Chita Rivera
Actress, dancer, singer

Born: Washington, D.C.

A versatile entertainer and performer, the universally acclaimed Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards as best leading actress in a musical and was the first Hispanic American to receive the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor.

“My mother focused my energy on ballet when I was very young. From then on, I became interested in working very hard to be as good as I could possibly be.”

Born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero, Rivera was raised by parents who emphasized cultural enrichment. At 16, Rivera auditioned for legendary choreographer George Balanchine who recognized her talent and gave her a scholarship to the American School of Ballet. A year later, the aspiring ballerina was cast as a principal dancer in the Broadway musical Call Me Madam, and her extraordinary career began.

“I see myself as a global person with the distinct advantage of being Latina. We add all the colors of our culture to this quilt that is the world.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

Chita Rivera, actress, dancer, singer. Photograph by Celia Alvarez Muñoz, taken in a restaurant, New York , New York

Chita Rivera, actress, dancer, singer. Photograph by Celia Alvarez Muñoz, taken at a restaurant, New York, New York

 

In 1957, Rivera's electric performance as Anita in the Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom. Despite acting credits that include Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, The Rink, and, most recently, Nine, with Antonio Banderas, Rivera always maintains that her daughter, Lisa, is her most treasured production.

“I love what I do, the people that I meet. I've been very, very fortunate. It's all in the giving, not in the taking. And in the giving you receive.”

 

 

 

 

 


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