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February 6, 2008 > "Sharing Memories of a Lifetime" with Rita Moreno

"Sharing Memories of a Lifetime" with Rita Moreno

Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation Community Cultural Event Will Benefit Hospital's Stroke Response Program

Join the Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation on Friday, February 29 for the Community Cultural Event featuring multi-award winning performer Rita Moreno. Moreno will be "Sharing Memories of a Lifetime" - which will include her inspirational story about overcoming obstacles and working hard to become a star in Hollywood, on Broadway, and in television. Ysabel Duron, weekend anchor of the KRON Channel 4 Weekend Morning News will emcee the festivities.

During the show, Moreno will share several stories from her fascinating life that includes more than 60 years as a star on stage and screen.

Moreno is best known for her Academy Award-winning performance as Anita in West Side Story and she is one of a handful of people to win an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony - the four major American entertainment awards.

Born Rosita Dolores Alverio in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Moreno moved with her mother to New York when she was five years old. The following year she began dancing lessons and at age 13 made her Broadway debut.

Spotted by a talent scout, she was signed to a contract with MGM in 1949. From that point on, her career advanced steadily. She appeared in about 30 films early in her career, including Singin' in the Rain (1952) and The King and I (1956) but it wasn't until her Academy Award-winning performance as Anita in West Side Story (1961) that she was finally recognized as a major talent and performer.

Despite the institutional racism that plagued the entertainment industry at that time, particularly the anti-Latino bias that stereotyped Latino women, Moreno went on to advance herself professionally and build a thriving career.

From the 1960s to the present, Moreno starred in many theater productions in London, on Broadway and in regional theater. During the seventies, Moreno won a 1972 Grammy Award for her contribution to The Electric Company soundtrack album. Three years later she won a Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Musical for The Ritz (1976), a role she would reproduce on the big screen. She then won Emmy Awards for The Muppet Show and The Rockford Files.

In 2004 Moreno received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award bestowed by a sitting United States President. She is currently starring in the CBS television drama, Cane.

The Community Cultural Event will take place on Friday, February 29 at 8 p.m. and will take place at the Ohlone College Smith Center located on the Ohlone College campus in Fremont. Reserved tickets are available for $60. For ticket or sponsorship information, please contact the Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation at (510) 791-3428 or email foundation@whhs.com.

The Community Cultural Event is held in honor of Dr. David Johnson, a former member of the Washington Hospital Medical Staff who dedicated himself to helping members of the community. Proceeds of the event will benefit Washington Hospital's Stroke Response Program. In 2007, Washington Hospital's Stroke Program earned the Gold Seal of approval from the Joint Commission, the nation's leader in standards-setting and accreditation for health care. The program is now designated as a Primary Stroke Center, only the second hospital in Alameda County to earn this distinction.

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