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Rita Moreno’s Best-Selling Memoir Touches On Heartbreak, Heartthrobs

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — She’s won just about every award one can win.

Rita Moreno is in the rare EGOT club, too. Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony — they all line her bookshelf.

Now, too, does a best-selling memoir with sexy, sassy, funny, poignant and painful stories from her storied life.

Moreno recently sat down with CBS2’s Juan Fernandez to talk about her book and her life, a life that’s taken her from a childhood in Puerto Rico to Hollywood stardom over six decades.

It’s all there in steamy detail, including long love affairs with actors like Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley.

At 82, Moreno is still going strong and showing no signs of slowing down. She’s giving lectures, concerts, acting.

“I’m the biggest cryer, I’m the biggest laugher. I’m loud,” she says.

Moreno told Fernandez she wrote the book not just to set the record straight but to also inspire women and let them know they should never settle for less.

“I paid a dear price for hanging on to — and being afraid to leave — a 46 year marriage,  and I was deeply unhappy for many years.”

These days, Moreno says she is never happier.

She offers sage advice to anyone contemplating marriage.

“Live together for a good amount of time,” she says.

Her memoir also discusses her early years in Hollywood when she was often relegated to playing stereotypes.

“I always had to play a hot sexy native girl who was implied was easy and had an accent,” she says of the memory.

Playing a girl with a thick accent, as Anita in “West Side Story,” would win her the Oscar.

It is the stories of her romances that have many interviewers on the edge of their seats.

Marlon Brando, she candidly admits, wasn’t some little fling.

“Marlon Brando was a huge part of my life — he took up almost ten years of it,” she says.

And sometimes it wasn’t all wine and roses.

“We had a very — shall I say tempestuous, tumultuous relationship,” she offers.

When Fernandez presses for more details, Moreno does what any good author does — she leaves him wanting more.

“I think that is a [great] tease,” she says laughing, “Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley? The two kings!”

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