God is amazing! I spent he day yesterday strolling Hollywood's Walk Of Stars and chatting with talented Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy award winner, Rita Moreno for over 20 minutes as we searched for her star then took pictures.
Moreno was in for the 50th Anniversary ceremony for Westside Story and had her hand/feet prints immortalized in cement. I had planned to go to this event but I ended up getting there late and missing most of the event. I could barely see anything when I got there because the crowd was barricaded on the other side of the street across from Grauman's Chinese and across 2 lanes of traffic. I waited to see if one of the stars would came to greet the crowd but most of the crowd was leaving. Then I spied Ms. Moreno, her daughter and grandson and a small entourage making their way up Hollywood Blvd and I waved to her and ask if I could join them. Moreno said, "sure, just keep up the pace" and I did (barely)- lol.
Ms. Moreno is so tiny and beautiful and she wore a stone washed fitted jeans jacket, a floral dress with ruffles and sparkly blue low-heeled shoes. Moreno is also still very spry and light on her feet from years of training as a dancer. In fact, she was walking so fast that I struggled to keep up with her as we walked the last 2 blocks.
She was also very sweet to put up with me gushing about her role of Anita in Westside story (both on film and on stage), her roles on Electric Company (Millie, the little girl in pink, the director, Otto), her role on Oz, and her most recent role as Vincent D'Onofrio's mother on Law & Order Criminal Intent... (read yada yada) as we walked to her star. I even got to tell her how only God could have allowed us to meet in the way we did.
I have to work harder on suppressing my natural campiness because I so wanted to sing and dance to the song "In America" as Moreno posed on her star but I had it all recorded on my iphone but my phone died on me. I also resisted asking Moreno to yell her signature "hey, you guys!" like she did in the opening of each Electric Company episode but it took me literally biting my tongue to do it.
Ms. Moreno signed my drawing depicting her on the LIFE magazine cover in 1954 and she gave me a 1,000 watt smile, too. Moreno's manager, John, also took a pic of Ms. Moreno and I and some other picture for me as my hands were just shaking. Then Moreno's family, friends and her grandson gathered around her and we all gave a shout out to Puerto Rico where Moreno was born. Boriqua!