“My relationship with Marlon was like a storm. It was sensual, divine and entertaining, but mostly an obsession. It was like cocaine ”, Rita Moreno assured in an interview for the BBC in 2013. At that time she had published her memoirs, a bestseller in which she revealed, among many other facets that she had never made visible before – such as her activist side and her outrage at ethnic discrimination in Hollywood — her stormy relationships with the most desirable men of the day. Actor Marlon Brando was one of them. “He loved women and I wanted him to be faithful to me, but that was impossible,” he revealed then, but it has not been until now, in a talk on the American program The View, when he has confessed the way in which he took revenge for the behavior of his ex-partner, with whom he had a relationship of eight years.
The 89-year-old Oscar winner has responded to a question from one of the co-hosts, Joy Behar, about whether Brando “constantly” cheated on her while they were together. “I found lingerie at her house which, of course, broke my heart. I went home crying, really, I was naive. And she was also angry, just angry. The next day they called me on the phone and I heard: ‘Miss Moreno? I’m Colonel Parker, my client is Elvis Presley. Elvis was observing her at the 20th Century Fox studios police station and he liked what he saw, ”said the Puerto Rican. The attentions of the singer, who was very interested in meeting her, came to the then young Moreno, who was very hurt after the deception. When Colonel Parker offered to meet Presley, the actress and singer didn’t hesitate: “I thought about those panties I found and said, ‘Yes, I will!’
After meeting several times as revenge against Brando, Moreno has assured that, despite being an effective way to give his ex-partner his own medicine, he found Presley “sweet, but boring.” “He was cute, but he was a country boy,” explained the interpreter of West Side Story. “Anyway, it wasn’t long until [Brando] He realized. He began to throw chairs. I was very angry. And it was wonderful. He started pulling chairs and moved on, “concluded the actress, looking down at her nails with an indifferent expression, imitating the way in which she was unfazed by Brando’s reaction to her infidelity.
The two met when she was 22 years old on the set of the biopic about Napoleon. Desired. His life, his extensive career and the tumultuous relationship that emerged between the actors is detailed in the documentary. Rita Moreno: Just a girl who decided to go for it (“Rita Moreno: A girl who just decided to go all out”), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2021. In the tape, which can be seen on Netflix, he confesses that Brando was the man with whom she really wanted to marry, despite the difficulties.
Once the disappointment had been overcome and focused again on her career, in 1965 she married the Jewish doctor Leonard Gordon, who would later become the father of her only daughter, Fernanda Luisa Gordon, and to whom she would be married for more than four decades until his death in June 2010.
The actress, who has an active career of more than 70 years, will soon return to the big screen to star in Steven Spielberg’s new adaptation of West Side Story which opens on December 10th, just one day before his 90th birthday.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.