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Though Rita Moreno was married to Leonard Gordon from 1965 until he died in 2010, the famed actor has been linked to some of Hollywood’s hottest hunks of yesteryear. From her reported connections to Jack Nicholson and Hugh O’Brian to Dick Van Patten and the well-documented romances with Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley, her romantic past tends to pique interest. 

Rita Moreno
Rita Moreno | Frazer Harrison / Staff

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Moreno looked back on her life, exploring the romantic relationships that have been at the center of public curiosity for ages. She discussed her relationship with Brando and her intentions with the King of Rock & Roll Elvis Presley, who she reportedly used to make Brando a bit jealous. 

Rita Moreno called Marlon Brando the ‘lust of [her] life’ 

Moreno once explained that she keeps two framed photos in her bedroom; one is of her late husband Gordon, and the other is of Brando. Though Brando was known for being unfaithful during his relationship with the West Side Story star, Moreno and he still had quite a passionate affair. And, it appears that he has earned his everlasting place in her heart. 

When speaking about Brando, Moreno said he was “the lust of my life.” Moreno went on to describe her relationship with Brando as “eight years worth of tumult.” At one point, she had enough, and she decided to exact a little revenge on the A Streetcar Named Desire star. 

When and why Rita Moreno accepted a date with Elvis Presley 

One day during her rocky relationship with Brando, Moreno came home to find a pair of underwear that was not hers. She was upset, yet the universe seemed to have a plan for her. The following day, she received a call from Presley’s manager, asking her if she would like to meet the King. She agreed. Moreno said: 

“I thought about that lousy underwear, and I said, ‘Yes, I would.’”

Moreno | Vanity Fair

Rita Moreno’s Romances With Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley Were So Different; Here’s How

As is the case when two Hollywood A-listers meet up, the news spread rapidly, which is exactly what Moreno wanted. She explained how Brando responded, stating: 

“He was absolutely enraged and livid. He threw chairs . . . it was wonderful…Isn’t that hilarious?”

Moreno | Vanity Fair

Moreno may have been tied to both Brando and Presley, but her heart seemed to belong more to the former than to the latter. The two may have not been meant to be in the end, but they are known for comprising two halves of one of Hollywood’s most famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) romances of all time.