Rita Moreno's Most Iconic Roles: Career Highlights in Photos

Rita Moreno's Most Iconic Roles: Career Highlights in Photos

December 14, 2021

From the first ”West Side Story“ to ”One Day at a Time,“ the actress has made many memorable appearances, and she turns 90 on Saturday

Twentieth Century Fox, Mirisch Pictures Inc., Netflix

In light of her return to the beloved musical that kicked off her career, “West Side Story,” TheWrap looks back at the EGOT-winning star Rita Moreno. The actress and singer also turned 90 Dec. 11, 2021!

“Singing in the Rain” (1952) 

Moreno made a splash in “Singin’ in the Rain” as celebrity Zelda Zanders. You can watch her appearance in the opening scene here.

“The King and I” (1956)

Moreno played Tuptim, a young Burmese woman and recent concubine of the king, who had some spotlight singing moments.

“West Side Story” (1961)

As the first Anita in the musical “West Side Story,” Moreno showed off her dance moves and high kicks as Anita, the feisty confidante of Maria. She won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress for the film.

“Carnal Knowledge” (1971)

Moreno plays hooker Louise in this sensual film. One key scene of hers involves Louise seducing Jack Nicholson’s character, Jonathan. 

“The Electric Company” (1971-2009)

One of Moreno’s most memorable moments on screen saw her play Millie the Helper to The Milkman on the PBS kids series “The Electric Company.” Moreno specifically turned heads with the scene in which she yells, “Hey you guys!” at the top of her lungs at 4 in the morning when she and The Milkman (Bill Cosby) are delivering milk.

“The Ritz” (1976)

Moreno won a Tony Award in 1975 for Best Featured Actress as Googie Gomez in the Broadway musical “The Ritz.”

“The Four Seasons” (1981)

In “The Four Seasons,” Moreno plays self-proclaimed no-filtered Italian Claudia Zimmer, who retains composure even as her husband, Danny (Jack Weston), yells at her. 

“Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?” (1994-1999)

Moreno’s voice adds to the mysterious cartoon character Carmen Sandiego, a clever globe-trotting thief whose backstory is told throughout the animated series.

“Oz” (1997-2003)

As Sister Peter Marie Reimondo, Moreno graced HBO’s show “Oz.” She created many heartwarming scenes, including one in which she evaluates the mental state of inmates to help them maintain stability. 

“One Day at a Time” (2017-2020)

Moreno packed a punch in her role as abuela Lydia Riera on the reboot of the 1970s sitcom that played three seasons on Netflix (and then one more on Pop). Riera’s anecdotes, memories and lessons provide comedic relief in the show. 

“Maya and the Three” (2021)

In Netflix’s limited series, “Maya and the Three,” Moreno voiced the Ah Puch, a sage-type character who oversees Maya’s journey. The animated series follows Teca Princess Maya through Mesoamerica as she chases down her dream of becoming a warrior.

“West Side Story” (2021)

Moreno returned for Steven Spielberg’s big-screen remake of the classic musical — this time not as Anita but as Valentina, the owner of the drugstore who takes in young stock-boy Tony (Ansel Elgort) in her basement apartment.

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