How Did Rita Moreno Get Famous + Net Worth (2023 UPDATED)

Uncover the narrative behind Rita Moreno’s journey to stardom. Delve into her total assets, profits, and revenue generated through her music career sales and diverse other endeavors.

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Rita Moreno, also known as Dolores Rosa Marcano Alverio, is a multi-talented American actress, singer, and dancer who has appeared in several movies, TV shows, and theatre projects over a career spanning seven decades. Her amazing work has been noted in different areas of the entertainment world.

Rita is among the last remaining stars from Hollywood’s golden age. She is most popular for her role as Googie Gomez in “The Ritz,” which made her famous worldwide in the theater. She has also voiced the role of Carmen Sandiego in the show “Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?” Between 1999 and 1994. In addition to her television work, she has worked on children’s TV series “The Electric Company” between 1977 and 1971, playing supporting roles such as Peter Reimondo and Sister Marie. She is also notable for starring in movies such as “Beverly Hills Slums” in 1998, “I Like It Like That” in 1994, “The Four Seasons” in 1981, “Carnal Knowledge” in 1971, and “Popi” in 1969. Furthermore, her acting career includes roles in musical films such as “West Side Story” in 1961, “Singin’ in the Rain” in 1956, and “I” in 1956.

In the year 2019, she was honored with the Peabody Career Achievement Award. In 2015, she was bestowed with the Kennedy Center Honor in recognition of her remarkable impact on American culture through the arts. In addition to numerous other accolades, she stands out as one of the rare individuals to have achieved all four major annual American entertainment awards – an Academy Award, Primetime Emmy Award, Grammy Award, and Tony Award.

Early life of Rita Moreno

Valley Stream, located on Long Island and bordering New York City, was the place where she spent her teenage years. She decided to take on the surname Moreno, which came from her stepfather. It wasn’t until 2021 that Moreno had the opportunity to meet her younger brother Francisco. When her mother moved to New York in 1936, her son didn’t accompany them. Rita was born when her mother was just 17 years old and was raised in the nearby town of Juncos. She would later be given the nickname “Rosita”. Her parents worked as a farmer and a seamstress, respectively. Rita Moreno was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico.

Entering the acting industry

Entering the acting industry

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Rita Moreno started her dancing lessons soon after she arrived in New York with her Spanish dancer uncle Paco Cansino, who was the paternal uncle of movie star Rita Hayworth. When she was just 11 years old, she got her first project as the voice of the Spanish versions of American movies. By the time she turned 13, she would have the opportunity to bag her first Broadway role in “Angelina” in the Broadway production “Skydrift,” which would attract several Hollywood talent scouts’ attention and help her.

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Working in the movie was an amazing experience and a privilege. Kelly Gene described the role she got in the movie as a fit and an amazing experience and privilege. Kelly Gene would highly praise Zanders Zelda for her non-stereotypical Hispanic role casting. In the movie “Singin’ in the Rain,” she would appear alongside Donald O’Connor, Gene Kelly, and Debbie Reynolds. Throughout the 1950s, she would usually get small roles, including roles in “New Orleans” and “The Toast of New Orleans.” She started her film career in the latter days of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and her mother and Moreno would shift to a cottage within walking distance of MGM City in Culver.

The episode of the “Tales of Wells Fargo” TV show featuring Lola Montez was titled “Lola Montez.” In 1959, she played the role of Lola Montez. The movie received nine nominations at the Academy Awards and was both a commercial and critical success. In the film adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I,” she played Tuptim, a slave brought from Burna to be one of the junior wives of the King. She did not particularly enjoy most of the work she did during this time, as she believed that the roles offered to her were mostly stereotypical. However, the supporting role in the movie was one exception. The cover of “Life” magazine featured her in March 1954, with the caption “Rita Moreno: An Actress’ Catalog of Sex and Innocence.”

Starting to land major roles in the 60s

Starting to land major roles in the 60s

She was left more disappointed than often, however, she felt that she would continue to perform in less stereotypical roles. She started to notice a lot more after she won the Oscar. In 1961, Rita Moreno would land the role of Anita and win the Best Supporting Actress category at the Academy Awards. Rita Moreno would land the role of Anita in the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “West Side Story”.

In 1985, she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her performance in the female adaptation of “The Odd Couple” that was staged in Chicago. Later, in 1975, she also won a Tony Award for her work in “The Ritz”. Her contributions to Broadway include starring in “Gantry” in 1970, the short-lived musical “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” in 1969, and “Marlowe” in 1969. After a brief hiatus, she returned to the film industry in 1968 alongside Marlon Brando in “The Night and the Following Day”, followed by “Popi” in 1969 and “Cry of Battle” in 1961. During her self-imposed break, she appeared in one more movie, “Summer and Smoke” in 1961. Eventually, she secured a significant role in a major film after her performance in “West Side Story”.

