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  • Filming the scene in West Side Story (1961) where she is harassed and nearly raped by the Jets reduced her to tears, as it brought back memories of being harassed as a child. When she started crying the actors playing the Jets immediately stopped and tried to comfort her, pointing out that the audience was going to hate them for what they were doing.
  • Won Broadway's 1975 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for "The Ritz," a part she recreated in the film version of the same name, The Ritz (1976).
  • She made a guest appearance on "Father Knows Best" (1954) as an exchange student from India who attends school with Betty. Bud teaches her how to play football.
  • Born in Humacao, Puerto Rico
  • Portrayed Amanda Wingfield from Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie at the Berkeley Reperatory Theater in Berkeley, California (July 2006)
  • Husband Dr. Lenny Gordon is a retired internist and cardiologist.
  • Of the nine people who won all four major entertainment awards (Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy), Moreno won all four awards in the shortest amount of time within a 16 year time frame. Winning the Oscar in 1962, Grammy in 1972, Tony in 1975 and her first of two Emmys in 1977. Composer Richard Rodgers is second, winning his four awards within a 17 year time frame.
  • When filming her final scene in West Side Story (1961) in which her character "Anita" is harassed and nearly raped by New York street gang members "the Jets", she was reduced to tears, as it brought flashbacks of similar real life childhood experiences. When she broke down, the other actors nobly stopped and comforted her, helping her to get through the scene, pointing out that the audience was going to hate the gang members for what they were doing, as "Anita" was well meaning in what she was doing, and the sequence set up a critical plot element.
  • In 1975, she won Broadway's Tony Award as Best Supporting Actress (Drama or Comedy) for her riotous performance as "Googie Gomez", a fifth rate Latin torch singer relegated to singing in a gay bathhouse in "The Ritz," a role she recreated in the hilarious film version, The Ritz (1976).
  • Daughter Fernanda Luisa was born in 1967. A successful jewelry designer, she founded Nandiz Design. She is married to Daniel Gordon and has two children named Justin and Cameron.
  • In 1977, she became the ninth performer to win the Triple Crown of Acting: (Oscar: Best Supporting Actress in West Side Story (1961), Tony, Best Featured Actress, The Ritz (1975) and Emmy 1977 ("The Muppet Show" (1976)) and 1978 ("The Rockford Files" (1974)).
  • During the first season (episode 19) of "The Electric Company" (1971), she was in a sketch in which she yelled "Hey, you guys!" repeatedly. It became so popular with the show's producers that they decided to use it as the catchphrase in their opening, starting with season two.
  • Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush (June 2004).
  • Measurements: 34-22-34 1/2 (September 1956), 34-23-35 (filming The Four Seasons (1981)), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine).
  • Is a key spokesperson in raising the awareness of osteoporosis and, in 2000, was presented with an award from the National Osteoporosis Foundation for her work.
  • When her star was unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she fell on top of it, openly and uncontrollably weeping. She later commented, "I had been dreaming of this day since I was six!"
  • Appeared in the pilot for the TV series "Empty Nest" (1988), which was an episode of "The Golden Girls" (1985). The premise was changed in the final version of "Empty Nest" (1988), in which she did not appear.
  • She made a guest appearance on an episode of "Father Knows Best" (1954) ("Fair Exchange" #5.10, originally telecast Nov. 24, 1958). Rita played Chanthini, an exchange student from India who spends a weekend at the Anderson home with her college classmate Betty (Elinor Donahue).
  • She is one of nine performers who have won the gamut of the official awards of the entertainment industry: the Oscar, the Tony, the Emmy, and the Grammy. The others include Helen Hayes, Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks, and John Gielgud. If special awards were included, then Liza Minnelli and Barbra Streisand could be included. Technically, Whoopi Goldberg might be added to the list if you include her Daytime Emmy Award win.
  • Cites Citizen Kane (1941), as her all-time favorite film.
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