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 and wound up in the harsh barrios of the Bronx, where she discovered dancing, singing, and acting as ways to escape a tumultuous childhood. Making her Broadway debut by age 13 - and moving on to Hollywood in its Golden Age just a few years later - she worked alongside such stars as Gary Cooper, Yul Brynner, and Ann Miller.
When discovered by Louis B. Mayer of MGM, the wizard himself declared: "She looks like a Spanish Elizabeth Taylor." Cast by Gene Kelly as Zelda Zanders in Singin’ in the Rain and then on to her Oscar-winning performance in West Side Story, she catapulted to fame - yet found herself repeatedly typecast as the "utility ethnic", a role she found almost impossible to elude.
Here, for the first time, Rita reflects on her struggles to break through Hollywood’s racial and sexual barriers. She explores the wounded little girl behind the glamorous facade - and what it took to find her place in the world. She talks candidly about her relationship with Elvis Presley, her encounters with Howard Hughes, and the passionate romance with Marlon Brando that drove her to attempt suicide. And she shares the illusiveness of a "perfect" marriage and the incomparable joys of motherhood.
Infused with Rita Moreno’s quick wit and deep insight, this memoir is the dazzling portrait of a stage and screen star who longed to become who she really is - and triumphed.
©2013 Rita Moreno (P)2013 Penguin Audio
I enjoyed her humor, the impersonations and the overall narration was fantastic. Her voice and storytelling made for a very enjoyable listening experience (I've listened to the book twice already).
Since this book I realized that all narrators aren't as engaging, clear or entertaining... I really enjoyed her story and the life lessons she shared with the reader/listener.
This was my very first audiobook and first memoir via Audible. I appreciated and enjoyed the candor with which she described her life and life lessons, it felt conversational and honest. It was a wonderful purchase, very glad it was my first audiobook. I thoroughly enjoyed her life's ups and downs (as she told it), the book made me laugh, reflect and cry. She's a strong, talented and funny woman. Thank you Rita Moreno.
Yes, I would listen to Rita Moreno again, because I felt her heart in every word. She owed her story. It was the truth!
For me, the most memorable part of this book was the end when she spent the final days with her husband. I lost my husband of 48 years and I identified with that part of the story. I felt her pain and sorrow.
I've followed Rita from back in the 60's. I watched her appearances on film and television when ever I had the chance. A lot of which she talked about in this book. I liked her honesty! She revealed so much about herself that it changed a lot of ideas I've held about her and her celebrity.
This was a book I would listen to in three sittings.
I want to say that this book reminded me of so many of the performances I saw over the years. A lot of it sent me searching them, as I read about them, on the internet. I watched the video's on YouTube. I really had to laugh my guts out watching Googie!
Hearing Rita recount her life experiences was a pleasure! We often think celebrities "have it all" but in her case, there were trials and tribulations along the way. Her telling of her mother's passing will bring you to tears. Her devotion to her husband, Lennie, will move you as well. How fortunate we all have been to have Rita in our lives!
I confess not to know much about Rita Moreno before reading this book, and I learned not just about her, but about another time and way things were done. Moreno has a great immigrant story with ups and downs and a view into a world I did not know about or that was just a vague sketch instead of the harsh reality of the author. Highly recommend it.
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