It was 1957 and the singer, then 25, was about to become a Hollywood star when Moreno agreed to meet him on the set of his film, King Creole.
She had just found another woman’s clothes in Brando’s house and was particularly livid with him. Watching him eat a bacon, banana and peanut butter sandwich fried in bacon fat, Moreno clicked — he probably lusted after it more than he lusted after her.
Stuck in a remote Brittany seaside village during filming, she fell asleep after a boozy dinner one night to find Brando lying beside her and pleading to spend the night together.
When Brando died aged 80 in 2004, only one piece of film memorabilia was reportedly found in his home — a photo of him from that film passionately kissing a naked Moreno.
Her obsessive love for the Method actor “almost proved fatal.” During their eight-year affair, she endured chronic philandering, emotional abuse, a botched abortion — and that’s only the beginning. and how I almost died from loving him,” Moreno, now 81, writes in her new memoir, “Rita Moreno.” Although Moreno’s life story is fascinating on its own — she’s one of the only people, not to mention the first Hispanic, to receive an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony — a sizable chunk of the book, about one-third, is devoted to her torrid love affair with Brando. “His hairline moved back an inch, as when a predatory animal spots his prey and paralyzes it with ‘that look.’ It was obviously lust at first sight, and I remember thinking, ‘Whooo, this guy don’t waste no time! “I have no doubt that this man would have sent someone over to my table to escort me upstairs.
“I remember how he spoke to me, how he played the drums, how he made love . “We were locked in the ultimate folie à deux, a crazy love that lasted for years, until one day I quite literally was forced out of a coma and had to choose life over him,” she writes. Weeks later, she sees her admirer in Life magazine — the young senator from Massachusetts, John F. Then, in 1954, in a makeup room on the set of Brando’s “Désirée,” in which he played Napoleon, a 22-year-old Moreno met the man who would rock her world.
Brando married twice during their affair, to Anglo-Indian actress Anna Kashfi and Mexican-American actress Movita Castaneda. Her first such lover in the Fifties was the young actor Dennis Hopper, but then she hit on the man whose attentions she knew Brando would most resent — Elvis.Possibly as an outgrowth of this, he had “insatiable sexual needs,” which he unabashedly pursued with droves of other women. According to other girls, it seemed to be his modus operandi.“He broke my heart and came close to crushing my very spirit with his physical infidelities and, worse, with his emotional betrayals,” she writes. He liked to cuddle with his teenage fans or watch girl-on-girl action. “Maybe Elvis was inhibited by inbred religious prohibitions or an Oedipal complex, or maybe he simply preferred the thrill of a denied release.She and Presley went on dates but, when it came to getting physical, he was the complete opposite of the ‘thrilling’ Brando. When Brando died aged 80 in 2004, only one piece of film memorabilia was reportedly found in his home - a photo of him from their film The Night Of The Following Day, passionately kissing a naked Moreno He sent a friend to collect her from the surgery and when she had to be rushed in agony to hospital because the foetus was still inside her, Brando’s only reaction was to claim angrily the doctor had swindled him.Their evenings ‘nearly always concluded in a tender tussle on my living room floor, with Elvis’s pelvis in that famous gyration straining against his taut trousers,’ says Moreno. ‘Whatever put the brakes on the famous pelvis, it ground to a halt at a certain point and that was it.’ As other girlfriends attested, in private Elvis became his ‘real self, a shy, bumbling kid . When Brando returned from filming Mutiny On The Bounty in Tahiti and expected to resume their affair, Moreno took drastic action.