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|RITA MORENO USED ELVIS TO MAKE BRANDO JEALOUS
April 27, 2017 - Vanity Fair / Elvis Express Radio
Rita Moreno knew how to make her cheating boyfriend jealous long before the age of social media.
The task is simple; just a three-step process.
First, date screen legend Marlon Brando.
Second, find evidence of his affair (what would be the first of many).
Third, get asked on a date by Elvis Presley and accept.
While this seems like a page of Old Hollywood fan fiction, this was, in fact, Moreno’s life—as told to Deadline’s Pete Hammond for his video interview series, The Actor’s Side.
Moreno, who described her relationship with Brando as “eight years worth of tumult,” told Hammond that one day she arrived at his home to find a pair of underwear that was clearly
not her own. She was devastated and went home in tears.
The next day, Moreno’s phone rang. It was Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Parker, calling in a distinct Southern drawl. Elvis had seen Moreno at 20th Century Fox and “ ‘liked
what he saw,’ ” the manager said. He told Moreno Presley wanted to meet her. “I thought about that lousy underwear, and I said, ‘Yes, I would.’ ”
The news spread quickly—with only the aid of the Hollywood rumor mill. Brando heard immediately. Moreno was thrilled.
“He was absolutely enraged and livid. He threw chairs . . . it was wonderful,” Moreno said. “Isn’t that hilarious?”
Though Moreno’s relationship with the legendary Brando seemed to be a dramatic tailspin, she had fond memories of it, too. In an interview with People earlier this month, Moreno
pointed out the two framed photos she keeps in her bedroom. One is of Leonard Gordon, her late husband of 45 years—the other of Brando.
Why would she keep a photo of an unfaithful ex near a photo of her husband, whom she told People was the “love of her life”?
“[Brando] was the lust of my life,” Moreno said simply. And lust, it seems, makes you do crazy things—or, in Moreno’s case, go on dates with Elvis.