Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It

Discover how Moreno defied her humble upbringing and racism to become one of a select group of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award winners.

  • Fred Vigeant
Watch Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided to Go For It Tuesday, October 5 at 9pm on WITF. You can stream WITF TV live on our website and through the PBS Video app on Roku, Apple TV and iPhone and Android smartphones.

Over a career spanning more than 70 years, Rita Moreno defied both her humble upbringing and relentless racism to become a celebrated and award-winning actor. American Masters — Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It explores the star’s rich, decades-long career using vérité footage of Moreno today, archival footage of her roles and appearances, reenactments of her childhood, animation and interviews with Moreno, those close to her and performers she influenced.

Beyond the racism she experienced as a Latina actor, American Masters — Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It explores the lesser-known struggles Moreno faced on her path to stardom, including pernicious Hollywood sexism and sexual abuse, a toxic relationship with Marlon Brando and an attempted suicide a year before she won her Oscar. The documentary also revisits her notable roles, including The Electric Company, the Broadway and feature film version of “The Ritz,” Oz and, most recently, One Day at a Time.

The documentary demonstrates Moreno’s talent and resilience as she broke barriers, paved the way for new generations of artists by refusing to be pigeonholed and fought for Latinx representation in a variety of genres. Watch Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided to Go For It Tuesday, October 5 at 9pm on WITF and through the PBS Video app.

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