“Be Proud of Who You Are and Don’t Give Up”: EGOT Star Rita Moreno Comes to Fargo

82 years later, she tells her story about growing up in the big apple and breaking into the business

FARGO, N.D. — As part of the Fargo Town Hall Lecture Series, actress, singer and dancer, Rita Moreno is pushing people to pursue their hopes and dreams.

KVRR’s Jessie Cohen tells us how her story is inspiring and resonating with hundreds.

In 1935 Rita Moreno left family members behind in Puerto Rico and came to America with her mother, the country where pursing dreams is possible.

“She is amazing. I’m just in awe of her,” said Anne Nyberg, from Arthur, North Dakota.

82 years later, she tells her story about growing up in the big apple and breaking into the business.

“Look at how she grew up and what she did with that. She lives every day to the fullest and she makes every moment count and you really need to do that,” Anne said.

“When I was a young woman there was nobody I could look up to that even began to look like me or be like me,” Rita said.

Instead she idolized her strong Latino character Anita, in West Side Story.

“But she became my role model because I never had one,” Rita said.

Throughout every struggle and every challenge, Rita says hope is an essential part of her DNA.

“Perseverance. You know you have value or learn to understand that you absolutely you’re a human being you have value. You are worthy,” Rita said.

But what many in the audience resonated with most, was her experience with sexual assault, as she said ‘me too’.

“Understanding that it’s okay to remind people that they have value and that they are worthy,” Rita said.

As one of only 15 people to ever achieve EGOT status, winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and tony, people look up to her.

Something Rita never imagined in her wildest dreams.

“I’ve become the role model which is amazing to me it’s astonishing and now Gina Rodriguez is becoming the role model,” Rita said.

She pushes people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds to reach for the stars.

“She still has that stick and is picking up those little pieces of hope and putting them in her bag,” Anne said.

And doesn’t plan on pushing back any time soon.

“Life is great. I’m grateful for every moment that I have,” Rita said.

At 86 years old, Rita is still acting.

Right now she is on the Netflix sitcom One Day at a Time.

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