this luminous memoir, Rita Moreno shares her remarkable journey from young
girl to Hollywood legend.
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 dancing, singing, and acting were her escape from a tumultuous childhood.
Making her Broadway debut by age thirteen—and
moving on to Hollywood just a few years later—she worked
alongside such stars as Gary Cooper, Yul Brynner, and Ann Miller.
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 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. She also shares the illusiveness of a “perfect” marriage and the incomparable joys of
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.
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