Rita Moreno landed her breakthrough role in Hollywood portraying Anita in the 1961 musical West Side Story. She won her first ever Academy Award for the film, the start of a huge career in the entertainment industry. The trailblazing actress has an impressive net worth and has since become one of the most well-known performers in the entire world.
Rita has an estimated net worth of $28 million, according to Wealthy Persons. Born in Puerto Rico in 1931, the Carnal Knowledge star began taking dance lessons when she moved to New York with her mother. At 13 years old, Rita scored her first Broadway role in Skydrift. She later moved to Hollywood to begin what would become a lifetime full of blockbuster roles, West Side Story being one of them.
“I come from an era where there were no role models, none,” Rita shared in a June 2021 appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “It took me forever to find someone that I could model myself on, and it turned out to be Anita.”
In 1969, Rita starred alongside Marlon Brando in the film The Night of the Following Day. The pair went on to date on and off for eight years. From 1971 to 1977, she starred in the children’s series The Electric Company, winning a Grammy for her work on the show’s album. In between her time working on the television series, Rita starred in The Ritz on Broadway. She won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in 1975.
The Singin’ in the Rain star won a Primetime Emmy Award for her work on The Muppet Show in 1977, putting her in the elite category of EGOT winners. Rita later appeared in 9 to 5, Oz, One Day at a Time and Happily Divorced. She also lent her voice to the animated series Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? from 1994 to 1999. All of the highlights of her career were featured in her 2021 Netflix documentary, Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided to Go For It.
In 2018, Steven Spielberg began casting a new adaptation of West Side Story. Rita was cast in the role of Valentina and also served as the executive producer of the film. The film release was set for December 2021 after being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For Rita, being a part of the film again 60 years later was very heartwarming.
“It was a very emotional experience. It was emotional meeting the new Anita, Ariana DeBose, who is marvelous in the movie,” she told Thirteen in September 2021. “It was emotional watching these talented young dancers doing Justin Peck’s gorgeous choreography in rehearsals. I just adored ‘the kids,’ as I call them. Every day at lunch, they’d gather around me and ask questions, which I was more than happy to answer. It was great fun and very uplifting.”