Rita Moreno's autobiographical play: 'I once attempted suicide'
About to turn 80, and by now solidifying a life of leisure, Rita Moreno is busier than ever, with her autobiographical play, 'Life Without Make-up,' which takes a look back at her passions and tragedies, and a shocking revelation that she once attempted suicide.
"It was a very emotional time in my life and I attempted to commit suicide. When one fails, sometimes it is very sad, and other times it's very funny," the legendary actress confessed to AOL Latino exclusively.
"What happened in my case was that a doctor prescribed a medication for my thyroid, but it was a depressant. At that time in my life, I was very sad about a few things and I was taking a depressant, so that's what happened. [Otherwise] I would never attempt suicide. It's in my DNA to live," Moreno said.
Another tragic moment Moreno stages in the play, which opens at the Berkeley Repertory Theater in Los Angeles Nov. 12, was the loss of her brother.
"My mom brought me [to the U.S.] from Puerto Rico when I was 5, and I had a younger brother, Francisco Alverio, who I never saw again. I tried to find him many times, but I never did," Moreno said.
Apart from the play, Moreno also joined the cast of TV Land's 'Happily Divorced,' in the role of Fran Drescher's character's mother.
Moreno's career has spanned 70 years, and earned her some of the entertainment industry's most coveted awards. She is one in an elite group of eight living legends in the United States who know what it's like to claim an Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy. She is the only Hispanic to achieve such a feat. Her Academy Award came in 1962, when she played the role of Anita in the iconic film 'West Side Story' -- a role that also earned her a Golden Globe award.
The prestigious Tony Award came in 1975, for her Broadway role as Googie Gomez in 'The Ritz.' In 1977 and '78, her appearances on 'The Muppet Show' and 'The Rockford Files' earned her a pair of Emmys.
Family has always played a major role in all the successes the actress has achieved professionally.
"I wake up singing in the morning. I have my daughter and my two grandchildren. My daughter, Fernanda Luisa, is my life. The [grandkids] are my heart. I don't need anything else in my life. I have it all. I feel profoundly grateful."
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