At 86, Rita Moreno is an EGOT winner, a legend of stage and screen, and the scene-stealing diva of Netflix’s totally lovable reboot One Day At A Time. She’s also an unapologetically vivacious woman who’s happy to share her stories of celebrity sexy times. Moreno may be one of the few women alive who can knowingly weigh in on who is a better lover: Marlon Brando or Elvis Presley. And she says it’s the Streetcar Named Desire star who is really “the king.”
Moreno got into girl talk on The Wendy Williams Show, confessing, “[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.”
The pair met on the set 1954’s Desiree, when Moreno was 22.
Moreno was swooning hard over this brash movie star, but Brando wasn’t interested in being exclusive. When she found some other woman’s lingerie lying about, the starry-eyed ingenue was “devastated.” But the next day, she got a call from Colonel Parker, Presley’s manager. The King had seen her at the Fox studios commissary and “he liked what he saw.” Moreno recalls, “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.’”
Word got around town fast that Moreno had been on a date with Elvis, and Brando wasn’t best pleased. “He was furious!” She tells Williams, “He was the one who’d been cheating. But he was furious, and that man threw chairs. It was wonderful!”
Williams naturally pressed who was better in bed, and Moreno didn’t need a very serious discussion. She quipped comparing Presley and Brando was like, “comparing a two-year-old and the king.” She confirmed the rock star with the swinging hips that made women go wild wasn’t much of a lover, calling his skill set there, “Amateur night.” But she added, “[Presley] was really a sweet fellow. He was very shy, a handsome boy.”
In 1969, Brando and Moreno starred in The Night of the Following Day together, from which this steamy still comes.
Like Eartha Kitt (who told the world she had a threesome with Paul Newman and James Dean), Rita Moreno is a Hollywood icon who lived the sexual fantasies we’d hope for, driving the era’s hottest leading men mad with desire. She went on to find happiness with a Doctor Leonard Gordon, with whom she was married for 45 years until his passing in 2010. In a 2017 tour of her home for People, she showed that photos of both Gordon and Brando have prominent places of her bedroom, explaining the former was the “love of my life,” the latter “the lust of my life.”
Here’s Moreno spilling the tea on The Wendy Williams Show:
One Day At A Time is on Netflix. And if you loved Moreno here, you’ll love her there, where she plays a grandmother who is warm, funny, and a proudly sexual woman.