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Catherine Anaya

Connecting with Catherine Anaya

In nearly 35 years of broadcasting, you can imagine how many celebrities I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing. But getting to chat with the legendary Rita Moreno for an episode of “Horizonte” is undoubtedly one of my absolute favorites.

The first Latina to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Miss Moreno is also a singer and dancer and has had an indelible impact in Hollywood and the Latino community.

Her career took off with her break-out role as Anita in the original 1961 film “West Side Story,” in which she provided an on-screen presence for people who didn’t see faces that looked like theirs.

Behind the scenes though, the Puerto Rican multi-talented Miss Moreno faced challenges of discrimination, sexism, and racism. Despite that, she carved a career that has spanned eight decades, earning numerous awards and accolades at the highest level.

The now 92-year-old joined me from her home in Northern California to discuss her legendary life and career. I knew I was in for a treat when Miss Moreno started dancing in place to our upbeat theme music, even before we started chatting. She is as vivacious as ever, with a personality that is both fun and frank.

The first Latina to win an Oscar, Grammy, Tony, and two Emmy awards has said she “would have had a different career had it not been for the fact that I’m Hispanic.”

We talk about the grit it took for her to fight for roles that defied stereotypes. And she shares a few of the intimate stories she so candidly wrote about in her memoir.

Plus, Miss Moreno tells me about when she started to feel she had some power in Hollywood and what she thinks about the power of Latinas in Hollywood today.

Miss Moreno is still acting and active and enjoys sharing her stories and humor with live audiences.

That’s precisely what she says you can expect when she visits Scottsdale on March 16 for the Arizona Musicfest event “Rita Moreno: The Legendary Artist in Conversation.”

Get your tickets at AZMusicfest.org. And don’t miss my chat with this beloved Hollywood icon and Latina trailblazer on “Horizonte.” Watch the episode online here or on the PBS app.

Until next time,

Catherine Anaya

‘Horizonte’ examines issues of particular interest to Arizona’s Hispanic community. Your host Catherine Anaya tackles subjects from public policy to education to the arts. ‘Horizonte’ airs on Saturdays at 6 p.m. following PBS News Weekend. You can also stream past broadcasts below.

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