Rita Moreno Says She ‘Tried to End’ Her Life When Dating Marlon Brando

  • Rita Moreno spoke to Jessica Chastain as part of Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series.
  • She talked about her relationship with Marlon Brando, which made her contemplate suicide.
  • “He was extraordinary in many, many ways, but he was a bad guy,” Moreno said.

Rita Moreno opened up about her relationship with Marlon Brando and discussed attempting to end her own life while speaking to Jessica Chastain as part of Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series.

Chastain raised the topic of Brando, telling Moreno: “I think you are every bit of the actor Marlon Brando was. That must have been so difficult for you in a time where you’re seeing all of these opportunities being given to him.”

“He and I had had a relationship for almost eight years. Ultimately, it was exciting to be with Marlon,” Moreno replied. “Oh, my God, it was exciting. He was extraordinary in many, many ways, but he was a bad guy. He was a bad guy when it came to women. I was such a different person then. I had all the makings of a doormat.

Rita Moreno in a dress looking at Marlon Brando

Rita Moreno visits Marlon Brandon on the set of his 1954 movie “Désirée.”

20th Century/Getty

“So, whenever he lied, I would look at him and I’d say, ‘Marlon, look at me.’ And he’d start to grin this kind of — I don’t want to use the bad word — but… poop-eating grin,” Moreno continued. “I could read him like a book and that’s why he loved me, and that’s why he mistreated me in so many ways.”

“How did you break it?” Chastain asked. “For so many women it’s so hard to break that cycle.”

“I tried to end my life with pills in his house,” Moreno replied. “That’s how I tried to do it. I didn’t understand that if I was going to kill this pathetic, sad, trod-upon Rita, the rest of Rita was also going to go with me. I really didn’t seem to understand that. But that’s what the attempt was. It was an attempt.”

In December, Moreno revealed that she dated Elvis Presley to get back at Brando for cheating on her.

In an appearance on “The View,” Moreno said: “I went home in tears — really, I was naïve — and I was angry too, just furious. The next day, the phone rings, and I hear ‘Miss Marina?’ I said, ‘Uh, yeah?’ he said, ‘This is Colonel Parker, my client is Elvis Presley, and Elvis spotted you at the 20th Century Fox commissary, and he liked what he saw.'”

“I said ‘Oh?’ and he said, ‘And he would like very much to meet you. Would you like to meet him?'”

The musical veteran said she thought back to how Brando had treated her and answered: “Yes, I would!”

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