Oscar and Tony-winning stage and screen siren Rita Moreno has taken to the pages of her new memoir (appropriately titled Rita Moreno) to revisit the steamy and sad details about her eight-year relationship with acting legend Marlon Brando.
Moreno, now 81, began dating Brando after encountering him on the set of Desiree in 1954, an impromptu meeting that spurred a courtship that included infidelity (Brando married twice during their affair), emotional abuse and a love child, according to The New York Post.
“To say that [Brando] was a great lover—sensual, generous, delightfully inventive—would be gravely understating what he did not only to my body, but for my soul,” wrote Moreno in her memoir. “He broke my heart and came close to crushing my very spirit with his physical infidelities and, worse, with his emotional betrayals.”
The memoir also sheds light on Moreno's attempt to win over Brando by setting her sights on Elvis Presley (“No one could possibly make Marlon Brando more jealous,” she explained). However, Elvis’ chastity made her return to Brando’s home, where she became pregnant with his child, suffered a botched abortion and attempted suicide. The couple eventually decided to part ways for good, though they did spark another fling in 1968.
The complicated Brando affair didn't affect Moreno's star turn as Anita in West Side Story. The movie earned her an Academy Award and launched a successful career earning Moreno the distinction of being one of the few Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winners (collectively known as EGOT). She won the Tony for creating the role of Googie Gomez in the 1975 premiere of Terrence McNally's The Ritz; her two Emmys were for guest appearances on The Rockford Files and The Muppet Show.