Rita Moreno

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Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno (born Rosa Dolores Alverío December 11, 1931) is a Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer.


  • I think that some people are genetically just strong. I really believe that my mom was like that. On the other hand, maybe you're forced to be that way because you realize you're either going to sink or swim, and the choice you make determines the kind of person you become…
  • What I say to my gente [people] is to hang on, and to remember who they are, be proud of who they are, and keep talking. And keep complaining, and just don't ever — don't give up. That's always been my motto anyway. My motto has always been "persevere" — perseverancia. And that's what we need to do.
  • It got me roles. And you know, for a while, that was wonderful — I was in the movies. But after a while I began to understand that it was really very demeaning. And I began to feel more and more and more diminished. I was already very unsure of myself anyway, because when I was a very young girl in New York City I ran into an awful lot of racial bias, and I got called some pretty nasty names, like 'spic' and — all the words you heard in West Side Story came directly from the streets — 'garlic mouth,' 'pierced ear.' So by the time I was doing those kind of roles — for a living, practically, in Hollywood — I was beginning to feel pretty bad about myself.
  • I've always had this image of this strong, sprightly person who is undaunted by anything; on the contrary, I was one of the shyest, most unsure people you ever met in your life. But I have one very specific quality: I'm plucky. I really am. I would say that's a perfect description of my personality. I am able to get up and dust myself off and keep moving forward. I'm very stubborn. I never knew that about myself. But I realize how stubborn I am when I look at all the terrible things that happened to me and how I just get up and keep going.

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