Rita Morena, who is 10 days shy of her 90th birthday, is a national treasure. This isn’t up for debate. Still fabulous and feisty, she entertained The View audience Wednesday with her romantic tales.
And they were so delicious. Like, did you know that Rita Moreno, who is in the West Side Story revival, used a music legend to make an acting icon jealous? Yes, Moreno dated Elvis Presley to pay back Marlon Brando for his indiscretions. Who else can claim that kind of clout?
Moreno told The View hosts that Brando, the Godfather star, cheated on her throughout their on-again, off-again eight-year relationship. Stupid, silly man.
“I found lingerie in his house and, of course, I was heartbroken, and I went home in tears — really, I was naïve — and I was angry too, just furious,” Rita Moreno said.
Then she told the next part of the anecdote with a southern accent.
“The next day, the phone rings, and I hear ‘Miss Marina?’ I said, ‘Uh, yeah?'” Moreno remembered. ” ‘This is Colonel Parker, my client is Elvis Presley, and Elvis spotted you at the 20th Century Fox commissary, and he liked what he saw.’
“I said ‘Oh?’ and he said, ‘And he would like very much to meet you. Would you like to meet him?’ And I thought of those panties (in Brando’s house), and I said, ‘Yes, I would!’ “
But Moreno wasn’t that impressed with Elvis. She went out with him a few times, but that was about it. She pronounced him “sweet but boring.” Truth be told, Elvis probably didn’t serenade her with one of his songs. Those never were boring.
But she got the desired reaction. She said Elvis was “sweet, but he was a country boy. So anyway, when (Brando) found out, it didn’t take long. He started to throw chairs. He was so angry. It was wonderful. And I just sat there as he threw chairs and carried on.”
Rita Moreno is talking about her fabulous life as part of a media tour to promote West Side Story. Historically, she’s one of the few EGOT winners. That’s a trophy for an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. We told you she was talented.
Her most famous role probably was Anita in West Side Story. She was dazzling in the critically acclaimed movie, which won 10 Academy Awards out of 11 nominations. Rita Moreno won for Best Supporting Actress. The movie also was the top-grossing film of 1961 as it set the standard for both beautiful and profitable musicals.
In the remake, Moreno portrays a new character, Valentina. The movie, directed by Stephen Spielberg, premieres Dec. 10, the day before Moreno’s 90th birthday. She’s already drawing Oscar buzz. And if she wins, she’d be the oldest actor to take home the award.
As for her relationship with Brando, she called him the “lust of her life.” She married cardiologist Leonard Gordon in 1965. They were together until he died in 2010.