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Rita Moreno Admits She Used to Hide Her Awards

Photograph by Getty Images

Rita Moreno, now 83, is one of the most famous triple-threats of all time. However, the legendary award-winning actress, singer, author, mom and grandma revealed in a recent interview that she used to keep all her awards in a box in her closet.

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She was not only the third person to ever achieve EGOT status — winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony — but she's also the only Latina EGOT winner in history. There are only 12 people who have been honored with all four awards. And as if the other four major accolades weren't enough to recognize her superstar status, she's also won a Golden Globe and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

But in a new interview with People magazine, Moreno, who just launched a new Spanish-language album produced by Emilio Estevez, talked about how she kept her awards hidden away because she thought displaying them was "show-off-y."

It was her late husband, Leonard Gordon, who encouraged her after years of keeping her awards in the closet to finally put them out on a shelf for all to see.

She said he told her, "Rita, you have earned these. You didn't buy them," and that's when she decided to finally display her awards.

Moreno shared that when her grandson was little, he loved to play with her awards and called her Oscar the "little gold man." When he was 8 or 9 years old, she said, he brought a plastic soccer trophy and asked if he could keep it with her "little gold man." As a proud grandma, she couldn't deny his request.

To this day, she said, her grandson's little plastic soccer trophy still sits next to her Academy Award — which is now on a shelf in her living room instead of hidden away in a box in the closet.

"Every once in a while, I look at that collection of hardware and go, 'Man, that little Puerto Rican girl really made out,'" she said.

Later this year, Moreno will receive the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor, a lifetime achievement award that recognizes "the extraordinary and unparalleled talents of individuals whose impact and genius have left an indelible mark on civilization." The award ceremony will be broadcast on CBS on December 29.

So what's next for this amazing abuelita? She finished an independent film this year, has done a few guest spots on TV series, and she's doing voiceover work on the animated series "Nina's World" — and in other recent interviews, said she's got no plans of slowing down although she's about to turn 84. She joked in the interview with People that the Nobel Peace Prize is next on her list.

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