Monday, February 20, 2012

A Girl Like That

Although life has turned into a whirlwind of travel and unexpected dentistry, I don't want to lose sight of our little contest.  I'm happy to note that after a couple of false starts, you Gentle Readers came through and discovered the secret identity of our chipper pigtailed waif.

She is indeed the child born Rosa Dolores Alverío, but known to the world (after her own false start as Rosita) as Rita Moreno.  She's seen here, on this the nearer end of her long career, working a pair of lounging pajamas as only a veteran of MGM could do.  Hers is a varied career, taking in everything from a supporting part in an Esther Williams epic (Pagan Love Song) to a stint as my second-favorite Rockford Files Expendable Girlfriend (first place being reserved, as it so often is around here, for the divine Sheree North).*  She's played Thai in The King and I and (rather more authentically) Puerto Rican in West Side Story, but that only hints at the ethnic diversity that Hollywood threw at her, from (India) Indian in Father Knows Best to generically ethnic in any number of now-forgotten film and TV moments (let titles like The Fabulous Señorita and Garden of Evil tell the tale - not to mention Ma and Pa Kettle on Vacation, in which she's apparently the mysterious - and uncredited - Soubrette).  And she did Singin' in the Rain (which came out sixty years ago, in case you're not feeling old enough today), which has to count for something.

In any case, all congratulations to the lucky winner, the mysterious Snappychuck, who beat out suggestions sensible (dear MJ's Lena Horne, who I thought might come up in this conversation) and less so (whatever madness the ineffable Thombeau was going on about).  I wish I could say there were fabulous prizes, but I can offer nothing more satisfying than the opportunity to appreciate the dressing-room poise of La Moreno - from roses to bracelets (and everything in between) - she is superb.  You don't get to be an EGOT without knowing a thing or two about The Pose, after all, do you?

* Hmmm and Oh, dear.  I just went and checked, and Sheree North doesn't seem to have done The Rockford Files.  Why then do I have a distinct memory of her playing, recurrently, one of his Hooker-with-a-Heart-of-Gold girlfriends?  It seems like every other actress of a suitable age in the mid-to-late-70s did an ep or two (we're talking everyone from Mrs. Bogart to Linda Dano, after all) - how did they miss Sheree?  I don't care; in my mind she did, and she was damn good. Rita was a Rockford doxy, too, and nabbed an Emmy (one of two) for it.


  1. It's true, I am mad but ineffably so!

  2. I always hear her in my head yelling, "Hey, you guys!!!" on The Electric Company.

    It chafes.