Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Barbara Barbieri McGrath (1953–) Biography - Personal to Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930) Biography » Rita Moreno: 1931—: Actress, Singer, Dancer Biography - Career Hindered By Stereotypes, Recognized As A Major Talent, Awarded Top Prizes, Demonstrated Versatile Talents

Rita Moreno: 1931—: Actress, Singer, Dancer - Career Hindered By Stereotypes

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After joining MGM Moreno's career advanced steadily. In little more than ten years she had reinvented herself into a Hollywood starlet. However, the range of her talents were ignored and she found herself incessantly cast as a fiery Latin sex kitten or an Indian maiden in a succession of stereotypical, ethnic roles in such films as The Fabulous Senorita (1952), Latin Lovers (1953), and The Yellow Tomahawk (1954). "There was no such animal as a Spanish-American actress. Lupi Valez and Dolores Del Rio, that was it," Moreno told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. "What happened was, in those days they did a lot of westerns and there was always a part for a senorita, singing and dancing my little bum off and, tock-eeng lahk deez. When that period was over, there was nothing left but gang movies." Still, when her contract with MGM was canceled early, Moreno was devastated.

After MGM she signed on with Twentieth Century-Fox. The roles she played were no different—she was typecast as the dumb, sexy characters moviemakers thought she was suited for, including a poor, barefooted Native American in Seven Cities of Gold (1955) and Tuptim, a slave girl, in the classic The King and I (1956). In 1957 she made The Deerslayer and then, without reason, Fox let her contract lapse. It would be three years before she would make another movie.


Rita Moreno: 1931—: Actress, Singer, Dancer - Recognized As A Major Talent [next]

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