On Saturday, January 18, the Screen Actors Guild honored Rita Moreno, 82, with the 50th SAG Life Achievement Award. The SAG Life Achievement Award is one of the most prestigious rewards for actors, and is “bestowed for outstanding achievement in fostering the finest ideals of the acting profession.”
Rita received a standing ovation as her old friend Morgan Freeman introduced her, and after a brief dance routine, she took to the microphone to show her gratitude for the award. “I am so (expletive) thrilled,” she said, throwing in an f-bomb. “I hope the man with the button was there on time.” Yes, if you were wondering, the word was bleeped during the live event. “Thank you. Oh! Oh… oh, I’m breathless,” she said. “I’m, I’m so – I’m so bloody happy. Late in the – I’m sorry about that word. Actually I’m not,” she said jokingly.
“Late in the first act of my career I was recognized with an Oscar. I was 31 and so astonished and surprised, as you saw in the clip. You know, I could only muster, “I don’t believe it!” I leave you with that,” she said. “And now this unexpected honor at 82. But, hopefully… But, hopefully, it’s early in the third act – it’s early in the third act of my life,” she continued. “The truth… The truth is, I still – honestly I still can’t believe it. So, let me say this. Hi, Jeremy Renner. No, that’s not what I meant to say. Ooh!”
At that point, Rita decided to break out in song. “As I approach the prime of my life, I find I have the time of my life. Learning to enjoy at my leisure all the simple pleasures. And so I happily concede… this is all I ask, this is all I need,” she sang.
Rita finished her speech by saying: “And finally, to quote my younger self, ‘I leave you with this…’ Hi Brad. No, that’s not what I meant to say,” she laughed. “I leave you with this, “So let the music play as long as there’s a song to sing and I will be, I will be, younger than spring. Thank you. Thank you, SAG/AFTRA. Thank you, fellow actors. Thank you.”
Below is a video of Rita discussing her award backstage:
Image via Wikimedia Commons