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Rita Moreno has said she tried to “end her life” after being “mistreated” by Marlon Brando.
The 90-year-old actress – who is known for playing the role of Anita in original film version of ‘West Side Story’ – claimed that while her eight-year relationship with late Hollywood icon Marlon Brando in the 1950s was “exciting”, he was a “bad guy” towards women.
She said: “Ultimately, it was exciting to be with Marlon. 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.
“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 — that poop-eating grin. 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. I tried to end my life with pills in his house. That’s how I tried to do it.”
Speaking to fellow actress Jessica Chastain for Variety’s ‘Actors on Actors’ series, Rita explained that she experienced confusion over wanting to kill the “trod-upon” version of herself.
She added: “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.”
The Oscar-winning star – who was later married to her manager Leonard Gordon from 1965 until his death in 2010 – went on to reveal that Marlon had wanted to reunite after she had settled down.
She said: “What’s interesting is that he wanted to renew. I was now married. I had a beautiful child, Fernanda. He was ready to have a go again. I didn’t want that. But he did. He lost a big part of himself, I think. The good part of him, the good Marlon that Rita loved. It was very complicated. Really, really complicated.”