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Becoming an EGOT-winning actress in the acting world

Becoming an EGOT-winning actress in the acting world

On The Rockford Files, she portrayed a former escort named Rita Kapcovic in a 3-episode storyline and earned another Emmy award the following year in the category “Outstanding Guest Actress – Drama Series”. Consequently, she became the third individual to have received an Academy Award, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy Award, commonly referred to as “EGOT”. Subsequently, she made an appearance on The Muppet Show and was honored with a Primetime Emmy Award in 1977 for her “Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Program”. In the film adaptation of the comedy movie “The Ritz” in 1976, she portrayed the character Googie Gomez. In 1971, she starred in “Carnal Knowledge” where she played a sex worker named Louise. The film received critical acclaim. On the television series “The Electric Company”, Rita Moreno held a prominent role from 1971 to 1977. She frequently exclaimed the show’s opening line “Hey, you guys!” Her various roles on the show included Millie the Helper, the mischievous girl Pandora, and Otto, a short-tempered director.

In the 80s, she made several guest appearances on the TV series “Vice Miami” and “Lopez George”. She also had roles in the hit movie “Golden Girls” and the show “Love Boat”. In the early 80s, she starred in a sitcom based on a popular movie, “The Cosby Show”. She would later become a regular on the network’s 3-season run of “5 to 9”. The movie also featured high-profile names like Len Cariou, Jack Weston, Alan Alda, Carol Burnett, and Sandy Dennis. In 1981, she was seen in Alda’s hit series “Four Seasons”, which garnered both financial and critical success. In addition to her TV roles, she also starred as Lucille in the 80s comedy-drama movie “Gemini Birthday, Happy”.

Ms. Wickavich, who was Fine Fran’s gym teacher, would make a guest appearance as Coach Maggie’s Stone. She would end up receiving multiple ALMA Awards for her role as a trained psychologist on the TV show “Oz”, and in the 90s, she starred as Sister Pete, a nun. Her voice would lend itself to the character Carmen Sandiego in the animated show “Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?” On Fox. Later that same month, she got asked to perform at the White House and was invited to perform at President Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.

Other projects outside Hollywood

Between 2011 and 2013, she performed the role of Fran Drescher’s mother in the TV sitcom “Happily Divorced”. On the 2007 TV show “Cane”, she portrayed the matriarch of the family. She obtained a recurring role in “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” as Detective Robert Goren’s mother. In 2006, she played the character of Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie. Under the Varèse Sarabande label, she released a self-titled album featuring performances from a nightclub in 2000, which included liner notes by Michael Feinstein.

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The movie “The Willard” was intended to be a pilot for a TV series, with Fred Willard and Natasha Lyonne alongside Ellen Burstyn. Natasha Lyonne would appear in the NBC TV series “Soul” Old film. Several hours after an interview with Moreno, Tony Taccone, the artistic director, wrote “Makeup Without Life: Moreno Rita,” which she started performing as an autobiographical solo show at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in September 2011. After that, she continued working in the film industry, including a small voice acting role in the commercially successful movie “Rio 2” in 2014.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda and others would contribute to the UNIDOS Disaster Relief Program, benefiting the people affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, using the proceeds from the song “Praying Like Almost” where the single went. Miranda’s and Moreno’s performances were highly praised, with the 2017 January premiere of the show “Time at Day One,” a remake produced by Norman Lear of the sitcom Season 1975-84, heavily praised by critics. She would play the matriarch of the Cuban-American family in the Netflix show “Time at Day One.”

She performed “The Wizard and I” on PBS.Org and the PBS Video App, as part of a special concert for “Wicked”. She had won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar award for her role as Anita in the original 1961 movie. Moreno would be cast in the newly created role of Valentina. In August 2021, she would both execute-produce and star in the movie adaptation of West Side Story.

Personal life of Rita Moreno

Personal life of Rita Moreno

Following an overdose of sleeping pills, Moreno made an attempt to take his own life. Following a failed abortion, he would develop romantic feelings for a different woman. This woman had become pregnant by Brando, and he had organized the abortion, as she would later divulge in her memoir. Rita Moreno experienced an intermittent relationship with Marlon Brando from 1954 to 1962.

They had two grandsons and a daughter together. In 2010, he passed away and they stayed together until they moved to Berkeley, California in 1995. After retiring from her medical career, Leonard Gordon, a cardiologist, became her new husband in 1965.

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Net worth of Rita Moreno

Net worth of Rita Moreno

She also became the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Aside from completing the streak of winning the EGOT, which includes at least one Tony, Oscar, Grammy, and Emmy, she has also won a plethora of honors and lifetime achievement awards. Her notable film musicals include “West Side Story” and “Singin’ in the Rain,” which would help her bag an Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actress category. Rita Moreno is an extremely talented and renowned actress, singer, dancer, and producer, whose career has spanned over seven decades. She has an estimated net worth of over $10 million.

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