Rita Moreno

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her over three-hour Archive interview, Rita Moreno talks about spending her early childhood in Puerto Rico before coming to the United States at the age of five. Ms. Moreno chronicles her early stage, film and radio work, all done before her television debut in 1952. Ms. Moreno speaks about her work on G.E. Theatre, Fireside Theatre, Climax, Matinee Theatre, Playhouse 90 and other live programs. She also speaks freely about her encounters with racism. Even after her many successes in theatre and film, including an Oscar win for West Side Story, she continued working in television as a guest star on many programs. She discusses how, in 1971, she began a five-year run as a regular on The Electric Company, a PBS children's program. She has continued working and talks about most recently having been a regular on HBO's drama series Oz. Marla Miller conducted the interview in San Francisco, CA on June 22, 2000.

"I didn't know this for a long time but, I'm greatly admired by my own people. I didn't know this because we don't have a tradition of writing fan letters. That's not something we do. When I found out, just a few years ago, that Spanish Harlem practically went on fire when I got my Oscar, that windows were opening, almost like in 'West Side Story', I get goose bumps. People yelling, 'she got it! She did it!' It makes me want to cry."

Highlights
Rita Moreno on her Emmy-winning guest appearances as "Rita Capkovic" on The Rockford Files
02:06
Rita Moreno on the stereotypical roles she played in filmed TV in the 1950s
01:14
Rita Moreno on joining the cast of The Electric Company
01:53
Rita Moreno on her attempts to create an accent for the Native American roles she played in 1950s television
01:57
Rita Moreno on co-starring in Oz and the freedom of working on a cable series
02:19
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early years and influences; on the beginning of her stage career; on the typecasting she experienced as a Latina actress; on her first work in television 

Chapter 2

On some of her live and filmed television work; on the stereotypical roles she played in filmed TV in the 1950s; on appearing in shows including Fireside Theatre and Broken Arrow 

Chapter 3

On her film work including Singing in the Rain, The King and I, and West Side Story;
On working in 1960s television

Chapter 4

On working in television vs. film; on sketch comedy
On joining the cast of The Electric Company and the diversity of the cast; on starring in the pilot On the Rocks

Chapter 5

On her many guest roles in series (including The Rockford Files, The Golden Girls, and Murphy Borwn) during the 1970s and 1980s; on co-starring in Nine to Five;  on her then-current work on Oz

Chapter 6

On how her accomplishments are perceived by the Latino community; on her legacy 
Shows

9 to 5

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Rita Moreno on starring in 9 to 5 and dealing with network notes
04:06

Broken Arrow

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Rita Moreno on her attempts to create an accent for the Native American guest roles she played in 1950s television, such as on Broken Arrow
01:57

Electric Company, The

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Rita Moreno on joining the cast of The Electric Company
01:53
Rita Moreno on starring in The Electric Company
08:28

Empty Nest

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Rita Moreno on appearing in The Golden Girls episode which was a pilot for the spinoff Empty Nest
04:35

Fireside Theatre

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Rita Moreno on appearing in Fireside Theatre: "The Saint and the Senorita" and the stereotypical roles she played in many of her filmed TV roles
01:41

Golden Girls, The

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Rita Moreno on appearing in The Golden Girls episode which was a pilot for the spinoff Empty Nest
04:35

Larry Sanders Show, The

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Rita Moreno briefly on appearing on an episode of The Larry Sanders Show
00:21

Murphy Brown

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Rita Moreno on guest-starring on Murphy Brown
01:13

Nanny, The

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Rita Moreno on guest-starring on The Nanny and doing a tag scene which referenced West Side Story
01:29

Oz

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Rita Moreno on the graphic nature of her then-current series, Oz
02:02
Rita Moreno on co-starring in Oz and the freedom of working on a cable series
02:19

Rockford Files, The

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Rita Moreno on her Emmy-winning guest appearances as "Rita Capkovic" on The Rockford Files
02:06
Topics

Emmy Awards

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Rita Moreno on her Emmy-winning guest appearances as "Rita Capkovic" on The Rockford Files
02:06

Minorities

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Rita Moreno on the stereotypical roles she played in filmed TV in the 1950s
01:14
Rita Moreno on her attempts to create an accent for the Native American roles she played in 1950s television
01:57
People

Bill Cosby

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Rita Moreno on joining the cast of The Electric Company
01:53

Fran Drescher

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Rita Moreno on guest-starring on The Nanny and doing a tag scene which referenced West Side Story
01:27

Tom Fontana

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Rita Moreno on the graphic nature of her then-current series, Oz
02:02

James Garner

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Rita Moreno on her Emmy-winning guest appearances as "Rita Capkovic" on The Rockford Files
02:06

Susan Harris

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Rita Moreno on appearing in The Golden Girls episode which was a pilot for the spinoff Empty Nest
04:35

Pinky Lee

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Rita Moreno on joining the cast of The Electric Company
01:53

All Interviews

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