Getting Ready for Rita

AWF is excited to have Rita Moreno Award-Winning Actress, Dancer & Singer speak at our 2022 Numbers Too Big To Ignore Luncheon. From her humble upbringing living in poverty to overcoming racism and sexism in Hollywood, Rita’s inspirational story is one of breaking barriers.

Rita posing with her Hollywood Walk of Fame star

Rita Moreno has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business: an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy. Her countless credits span more than seven decades, beginning with her Broadway debut at age 13. Moreno has starred on Broadway and London’s West End, appeared in more than 40 feature films, and countless television shows, and has performed in numerous regional theaters including her one woman show, Life Without Makeup at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Moreno recently co-starred in the critically acclaimed Latinx reimagining of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, One Day At A Time. Her documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It, for American Masters Pictures had its world debut at the Sundance Film Festival.

Moreno also co-stars and is an Executive Producer of the Steven Spielberg remake of West Side Story, released in 2021. Moreno headlines as a guest artist with symphony orchestras as well as performs lectures and speaking engagements around the country.

Recipient of the Peabody Career Achievement Award and the Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American culture, she was also honored by her peers as the 50th recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. She recently served as Grand Marshal of the Rose Parade and the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.

Moreno’s first ever all-Spanish language album, Una Vez Más, was produced by her good friend, Emilio Estefan and she is a New York Times bestselling author with her first book, Rita Moreno: A Memoir published by Celebra Books.

Rita receiving National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama

Moreno has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

Rita Moreno’s first foray into social justice was attending the March on Washington with Martin Luther King, Jr. “I was there when he uttered the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” she said.

She continued to be a conscious activist throughout her career, fighting for Latino and women’s rights.