AFI to Honor Rita Moreno During This Year’s Virtual AFI Fest

Rita Moreno is ready to talk shop as part of a special night…

The 88-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress will be honored during this year’s virtual AFI Fest, which will take place from October 15-22.

Rita Moreno

Moreno, who currently stars on PopTV’s One Day at a Time, will be honored alongside Sofia CoppolaKirby Dick and Mira Nair, with each taking par t in an evening of conversation celebrating their careers.

“Artists of this caliber are essential players in our global culture,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “To honor each of them – and all of them – at AFI FEST will prove a symphony of talent at a time the world needs it most.”

Moreno’s career began with a Broadway debut at 13 years old. Since then she has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business – an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy – as well as a Peabody Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. Moreno has also been recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

Moreno received an Honorary Degree from the AFI Conservatory in 2016.

Moreno is starring in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, which will debut in theaters in December of 2021. She currently stars on the remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, One Day at a Time. 

Colón to Receive National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama

Miriam Colón has proven her medal

The 79-year-old Puerto Rican actress is among the 2014 National Medal of Arts recipients who’ll be recognized by President Barack Obama at a special White House ceremony, according to the National Endowment for the Arts.

Miriam Colón

Designed by Robert Graham, the medal is awarded by the president to individuals or groups for their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.

Colón is being heralded for her contributions as an actress. “Ms. Colón has been a trailblazer in film, television, and theatre, and helped open doors for generations of Hispanic actors,” according to a statement from the National Endowment for the Arts.

In 1953, The Puerto Rico-born actress moved to New York City, where she was accepted by Actors Studio co-founder Elia Kazan after a single audition, becoming the Studio’s first Puerto Rican member. While in the Big Apple, Colón worked in theater and later landed a role on the soap opera Guiding Light.

Miriam Colón

Early on in her career, she appeared mostly in westerns such as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The High Chaparral, and Have Gun, Will Travel.

Most recently, Colón appeared on television and film in Better Call Saul, Top Five and Bless Me, Ultima.

She’s also the founder and director of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in New York City.

This year’s ceremony will be held Thursday, September 10 at 12:00 pm in the White House’s East Room. First Lady Michelle Obama will also be in attendance.

Here’s the complete list of recipients:

John Baldessari, visual artist
Ping Chong, theater director, choreographer, and video and installation artist
Miriam Colón, actress
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
Sally Field, actress and filmmaker
Ann Hamilton, visual artist
Stephen King, author
Meredith Monk, composer, singer, and performer
George Shirley, tenor
University Musical Society
Tobias Wolff, author and educator

Moreno Among the Recipients of This Year’s Kennedy Center Honors

Rita Moreno continues to rack up the honors…

The 83-year-old Puerto Rican actress, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award at last year’s SAG Awards, has been announced as one of recipients of this year’s Kennedy Center Honors.

Rita Moreno

Each year, the Kennedy Center recognizes a select group for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts with the primary criterion in the selection process being excellence. Honorees are chosen by the center’s board of trustees.

Moreno, a Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe and Tony Award winner, will be honored along side Star Wars patriarch George Lucas, actress Cicely Tyson, songwriter Carole King, conductor Seiji Ozawa and the Eagles.

Moreno, who recently guest-starred on the CW’s Jane the Virgin, has previously received the Library of Congress Living Legends Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a National Medal of Arts and the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

The event, a fundraiser for the Washington, D.C. arts center, will take place on December 6. CBS will broadcast the star-studded event on December 29.

Ronstadt Receives the National Medal of Arts

It’s turning out to be an extra special year for Linda Ronstadt

President Barack Obama awarded the 68-year-old Mexican American singer-songwriter the National Medal of Arts at a special ceremony on Monday at the White House.

Linda Ronstadt

During the ceremony, Obama, who hung the medal around Ronstadt’s neck, revealed, “I had a little crush on her back in the day.”

The honor was a particularly special moment for Ronstadt, who didn’t make it to her induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April since Parkinson’s disease limits her ability to travel. The same month her album Heart Like a Wheel was inducted into the Library of CongressNational Recording Registry.

A military aide brought her into the East Room by wheelchair, but she walked to the stage to receive her award as a citation was read honoring her “one-of-a-kind voice” that paved the way for generations of women artists.

Eleven other recipients were awarded the 2013 National Medal of Arts, as the nation’s highest award given to artists and their patrons, including DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and Dominican-American writer Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies.

Ten were awarded the National Humanities Medal, which honors those in fields including history, literature, languages and philosophy.

During her illustrious career, Ronstadt has earned 11 Grammy Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, and an ALMA Award. She’s also earned nominations for a Tony Award and a Golden Globe award.

Moreno to Receive SAG Lifetime Achievement Award

She’s already the only Hispanic performer to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (EGOT)… And, now Rita Moreno is getting another acting prize.

The 81-year-old Puerto Rican actress/singer/dancer has been named the 50th recipient of SAG-AFTRA’s highest honor – the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rita Moreno

The SAG Awards are bestowing the award on Moreno for her career achievements and humanitarian accomplishments.

Given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” the union’s top accolade will be doled out at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on January 18, 2014.

In addition to being one of a rare class of performers to win the career EGOT, Moreno has also been the recipient of the Library of Congress Living Legends Award, the National Medal of Arts and the HOLA Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actresses.

Moreno, who recently released her best-selling memoir Rita Moreno: A Memoir, has had a nearly 70-year career in the industry.

She currently portrays Fran Drescher’s mother in TV Land’s sitcom Happily Divorced.

Vergara to Receive National Humanities Medal

Camilo José Vergara has a date with President Barack Obama

The 69-year-old Chilean-born, New York-based writer, photographer and documentarian will receive the 2012 National Humanities Medal on July 10 in the White House.

Camilo José Vergara

The president will bestow the humanities awards, as well as the 2012 National Medal of Arts, in a ceremony in the East Room also attended by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Vergara is being heralded for “his stark visual representation of American cities. By capturing images of urban settings over time, his sequences reflect the vibrant culture of our changing communities and document the enduring spirit that shines through decay.”

Camilo José Vergara

Joining Vergara in the humanities spotlight are Edward L. Ayers, William G. Bowen, Jill Ker Conway, Natalie Zemon Davis, Robert Putnam, Kay Ryan, Frank Deford, Joan DidionRobert B. Silvers, Anna Deavere Smith and Marilynne Robinson.

At next week’s event, the President will deliver remarks and present the awards to the following individuals and organizations:

2012 National Medal of Arts

  • Herb Alpert, Malibu, CA
  • Lin Arison, Bal Harbour, FL
  • Joan Myers Brown, Philadelphia, PA
  • Renée Fleming, New York, NY
  • Ernest Gaines, Oscar, LA
  • Ellsworth Kelly, Spencertown, NY
  • Tony Kushner, New York, NY
  • George Lucas, San Anslemo, CA
  • Elaine May, New York, NY
  • Laurie Olin, Philadelphia, PA
  • Allen Toussaint, New Orleans, LA
  • Washington Performing Arts Society, Washington, DC

2012 National Humanities Medal

  • Edward L. Ayers, Henrico, VA
  • William G. Bowen, Princeton, NJ
  • Jill Ker Conway, Boston, MA
  • Natalie Zemon Davis, Toronto, CANADA
  • Frank Deford, New York, NY
  • Joan Didion, New York, NY
  • Robert Putnam¸ Cambridge, MA
  • Marilynne Robinson¸ Iowa City, IA
  • Kay Ryan, Fairfax, CA
  • Robert B. Silvers, New York, NY
  • Anna Deavere Smith¸ New York, NY
  • Camilo José Vergara, New York, NY