#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 producer/director with over fifteen years of diverse experience in television, advertising and web media. She is honored to serve on the NYWIFT Board of Directors, which supports the careers of women in the Entertainment Industry. Kathryn has crafted narratives as diverse as “Mission Juno,” which documents NASA’s probe to Jupiter, "Master Class," the award-winning10-part flagship series for the Oprah Winfrey Network OWN, and "San Quentin Film School," a six-part documentary series for Discovery Channel following nine prisoners during the first ever film production class in prison. Having started her career supporting democratic initiatives in Latin America, Kathryn has always maintained a love for international travel and politics, and she looks forward to bridging cultural differences through art and story telling.

View all posts by busyk

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