Television Academy Names Rita Moreno to This Year’s Hall of Fame Class

Rita Moreno is entering a special hall

The Television Academy has announced its 26th Hall of Fame class, with the 90-year-old Puerto Rican entertainer among the honorees.

Rita Moreno,Moreno will be joined by choreographer and actress Debbie Allen, documentarian Ken Burns, BET founder Robert L. Johnson, CBS executive Bob Daly and cinematographer Donald A. Morgan.

Moreno, an EGOT winner (Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, Tony Awards), is a two-time Emmy winner for The Muppet Show and The Rockford Files.

She has starred in series including The Electric Company, Sesame Street, Nine to Five, Oz, Cane, Happily Divorced, Jane the Virgin, and the Latinx reimagining of Norman Lear’s One Day at a Time.

Moreno’s many accolades also include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Arts, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, the Kennedy Center Honors and the Peabody Award.

Moreno is among two of the honorees who’ve already received honorary awards from the Television Academy. She was awarded a “Televisionary Award” in 2008. Allen received a Governors Award last year.

The Hall of Fame event will take place on Wednesday, November 16, at the Television Academy’s Saban Media Center in North Hollywood, California.

In addition to the induction of the 2022 Hall of Fame recipients, the event will include the presentation of the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award to actor/director/activist Sean Penn and the unveiling of new busts of four previous inductees.

“These legendary performers, creators, craftspeople and television executives are luminaries in our industry,” Frank Scherma, chairman and CEO of the Television Academy, said in a statement. “Their work has influenced and immeasurably elevated the current television landscape and culture. We are proud to induct these trailblazers into the Hall of Fame and honored to celebrate their extraordinary contributions to our industry.”

“This year’s honorees have told the American story through television in ways that will forever shape our history and culture,” said Rick Rosen, Hall of Fame selection committee chair (who is also WME co-founder and head of television). “Whether they reshaped the industry itself through visionary leadership or created pieces of work that have had a lasting legacy, these individuals will forever be remembered for the impact they’ve had on the medium.”

The 2022 Hall of Fame honorees join more than 150 individuals previously inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception in 1984. The honors were presented every year from 1984 to 1993, but the Academy has skipped 13 years since then for various reasons. This is the first induction class since 2019.

In addition to Rosen, this year’s Hall of Fame selection committee included Marcy Carsey, Emmy-winning producer; Pearlena Igbokwe, chairman of Universal Studio Group; Peter Roth, former chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group; Nina Tassler, co-chief executive officer of PatMa Productions; and Dana Walden, chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content.

Raúl Yzaguirre to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Raúl Yzaguirre is being feted by the White House

The 82-year-old Mexican America civil rights activist is among this year’s 17 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House has announced.

Raúl YzaguirrePresented to individuals who have “made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace or other significant societal, public or private endeavors,” the Medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Yzaguirre served as the Chief Executive Officer and president of the National Council of La Raza for 30 years. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic under President Barack Obama.

Former The University of Texas at Brownsville president Dr. Julieta García is also being honored.

The Mexican American education executive was named one of Time magazine’s best college presidents. Dr. García was the first Hispanic woman to serve as a college president and dedicated her career to serving students from the Southwest Border region.

Other recipients this year include Denzel Washington, Simone Biles, the late Sen. John McCain, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe.

The awards will be presented at the White House next Thursday, July 7.

Here’s a look at the individuals who will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

