Rita Moreno once said that she was the most terrific 89-year-old she knew, and she's not the only one to have said that. 

Brent Miller, a producer of the documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It, on the occasion of her 90th birthday, had this to say:

I can only hope that 45 years from today, I have half the spark, passion and love for my work, my country and humanity; as well as, the physical and mental ability to share it.

And to answer the question: Is Rita Moreno Still Alive? The answer is yes! 

Moreno turned 90 on December 11, 2021.


A post shared by Rita Moreno (@theritamoreno)

As per Deadline, producer Norman Leer unhesitantly dubbed Moreno's life one of the great American stories. 

He added: "She was three years old when she came here from Puerto Rico and lived the life we celebrate today as she turns 90.  God Bless America and God Bless Rita Moreno. I love them both."

Moreno does, in fact, have quite the story to tell. Despite having devoted a significant chunk of her life to Hollywood, the industry hasn't always returned the favor in good faith. 

As per The Guardian, Moreno began her career fairly young. Three years after coming to the states, she made her professional debut at Greenwich Theatre. 

She left formal education at 15 and in a year since became the family's breadwinner. 

By 1950, then 18-year-old signed onto MGM and moved to the 20th Century Fox the following year.

While the progression of events makes it sound like she was growing day in and day out, the reality couldn't be further removed. 

She was raped by her agent as a teenager but couldn't walk out or call him out because she thought he was the only person looking out for her in the industry. 


A post shared by Rita Moreno (@theritamoreno)

Not long after, she was introduced to the notorious sexual predator Harry Cohn, the co-founder of Columbia Pictures, who had the audacity to tell Moreno: "You better watch out – I’d like to [expletive] you," while his wife was in the room with them. 

The sad reality of the matter is, these weren't the only toxic men she encountered. There were more than a few. 

Still, the one that stood out the most must be Marlon Brando. Rita Moreno and Marlon Brando were in a non-exclusive and tumultuous on-off eight-year relationship. 

Moreno was obsessed. She compared Brando to cocaine. After all, Brando was one of the most desirable men of his time. 

However, the relationship was far from perfect. During the course of their relationship, he had numerous affairs and married twice. He seduced everyone he met. 

When he found out that Moreno was pregnant, he immediately arranged for an abortion. The botched procedure almost cost Moreno her life as she was bleeding for days. 

Shortly after filming her most iconic role, as Anita in West Side Story, the actress tried to kill herself at Brando's residence. 

Rita Moreno posing with producer Norman Lear

Rita Moreno posing with producer Norman Lear (Source: Instagram)

Yes, Moreno is one of the select few to have attained the coveted EGOT title reserved for the absolute best that the entertainment industry had to offer.

The first Latina to take home an Oscar, Moreno has an immortal legacy to her name. But she spent the bulk of her career as a dusky damsel, not by choice. 

While she has led a life worth remembering and learning from, she is also a trailblazer for the generations of entertainers who came from minority communities. 

Having stood a few steps away from Dr. Martin Luther King when he delivered the unforgettable 'I have a dream' speech, Moreno has since devoted her life to activism and painstakingly drawn an attempt at true equality. 

A woman of absolute strength and an entertainer through and through, La Pionera — Rita Moreno.