#SummerHours Summer Reading: Rita Moreno

Goodbye, winter caps—hello, summer hats! It’s that glorious time of year where many of us can switch from content creators to content consumers. NYWIFT members Mellini Kantayya and Kathryn O’Kane have put together #SummerHours, a series of fun summer books, movies, and TV shows by or about women.

By Kathryn O’Kane

“Why not me? Why couldn’t a little Latina be a leading lady, too?”

— Rita Moreno: A Memoir


Rita Moreno book

Rita Moreno (NYWIFT Muse Honoree ’96) is, quite literally, a national treasure. She is one of only 12 performers to win all four major artistic awards: the Oscar, the Emmy, the Grammy and the Tony, and she is the first Hispanic person to have won all four awards. She is celebrated for her memorable performances in Singing in the RainThe King and I, and West Side Story among many others.

Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno in The Hollywood Reporter

In her 2013 memoir Rita Moreno: A Memoir, Moreno examines why, despite winning an Oscar in 1961 for her performance as Anita in West Side Story, she only received offers of stereotypical roles in minor films about gangs for the next seven years. Throughout her career, a drive to tell stories of fully realized characters beyond stereotypes has led Rita Moreno to continue to work and shine on the screens and stage, and at age 86, retirement is not in her vocabulary. She currently stars in the Netflix reboot of One Day at a Time.

With style, grace, and talent, Rita Moreno has earned her status as an American icon and the embodiment of the American dream.


(Cover photo by Bridgette Matthews)


busyk Kathryn O’Kane is a director and producer with over 20 years of experience in television and advertising. She directed season 2 of the Emmy nominated series The World According to Jeff Goldblum for Disney+. She was the showrunner of the James Beard award-winning Netflix series Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, and she produced six seasons of the Emmy award-winning series Friday Night Tykes. Her episodes of Iconoclasts for Sundance and Oprah Presents Masterclass for OWN have won NAACP Imagine awards. Kathryn has crafted short form narratives as diverse as Mission Juno for NASA, segments of AMC’s Talking Dead, and commercial assignments for Apple, Meta, United Airlines, and SAP. Kathryn served two terms on the board of New York Women in Film and Television, championing equal pay, diversity and inclusion, and safety in the workplace. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America and Television Academy. Learn more at www.busyk.com.

View all posts by busyk



She’s amazing! This is going on my list for sure!

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