Frederick Speaker Series presents

Rita Moreno

Award-winning singer, dancer, and actress

At just 82 years young, Rita Moreno remains one of the busiest stars in show business. In January 2014, Moreno received the Screen Actors Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Her first book, “Rita Moreno: A Memoir,” instantly became a New York Times Bestseller. In 2011, she premiered her one-woman show, “Life Without Make-Up,” an original play about her life and appeared regularly as Fran Drescher’s mother in the TVLand series “Happily Divorced.” She has recently begun production on the Latino remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom “One Day at a Time,” for Netflix. This creative diversity has been the hallmark of Moreno’s nearly 70-year career.

She belongs to an elite group of only eight living performers who have won entertainment’s grand slam of the industry’s most prestigious awards: an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy. Her Oscar win came in 1962 as spitfire Anita in the film version of “West Side Story,” for which she also won a Golden Globe. Her Tony win was for her 1975 comedic triumph as Googie Gomez in Broadway’s “The Ritz.” Moreno was awarded a Grammy for her 1972 performance on “The Electric Company Album,” based on the long-running children’s television series. She has won not one, but two Emmys: the first for a 1977 variety appearance on “The Muppet Show” and the following year for a dramatic turn on “The Rockford Files.”

Over the decades, she has collected dozens of other show business awards, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995. A favorite of Chicago audiences and critics, Moreno received the city’s coveted Joseph Jefferson Award in 1968 as Serafina in “The Rose Tattoo” and in 1985 was awarded the prestigious Sara Siddons Award for her hilarious portrayal of Olive Madison in the female version of “The Odd Couple.”

Moreno was born Rosa Dolores Alverio in Humacao, a small town near the Puerto Rican rain forest. At age 5, she moved with her mother to New York where she soon began dance lessons. She made her Broadway debut at just 13 in “Skydrift,” starring Eli Wallach. Then, in true Hollywood tradition, a talent scout spotted her and arranged for the teen to meet MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer, who signed her to a film contract.

Her Hollywood career advanced steadily, including early films with stars such as Richard Widmark, Esther Williams, Mario Lanza, Susan Hayward, Tyrone Power and Gary Cooper. She appeared in “Singin’ in the Rain” starring Gene Kelly and was featured as Tuptim in the classic “The King and I” with Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. Although early roles sometimes found her typecast as a Mexican spitfire or Indian maiden, she also broke the Latina mold playing an Irish teacher, an Italian widow, a female evangelist, a proper Englishwoman and a Southern belle. After her Academy Award for “West Side Story,” Moreno was acknowledged as a major big-screen talent.

Other significant film appearances include: “The Night of the Following Day” with Marlon Brando in 1967, with James Garner in “Marlowe,” as Alan Arkin’s girlfriend in “Popi,” and in Mike Nichol’s production of “Carnal Knowledge.” She reprised the role of Googie Gomez in the film version of “The Ritz,” followed by Alan Alda’s “The Four Seasons,” Columbia Pictures’ acclaimed “I Like it Like That” and “Angus” with George C. Scott.

Her long stage career has included starring roles on both sides of the Atlantic. In London, she appeared in Hal Prince’s 1962 production of “She Loves Me” and in the 1997 West End run of “Sunset Boulevard.” In New York, she has starred in Lorraine Hansbury’s “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window,” opposite Robert Shaw in “Gantry,” and with Jimmy Coco in “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers.” She received a Tony Award nomination for her role in “The National Health” in 1974.

Moreno has guest starred on a wide variety of television productions in the U.S. and abroad. She is proud to have been a featured artist for many years on “The Electric Company,” the highly regarded educational show for children. She starred in her own TV series based on the film 9” to 5.” In 2007, she starred in the CBS series “Cane” and most recently she was one of the leads in the highly acclaimed HBO series “OZ.” Moreno’s latest endeavor has been in cabaret. where she has met with great critical success.

She is involved with a number of civic and charitable organizations and events. Moreno has served on the National Endowment for the Arts and as a Commissioner for the President’s White House Fellowships. She has also served as a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. At a White House ceremony in June 2004, Moreno was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. The medal is the highest honor bestowed upon a civilian and ranks only second to the Congressional Medal of Honor as the nation’s highest award. It is conferred on individuals for a lifetime of meritorious service. In 2007, Moreno was inducted into the California Hall of Fame by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2010, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama as well as the Here I Stand Award for activism in the arts and the HOLA Lifetime Achievement Award. In December 2016, she received a Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American culture.

ASL Sign Language2

ASL-interpreted performance

You may also like: Dr. Temple Grandin, Ted KoppelMitch Albom, and Mark Ruffalo

2017-2018 SEASON, All Performances, FREDERICK SPEAKER Series, Speaking Engagement
April 6, 2018 7:30 pm Buy Tickets Meet-and-greets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 301.600.2828.

Frederick Speaker Series presents

Mark Ruffalo

Actor, director, and climate change activist

This event will feature an interview/Q&A style format.

Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Emmy nominee Mark Ruffalo is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors, easily moving between stage and screen and working with directors including Ang Lee, Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann, Spike Jonze, David Fincher, Fernando Meirelles, and Michel Gondry. Recently, he has earned accolades for his starring roles in “Spotlight,” “Infinitely Polar Bear,” “Foxcatcher,” “The Normal Heart,” “Begin Again,” “Now You See Me,” and “The Kids are Alright.” Most recently, Ruffalo starred in the Roundabout Theater Company revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Price” on Broadway, which ran from February 2017 to April 2017.

When not working in film or theater, Ruffalo advocates for addressing climate change and increasing renewable energy. In March 2011, he co-founded Water Defense to raise awareness about energy extraction impact on water and the public health. A regular contributor to the Guardian and the Huffington Post, Mark has received the Global Green Millennium Award for Environmental Leadership, and the Meera Gandhi Giving Back Foundation Award. He was named one of Time magazine’s “People Who Mattered” in 2011 and received The Big Fish Award from Riverkeeper in 2013. Ruffalo helped launch The Solutions Project in 2012 as part of his mission to share science, business and culture that demonstrates the feasibility of renewable energy.

In 2015, Ruffalo starred in Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer’s Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight.” The film followed The Boston Globe’s coverage of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal for which the newspaper won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The film won Best Picture at the 2016 Academy Awards, and Ruffalo received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance. The cast of the film was awarded the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and the film was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama.

Ruffalo also received a Golden Globe nomination this past year for his role in the Sony Pictures Classic film “Infinitely Polar Bear.” Ruffalo starred opposite Zoe Saldana as a bipolar husband and father who goes off his medication and proceeds to lose both his job and sanity, while struggling to hold onto his marriage. Earlier in 2015, Ruffalo reprised his role as Bruce Banner ‘The Hulk’ in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the hit sequel to “The Avengers.” Directed by Joss Whedon, the film reunited Ruffalo with co-stars Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, and Robert Downey Jr. In 2014, Ruffalo received Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA nominations for his role as the late Olympic wrestler David Schultz in “Foxcatcher.” The film also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture – Drama.

Ruffalo received a Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as Golden Globe and Emmy nominations, for his role as gay rights activist Ned Weeks in the HBO film “The Normal Heart,” based on the play by Larry Kramer. Directed by Ryan Murphy, the film also starred Julia Roberts and Matt Bomer. The film received a total of 16 Emmy nominations including Outstanding Television Movie. It also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. That same year, Ruffalo starred in John Carney’s “Begin Again,” alongside Keira Knightley and Hailee Steinfeld.

Ruffalo earned Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Independent Spirit Award nominations for his performance in Focus Features’ “The Kids are Alright,” directed by Lisa Cholodenko. He was also honored with the Best Supporting Actor Award by the New York Film Critics Circle. In 2011, Ruffalo made his directorial debut with “Sympathy for Delicious,” which starred Orlando Bloom and Laura Linney and won the Special Jury Prize for dramatic film at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2006, Ruffalo made his Tony Award-nominated Broadway debut in the Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of Clifford Odets’ “Awake and Sing!” Ruffalo earned critical recognition in 2000 for his role in Kenneth Lonergan’s “You Can Count on Me,” opposite Laura Linney and Matthew Broderick. The Martin Scorsese-produced film won the ‘Grand Jury Prize’ for best film in dramatic competition and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.

Ruffalo’s other film credits include “Thanks for Sharing,” “Now You See Me,” “Shutter Island,” “We Don’t Live Here Anymore,” “Zodiac,” “The Brothers Bloom,” “Collateral,” “13 Going on 30,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “In The Cut,” “Margaret,” “Blindness,” “Just Like Heaven,” “Reservation Road,” “All the King’s Men,” “What Doesn’t Kill You,” “My Life Without Me,” “The Last Castle,” “Windtalkers,” “XX/XY,” “Committed,” “Ride With the Devil,” “Studio 54,” “Safe Men,” “The Last Big Thing,” “Fish in the Bathtub” and “Life/Drawing.”

Ruffalo’s acting roots lie in the theater, where he first gained attention starring in the off-Broadway production of “This is Our Youth,” for which he won a Lucille Award for Best Actor. In 2000, he was seen in the Off-Broadway production “The Moment When,” a play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner James Lapine. He made his theater debut in “Avenue A” at The Cast Theater.

A writer, director and producer, Ruffalo co-wrote the screenplay for the independent film “The Destiny of Marty Fine.” In 2000, he directed Timothy McNeil’s original play Margaret at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles. Ruffalo has also received Dramalogue and Theater World Awards. Ruffalo resides with his family in New York.

ASL Sign Language2

ASL-interpreted performance.

You may also like: Dr. Temple Grandin, Ted KoppelMitch Albom, and Rita Moreno

2017-2018 SEASON, All Performances, FREDERICK SPEAKER Series, Speaking Engagement
May 10, 2018 7:30 pm Buy Tickets Meet-and-greets can be purchased for an additional $75 by calling the Box Office at 301.600.2828 or during online checkout.