The 81-year-old performer has been named the 50th recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award for her nearly 70-year-long career in show business and for her humanitarian accomplishments.
“No one is more deserving of this honor than the fabulous and accomplished Rita Moreno,” SAG co-president Robert Reardon said in a press release. “[Moreno] is an inspiration in every effort, but never more so than with her civil rights activism, promoting equality and diversity while ushering in a more representative depiction of the American scene on screen.”
Moreno has spent a great deal of her career combating stereotypes.
Viewed by at least one studio executive as the “Spanish Elizabeth Taylor,” Moreno faced a great deal of discrimination in 1950s Hollywood and was often typecast in ethnic roles with heavy accents.
“It’s funny now, it was horrible then,” she told Mo Rocco in an interview for CBS’ “Sunday Morning.”
Moreno was born in Puerto Rico in 1931 and moved to New York with her parents when she was five years old. The young talent got her start in the theater, making her Broadway debut when she was 13 in a production of “Skydrift,” co-starring Eli Wallach.
Moreno is one of only 12 people in history to be identified as an EGOT — a winner of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards.
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