Rita Moreno dishes on her sex life with Marlon Brando and Elvis


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When we last checked in on the OG EGOT and national treasure Rita Moreno, the legendary 86-year-old singer/actress/dancer/childhood icon (if you watched The Electric Company like I did) spilled some tea on her past romantic relationships, more specifically, emotional entanglements with Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley.

During a CBS Sunday Morning profile in January of last year, she said that despite being a “sweet, darling shy fellow” she found Elvis “boring” and, as for Marlon, she said he was “astonishing” and “damn near killed me.” Well, Rita further elaborated on these memories on Thursday’s episode of The Wendy Williams Show.

The radiant Rita will once again grace our TV screens in 2019 as the feisty Cuban abuela Lydia on Netflix’s reboot of the Norman Lear comedy One Day at a Time which was picked up for a third season on Netflix (please bring back Ed Quinn as Justina Machado’s love interest). On Wendy’s show, she shared that when she was asked to do the show initially, she said that she would under one condition, stating, “I know [Lydia's] supposed to be 77, but she has to be a sexual person.”

Of course, that’s not why you’re reading this, now is it? The vivacious octogenarian was more than happy to discuss her past dalliances, especially her tumultuous relationship with Brandom, who she met in 1954 on the set of the historical drama Desiree. And now, the juicy stuff. As far as Marlon’s sexual prowess, she said,

[Brando] slayed me good ‘cause he was the king of everything. Eeeeeeverything. He was the king of movies. He was really one of the most sexual men on Earth.” She added, “It was one of those very tempestuous love affairs. It lasted eight years, on and off, on and off, on and off.

Unfortunately, Marlon wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship and when Rita discovered some lingerie that didn’t belong to her among Marlon’s things, she says she was “devastated.” Her devastation was short-lived, as the very next day, she got a call from Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, and, as she recalled,

“He said, ‘Elvis would like to meet you. Would you like to meet him?’ And I thought about that underwear, and I said, ‘YES I WOULD.’”

News of Rita’s kingly fling got back to Marlon and he was none too happy about it. Rita told Wendy that the actor was “furious”, adding, “He was the one who’d been cheating. But he was furious, and that man threw chairs. It was wonderful!”

Wendy wanted to know who was better in the sack, and Rita joked that comparing Elvis and Marlon was akin to comparing “a two-year-old and the king.” She added that sex with Elvis was “amateur night.” Ouch. Rita ended up married for 48 years to cardiologist Leonard Gordon, who she joked was “a nice Jewish doctor, which I know is redundant.” Leonard passed away in 2010. Rita and Leonard had one daughter, Fernanda, who happened to be in the audience, hearing her mother’s saucy kiss and tell.

If you do nothing else, just watch Rita’s enthusiastic entrance in the clip – and remember that she’s 86. 86. Let that sink in for a moment. I’m off to a Zumba class.

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41 Responses to “Rita Moreno dishes on her sex life with Marlon Brando and Elvis”

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  1. Janetdr says:

    Loved watching that clip! And good for her on everything 😃

  2. Astrid says:

    Considering Marlon Brando and the Last Tango in Paris, I’m a little grossed out.

  3. Eric says:

    Wait…
    Did Rita have the hot late ’50s/early ’60s Elvis and Brando or the bloated mumbling early ’70s versions?
    Poor slight Rita got crushed
    Twice!
    if she had the ’70s versions. Like Trumpian crushed.

  4. Danielle says:

    I believe this. I remember reading Priscilla Presley s autobiography and Elvis wouldn’t touch her after she got pregnant. He seemed to have pretty limited sexual ideas.

  5. Christin says:

    I guess we can assume these relationships occurred in the mid-to-late 1950s.

    Even in his early career (his peak of physical looks), I can’t get the Brando infatuation. He always seemed dark and weird.

    • Lala says:

      Yes…he TRULY was dark and weird…HENCE…the infinite fascination….and Shelly Winters said the EXACT same thing about Brando in her wonderful autobiography…she kicked it with him when he was starring in “Streetcar” on Broadway…she said that he was RAVENOUS…about food…conversation..and ESPECIALLY sex…he could eat a gallon of ice cream and her with the same gusto at the same time! I loved me some SHELLY!

    • Annika says:

      Exactly!
      I don’t get it either.
      He had a decent face, a nice pair of lips, similar to Tom Hardy. That’s all that I see.
      Personality: weird, nightmarish, abusive, @sshole, unintelligent.
      Looks: short, not hot body.

      • LN says:

        Not hot body? Have you seen Streetcar? 50s Brando was physically perfect, especially the body.

      • Annika says:

        @LN: yes I have seen Streetcar. He did look good in that film but after that he didn’t keep up whatever regimen he used to get fit for Streetcar. Which showed he didn’t naturally have that body, he worked out for it.
        I don’t mean this to come acrosd as body shaming BTW, just making a point that he wasn’t someone like say, a Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, even Brad Pitt, that are known as male body icons.

