What Did Rita Moreno Earn Her EGOT For?

Actor Rita Moreno is entertainment royalty. After breaking into the film industry at the dawn of the 1950s and spreading her wings onto the stage and television, Moreno broke out in her Oscar-winning role in 1961’s West Side Story. She supplemented the honor with a slew of memorable performances on stage and screen, which elevated her to EGOT status. 

What does it mean to EGOT?

Winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, or Tony alone is a magnificent accomplishment. But winning them all is an even bigger feat. According to Mental Floss, the exclusive EGOT club boasts sixteen members, most of whom work behind the scenes. Those who have an EGOT skew toward musicians and producers. After all, music plays a heavy role in all four categories, whether it’s composing film scores for movies or TV, or performing them on stage and home recordings. 

Music superstar John Legend, who joined the club in 2018, achieved this through a combination of behind-the-scenes work and performance. He earned his Emmy as a producer for a televised production of Jesus Christ, Superstar, which he also starred in. Despite the seemingly impossible odds, six performers managed to win the coveted quadfecta based solely on their prowess as actors, singers, television hosts, and all-encompassing media personalities. 

Whoopi Goldberg and Audrey Hepburn are, perhaps, the most recognizable EGOT-winners. However, superstars like Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, and James Earl Jones unofficially joined the club thanks to an honorary Tony, Grammy, and Oscar, respectively. Despite so many influential music and entertainment industry players, one cannot mention the coveted honor without bringing up Moreno.

Rita Moreno’s EGOT journey

rita moreno egot
Actress Rita Moreno is shown here smiling as she holds her Academy Award. | Getty Images

Moreno’s breakout role in West Side Story showed everyone she was here to stay. However, one could argue that Moreno never matched the hype surrounding her iconic role, given that she returned for Steven Spielberg’s remake to cap off a six-decade journey. 

Despite winning an Oscar for her role, Moreno struggled to find acclaimed work in the following years. Then, in the early 1970s, she took a role in the educational television series The Electric Company. This garnered her a Grammy for her musical performance. Then, in 1975, Moreno took part in Broadway’s The Ritz, where she won her Tony for Best Supporting Actress. 

The Emmys two years later completed Rita Moreno’s EGOT after 16 years. She first won for her guest spot on The Muppet Show in 1977, followed by an appearance on The Rockford Files one year later.

What else is Moreno known for?

Moreno moved to New York with lofty aspirations, but she needed to learn the tricks that would let her do so. This meant taking roles as a singer, dancer, and actor when they came. This multi-layered talent was on full display whenever she took on a role. According to IMDb, Moreno spent the first decade of her career honing her craft, from classic musicals like The King and I to a broad scope of television guest spots and stage performances. 

However, after her Oscar for West Side Story,  Moreno failed to garner much attention from casting directors – appearing in a handful of films and television shows until her Electric Company-led breakout. In 2003, Moreno’s career received another boost after her heavily-acclaimed role in the HBO prison drama Oz, where she played a nun who developed bonds with several prisoners. 

Moreno’s career came full circle when she returned to the West Side Story that made her famous, this time as a shopowner. With One Day at a Time bringing her to a younger audience and an upcoming appearance in Fast X, Moreno has continued to work hard into her nineties. It’s no wonder she landed that EGOT so early.

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What Did Rita Moreno Earn Her EGOT For?
Source: News Pinoy Buzz

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