One Day at a Time, the popular American sitcom that was originally telecast in the 1970s and 1980s.
— TV In Colour (@TVInColour) January 13, 2016
Rita Moreno confessed to being overcome with feelings of loneliness after the death of her husband. In her younger days, Rita had romantic relationships with several A-list celebrities, including Marlon Brando, Elvis Presley, Anthony Quinn, and Dennis Hooper. Although the actress isn’t contemplating a second marriage following the death of her husband, she has expressed her desire for a good companion to fill the void in her life. According to the Closer Weekly, Rita Moreno said that a wonderful companion would have to be able to make her laugh.
“Everyone I’ve ever been interested in had great senses of humor.”
[Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invsion/AP Images]