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Classic Movie Poster REDUX: West Side Story [1961]

We're sticking with our National Hispanic Heritage Month theme this week with Robert Wise's multiple Academy Award winning musical, "West Side Story". The film marked the very first time a Puerto Rican actress had ever been nominated for an Academy Award. Rita Moreno went on to win the Oscar for "Best Actress in a Supporting Role" for her portrayal of Anita in the film.

Ok, so most people already knew that. But did you know that she made her next film seven years(!) after her Oscar win? Rita Moreno: "Before West Side Story I was always offered the stereotypical Latina roles. The Conchitas and Lolitas in westerns. I was always barefoot. It was humiliating, embarrassing stuff. But I did it because there was nothing else. After West Side Story, it was pretty much the same thing. A lot of gang stories." Moreno next starred alongside Marlon Brando in the obscure crime thriller "Night of the Following Day" in 1968.

Born Rosa Dolores Alverío in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Rita Moreno went on to be the first (and only) Hispanic to win an Emmy (1977), a Grammy (1972), an Oscar (1962) and a Tony (1975); an accomplishment only 10 others can lay claim to. In 2010, the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) honored her with an HOLA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Alternative movie poster illustrated by Jeremy Lord

West Side Story

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