  • Simone Biles is the most decorated American gymnast in history, with a combined total of 32 Olympic and World Championship medals. Biles is also a prominent advocate for athletes’ mental health and safety, children in the foster care system, and victims of sexual assault.
  • Sister Simone Campbell is a member of the Sisters of Social Service and former Executive Director of NETWORK, a Catholic social justice organization. She is also a prominent advocate for economic justice, immigration reform, and healthcare policy.
  • Dr. Julieta García is the former president of The University of Texas at Brownsville, where she was named one of Time magazine’s best college presidents. Dr. García was the first Hispanic woman to serve as a college president and dedicated her career to serving students from the Southwest Border region.
  • Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona State Senate, serving first in the Arizona legislature and later in the U.S. Congress. A survivor of gun violence, she co-founded Giffords, a nonprofit organization dedicated to gun violence prevention.
  • Fred Gray was one of the first black members of the Alabama State legislature since Reconstruction. As an attorney, he represented Rosa Parks, the NAACP, and Martin Luther King, who called him “the chief counsel for the protest movement.”
  • Steve Jobs (died 2011) was the co-founder, chief executive, and chair of Apple, Inc., CEO of Pixar and held a leading role at the Walt Disney Company. His vision, imagination and creativity led to inventions that have, and continue to, change the way the world communicates, as well as transforming the computer, music, film and wireless industries.
  • Father Alexander Karloutsos is the former Vicar General of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. After over 50 years as a priest, providing counsel to several U.S. presidents, he was named by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as a Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
  • Khizr Khanis a Gold Star father and founder of the Constitution Literacy and National Unity Center. He is a prominent advocate for the rule of law and religious freedom and served on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom under President Biden.
  • Sandra Lindsayis a New York critical care nurse who served on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic response. She was the first American to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials and is a prominent advocate for vaccines and mental health for health care workers.
  • John McCain (died 2018) was a public servant who was awarded a Purple Heart with one gold star for his service in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. He also served the people of Arizona for decades in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and was the Republican nominee for president in 2008.
  • Diane Nash is a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee who organized some of the most important civil rights campaigns of the 20th century. Nash worked closely with Martin Luther King, who described her as the “driving spirit in the nonviolent assault on segregation at lunch counters.”
  • Megan Rapinoeis an Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup champion. She also captains OL Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League. She is a prominent advocate for gender pay equality, racial justice, and LGBTQI+ rights.
  • Alan Simpson served as a U.S. Senator from Wyoming for 18 years. During his public service, he has been a prominent advocate on issues including campaign finance reform, responsible governance, and marriage equality.
  • Richard Trumka (died 2021) was president of the 12.5-million-member AFL-CIO for more than a decade, president of the United Mine Workers, and secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO. Throughout his career, he was an outspoken advocate for social and economic justice.
  • Brigadier General Wilma Vaughtis one of the most decorated women in the history of the U.S. military, repeatedly breaking gender barriers as she rose through the ranks. When she retired in 1985, she was one of only seven women generals in the Armed Forces.
  • Denzel Washington is an actor, director, and producer who has won two Academy Awards, a Tony Award, two Golden Globes, and the 2016 Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also served as National Spokesman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for over 25 years.
  • Raúl Yzaguirre is a civil rights advocate who served as CEO and president of National Council of La Raza for thirty years. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic under President Barack Obama.

Producers Guild to Honor Rita Moreno with Stanley Kramer Award

Rita Moreno is earning yet another honor…

The Producers Guild will present the 90-year-old Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer with the 2022 Stanley Kramer Award at the 33rd annual PGA Awards, set for March 19 at the Fairmont Century Plaza.

Rita MorenoThe honor goes to a production, producer or other individuals “whose achievement or contribution illuminates and raises public awareness of important social issues.”

Moreno, an EGOT winner, will join previous recipients including Jane Fonda as well as Get Out, Loving, Fruitvale Station, The Normal Heart, Bombshell, The Hunting Ground, An Inconvenient Truth and Hotel Rwanda.

Kramer’s work included such iconic films as Inherit the Wind, On the Beach, The Defiant Ones and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

“With grace, intelligence, charisma, and kindness, Rita Moreno made her mark in history as a brilliant entertainer and leveraged that star power to shepherd stories that tap into the human experience and represent people and communities we rarely see celebrated in film and TV,” PGA presidents Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher said Wednesday. “Beyond her on-screen contributions, she has used her unmistakable voice to hold a mirror to the prejudices and inequities that she so often experienced throughout her career. Her activism, strength, and artistic contributions set the precedent for how to be a changemaker in Hollywood, and it is our great honor to present Rita with the Stanley Kramer Award this year.”

Moreno most recently appeared and executive produced Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story after winning an Oscar for the original film, the latest in a seven-decade career that began with her Broadway debut at 13. She has appeared in more than 40 feature films and countless TV series including most recently Norman Lear’s remake of One Day at a Time. Her documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It had its world debut at Sundance Film Festival last year.

Moreno previously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush, the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama, the SAG Life Achievement Award, the Peabody Career Achievement Award and a Kennedy Center Honor.