      • ennie says:

        I think that before the actors (more the males, probably), could let go between films and if a film came that needed them to be in better shape, then they took up a regime.
        There were paparazzi, but not to the extent that is today, with everyone holding a cell phone camera and add to that that most actors/ celebs have to be in top shape wit the coming of social media , instagram and all the premieres publicizing their pics around, there is more pressure for everyone who is not naturally slim to live in a perpetual regime, showing abs all the time. God forbid that someone shows a little belly (man or woman).

      • Annika says:

        @Ennie: I guess it was a waste of time for me to mention in my above comment that I wasn’t trying to body shame him (or anyone that isn’t at peak fitness level at all times).
        Sigh.
        I was explaining why I don’t understand why he was considered a sex symbol.
        I don’t think he was physically attractive or appealing or personable in the way that typical Hollywood male sex symbols are. Or an “outside of the box” sex symbol like James Spader in the sense that people find him intellectually attractive & charming.
        I didn’t see any of that in Brando.

      • Bella bella says:

        @Annika, Brando was ALL THAT back in the day. It wasn’t just Streetcar that cemented his status as a sex symbol — although he played Kowalski on Broadway as well and my mother saw it and said he was amazing. He was in On the Waterfront and other movies early on, before his ego went rampant. He had a brooding charisma, an animalistic quality to him. He just oozed sexuality. I can’t even think of a present-day actor to compare him to. He was one of the first out of the Method actors to make it big and his acting style became synonymous with everyone’s understanding of what Method acting meant. He was somewhat similar to James Dean but Dean’s persona was more vulnerable, someone you wanted to take care of, whereas Brando you just wanted to be ravished by. Unfortunately he was referred to so often as the best actor of his generation that it all went to his head, he let himself go physically, cared less and less about what people thought, went and bought and lived on an island, and turned down nearly every part he was offered. Rita’s affair was with the smoldering hot Brando in his prime. Lucky her!!!!

    • Alissa says:

      oh, he was definitely a total weirdo, but he was super hot and definitely seems like he’d be amazing in bed.

    • Sabrine says:

      Brando was very cute when he was young, brooding and sensual, bedroom eyes. Hot and obviously great in the sack.

    • tealily says:

      Mmm, yes. Dark and weird…

  6. Omg…she is the best. Wow. I need more Rita in my life.

  7. Reef says:

    When did Brando find time to act?

    • Sabrine says:

      There was an interview with Richard Pryor’s widow, Jennifer She said Brando had sex with Richard. He would have sex with anyone who was available. She said he’d screw a radiator and send it flowers in the morning! This was in the 70′s and they were all high on cocaine back in those days.

  8. LittlefishMom says:

    Every time she does an interview she discusses this. Ok we get it you banged them. Surely you’ve done more with your life.

  9. JeanGray says:

    They don’t cal her the Puerto Rican firecracker for nothing. She is an icon for many, but for us Broricua’s she is just on another level. Her accomplishments are what every would-be, aspiring entertainer from PR gladly have to look up to. Not just for the EGOT, but also her legacy. And just being plain old fabulous.

  10. i dont know her says:

    “when Rita discovered some lingerie that didn’t belong to her among Marlon’s things, she says she was “devastated.”

    I would have been that devastated it could’ve been Brando’s lingerie….and that’s not a read, he was a freak. lol

  11. SJhere says:

    I’ve heard lots of the gossip about her and Brando. At the time, they were both gorgeous, at the height of fame, and the drama was ongoing, for years. Big drama, her threatening to kill him or herself, he throwing chairs, she pounding his door in the middle of the night while she screamed at him, etc, etc. It was drama filled. Google the photos of Rita and Brando…the heat comes thru the pics, IMO.

    Now, Elvis was also gorgeous and a major star at that time too.
    But, really Brando vs. Elvis is completely apples vs. oranges and unfair to compare them, IMO.
    Plus, she pretty much admits she agreed to meet Elvis to make Brando jealous/get back for his cheating.

    Shelly Winters wrote several really entertaining books about her life and loves and Shelly was a take no crap kinda woman.

    p.s. I love “old” Hollywood gossip. :)

  12. Valerie says:

    lol, I absolutely love her. But I could never find Brando attractive. There was always just something missing, for me, and when I learned about the kind of person he was, that was it.

  13. DSW says:

    This pretty much lines up with everything I’ve read about Elvis. I think that’s why he ultimately pursued a teenager. With a (presumably) less experienced teen girl, there isn’t any pressure to live up to a “sex symbol” image. A girl with no sexual experience has no expectations for sex.

  14. Molly says:

    Does anyone else think she looks like a much younger woman in an older woman costume. There is nothing 86 about the way she carries herself.

  15. holly hobby says:

    Love Rita Moreno ever since West Side Story! That woman can dance!

  16. tealily says:

    Omg this is incredible dirt. There are some perks to outliving your contemporaries, I guess!

  17. trh says:

    I saw Ms. Moreno on Broadway in “Kiss of the Spider Woman” almost exactly 26 years ago. Je l’adore. She’s still got it.

  18. LIONOHHHH86 says:

    Young Marlon was sex on a stick 😍

  19. anon14 says:

    You are so right, Corey, about RM’s entrance–not just the dancing/hip shimmying, but the way she walks. Her walking gait is that of a person 40 years younger.

    Moreno wrote a lot about Brando and their long on-again, off-again relationship in her autobiography.