Rita Moreno to receive Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award

Rita Moreno will receive the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award this weekend. (1/17/14)

EDISON - Rita Moreno will receive the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award this weekend.

Moreno’s Oscar-winning performance in “West Side Story” made her a star. She is also known for "Electric Company" and her role on the prison drama "Oz."

The actress says it was the iconic film that started it all. "I think ‘West Side Story’ really clinched it," she says. "That's the film that gave me international celebrity, no question."

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Moreno says she loved her flashy and vivacious character, but says her dancing could have been better. "The other kids absolutely out-danced me," she says. "I don't think it, I know it."

Moreno was born in Puerto Rico. At age 5, she and her mother moved to New York. By age 13, Moreno was in her first Broadway show, starting a seven-decade career.

"I never forgot from whence I came and I don't forget that because it means so much to me," she says. "That this child from another country came to this country, didn't speak a word of English and went this far."

Moreno continues to work. She recently finished a film, and her memoir released last year became a New York Times bestseller.

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