“The last thing I ever dreamed of in my young life was being honored in any circumstance,” Moreno said. “That the Producers Guild of America has chosen to honor me not only for my work but for the principles I have tried to uphold and live by throughout my life is so gratifying. I am thrilled.”

Critics Choice Association to Honor Rita Moreno at Inaugural “Celebration of Latino Cinema”

It’s a special celebration for the legendary Rita Moreno

The 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer will be honored alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda and Demián Bichir at the Critics Choice Association’s inaugural Celebration of Latino Cinema.

Rita MorenoMoreno, Miranda and Bichor will be honored alog with a group of additional honorees, many associated with upcoming 2021 films, still to be announced.

The Celebration of Latino Cinema, to be presented virtually, will take place on Thursday, December 9, 2021 and aims to put a spotlight on the contributions of great Oscar-winning and -nominated artists like Moreno, Miranda and Bichir, but also Latino filmmaking in general, a facet of the motion picture industry that doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves during awards season.

Among other things, the CCA’s Celebration of Latino Cinema aims to change that.

“We are thrilled to be launching the first annual Celebration of Latino Cinema which recognizes the talented performers and skilled professionals who create the acclaimed films we are so proud to honor,” said Claudia Puig, a CCA member and co-programmer of the event.

“Films by our honorees represent the diverse and multi-faceted Latino community, and reflect our increasingly inclusive industry” said CCA board member and event co-programmer Clayton Davis.

The Celebration of Latino Cinema will be produced by Madelyn Hammond and Javier Infante of Madelyn Hammond & Associates. Stagedge will be responsible for transforming the show into an immersive virtual experience.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to LA Collab, whose mission is to accelerate Latino access, visibility and representation in the entertainment industry.

Moreno has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business: an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy. She recently co-starred in the Latinx reimagining of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom One Day at a Time, and her documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before being released in theaters; it will be broadcast on PBS’ American Masters in October. Moreno also co-stars in and executive produces Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story.

She is a recipient of the Peabody Career Achievement Award, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Arts.

Miranda is a Pulitzer-, Grammy-, Emmy– and Tony Award-winning songwriter, actor and director, and creator and original star of Broadway’s Hamilton and In the HeightsA recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Award, a Kennedy Center Honor and the Portrait of a Nation Prize, he received an Emmy with Tom Kitt for their song “Bigger” from the 67th Tony Awards. Upcoming projects include Disney’s Encanto and his directorial film debut, tick, tick… BOOM!

Bichir received a Best Actor Oscar nomination in 2012 for his role in Chris Weitz’s A Better Life, becoming the first Mexican-born actor to be nominated in that category by the Academy since Anthony Quinn in 1957. He more recently received rave reviews for his performance in the film Land, directed by Robin Wright. His film credits include Steven Soderbergh’s Che, Oliver Stone’s Savages, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, Paul Feig’s The Heat, Richard Shepard’s Dom Hemingway, Ridley Scott’s Alien, George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky, and Adam Wingard’s Godzilla Vs. Kong.

Rita Moreno to Star in the Feature Film “The Prank”

Rita Moreno is pranking around…

The 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer, an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar & Tony Award winner) has landed a starring role in the feature film The Prank, which will be directed by Maureen Bharoocha.

Rita Moreno

Moreno will star opposite Connor Kalopsis and Ramona Young.

The Prank follows two high school students who play a prank on their physics teacher, Mrs. Wheeler, played by Moreno. When she fails them on a test; they teach the imperious, demanding, insulting instructor a lesson by falsely accusing her of the murder of a missing student.

Other cast in The Prank includes Keith David, Meredith Salenger, Jonathan Kimmel, Nathan Janak and Kate Flannery.

Filming begins this month in and around Los Angeles.

The dark comedy is written by Rebecca Flinn-White & Zak White.

“Rita Moreno is a force of nature and an icon who continues to redefine herself,” said Bharoocha. “Her brilliant comedic mind lends itself to the perfect ‘Mrs. Wheeler’, a character we have never seen her play, and one that will no doubt surprise audiences.”

Moreno has won an Oscar (West Side Story), a Tony (The Ritz), two Emmys (for her turns respectively in 1977 and 1978 on The Muppet Show and Rockford Files), and a Grammy (Best Children’s Album for The Electric Company).

