Happy 90th Birthday Rita Moreno!

How awesome for humanity that we’ve been allowed to enjoy the brilliant, bright light that is EGOT winner Rita Moreno for 90 years.

From Variety:

Rita Moreno may be turning 90 in December, but the actor dreads the thought of being typecast as a woman over a certain age.

“Why should I have to play a grandmother simply because I’m old? Can I be a lawyer? A scientist? So far, the answer is … not so much,” she says wistfully. “Hollywood suffers in a profound way from ageism.”

Moreno has made a career — one that spans seven decades of memorable stage and screen roles in “Singin’ in the Rain,” “The Electric Company,” “The Ritz” and “One Day at a Time” — out of defying expectations and breaking barriers.

In 1961, she became the first, and still only, Hispanic woman to win an acting Academy Award, for her turn as Anita in “West Side Story.”

And, of course, you know Moreno appears in (and executive produces) the new Steven Spielberg version of West Side Story which opened to rave reviews on Friday.

While many note that Moreno is one of the few to land Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards (EGOT), her illustrious career has also garnered the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Peabody Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“So far, everything but the Pulitzer and the Nobel,” she tell Variety. “But I’m working on it!”

I met the luminous Rita Moreno here in Las Vegas a few years ago when she was honored by the Nevada Ballet Theater.

Speaking to her on the red carpet, Michael asked if we could have a “Tiger & Duff” moment referencing her backup boys in her Academy Award nominated film The Ritz.

La Rita hit the pose without a pause. #WhatAGreatStar

Rita Moreno celebrates her 90th birthday today
Michael and I with living legend Rita Moreno (photo: Denise Truscello)