Moreno has starred on Broadway and London’s West End, appeared in more than 40 feature films and has performed in numerous regional theaters, including her one-woman show, Life Without Makeup, at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She recently co-starred in the critically acclaimed Latinx reimagining of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom One Day At A Time.

Her documentary, Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It, produced by Lear, Lin Manuel Miranda and Brent Miller had its world debut at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The film, which was met with acclaim from critics and audiences alike, will have its television debut on PBS’ American Masters nationwide on October 5.

Moreno also co-stars and is an executive producer of the Steven Spielberg remake of West Side Story, set to open on December 10.

The recipient of the Peabody Career Achievement Award and the Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American culture, she was also honored by her peers as the 50th recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

Moreno’s all-Spanish-language album, Una Vez Más, was produced by her good friend Emilio Estefan, and she is a New York Times bestselling author with her first book, Rita Moreno: A Memoir. Moreno has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.

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. 

Rita Moreno to Receive NATPE’s Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award

Rita Moreno is a legacy…

The National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) will honor the 86-year-old Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer with its Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards in 2019.

Rita Moreno

The 16th annual Tartikoffs, as their called,will be doled out at NATPE’s conference in Miami in January. They are named for the late NBC Entertainment chief who assembled the network’s top-rated programming lineups in the 1980s.

Moreno, whose career has spanned more than 70 years, is an “EGOT” winner (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony), as well as a Kennedy Center honoree who currently stars in Netflix’s One Day at a Time.

She’s also one of 23 people who have achieved what is called the Triple Crown of Acting, with individual competitive OscarEmmy and Tony awards for acting. She has won numerous other awards, including various lifetime achievement awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.

In addition to Moreno, other honorees include Betty WhiteHenry Winkler, Byron AllenBob Greenblatt and Mara Brock Akil.

Conference organizers said the award recipients are recognized “for exhibiting their extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision through their diverse work in being a part of the creation and distribution of content for the world’s traditional and digital marketplaces.”

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.

Allende Among This Year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom Honorees

Isabel Allende
 is headed to the White House

The 72-year-old Chilean writer is among the 19 people chosen by President Barack Obama today to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Isabel Allende

Allende, best known for her novels La casa de los espíritus and La ciudad de las bestias, has written 21 books that have sold 65 million copies in 35 languages.

She’s been recognized with numerous awards internationally, including the prestigious National Literary Award in Chile, her country of origin.

Allende’s novels are often based upon her personal experience and pay homage to the lives of women, while weaving together elements of myth and realism.

Allende, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was granted American citizenship in 1993, having lived in California with her American husband since 1989.

But Allende isn’t the only Hispanic person to receive the honor this year…

The late Edward Roybal will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously.

He was the first Mexican-American to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from California in nearly a century. In 1976, he founded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, creating a national forum for Latino issues and opening doors for a new generation of Latino leaders.

Other honorees this year include Meryl Streep, Tom Brokaw, Stephen Sondheim, Marlo Thomas, Stevie Wonder and choreographer Alvin Ailey.

The awards will be bestowed at the White House on November 24.

Molina Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Mario Molina has earned a major presidential honor…

The 70-year-old Mexican chemist and environmental scientist has been named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Mario Molina

Molina, the first Mexican-born citizen to ever receive a Nobel Prize in chemistry, joins a list of 16 individuals that includes jazz musician Arturo Sandoval, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, veteran Washington Post journalist Ben Bradlee, former President Bill Clinton and country singer Loretta Lynn.

The award established 50 years ago by President John F. Kennedy is the country’s highest civilian honor given to Americans who’ve made contributions “to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Molina, one of the most prominent precursors to the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole, has received several awards and honors throughout his career, sharing the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry with Paul J. Crutzen for their discovery of the role of chlorofluorocarbon gases (CFCs) in ozone depletion.

Molina had been assigned by President Barack Obama to form part of the transition team on environmental issues.

He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Science.

This year’s other honorees include: baseball player Ernie Banks, Senator Daniel Inouye (posthumous), Nobel Prize-winning scholar Daniel Kahneman, Senator Richard Lugar, astronaut Sally Ride (posthumous), civil rights activist Bayard Rustin (posthumous), ex-UNC basketball coach Dean Smith, Gloria Steinem, civil rights leader Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, and Judge Patricia Wald.

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours,” said President Obama. “This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation’s gratitude.”