Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Rita Moreno Dated Elvis Presley after Husband Marlon Brando Cheated —She Kept His Pic after Their Divorce

Gracious Egedegbe
May 13, 2022
03:40 A.M.
Share this pen

In the 1950s and early 1960s, Rita Moreno was in the news due to her relationship with Marlon Brando. The pair's relationship was filled with many issues, such as infidelity, depression, and a suicide attempt. Find out more about their romance.


Rita Moreno, a Puerto Rican-born American actress, dancer, and singer, is a household name. With a stellar career in the entertainment industry spanning seven decades, the icon has appeared in numerous film, television, and theatre projects. 

She is also a recipient of many awards and several award nominations. While her career achievements are worth talking about, the details of her personal life, especially her love life, are also quite fascinating. 

Rita Moreno attends the movie premiere party of the "Egyptian" at Romanoff's in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images


The ninety-year-old singer has been married once, but she was involved with other men before her marriage, including American actor Marlon Brando.

Moreno and Brando first encountered each other on the set of the 1954 film "Désirée." Twenty-two years old at the time, the actor had an immediate effect on the singer. 

Marlon Brando and Rita Moreno visit on the set of the film 'Desiree', circa 1954 | Source: Getty Images


Moreno was captivated by Brando's handsomeness and muscular physique. In her memoir titled "Rita Moreno: A Memoir," the actress detailed her first impression of Brando thus:

"With his muscular physique, hooded eyes, full lips, and quick mind, he was swaggeringly irresistible, with a profile that should be on a Roman coin. Just meeting him that first day sent my body temperature skyrocketing, as though I had been dropped into a very hot bath."

Shortly after, Moreno and Brando started seeing each other, and they were like a match made in heaven. The actress revealed that she could read her man like a book, which increased his love for her. 


Portrait of actress Rita Moreno as she appears in the movie 'Cattle Town', 1952. | Source: Getty Images.

Despite how deeply in love the pair were, Brando was big on keeping the relationship private. He and Moreno barely went out, and whenever they did, it was to eat at an undiscovered restaurant. 


One day, the former lovebirds went to the theatre, and what happened afterward made Brando hesitant to go again. Moreno explained that someone had taken a beautiful picture of her and the actor sitting together.

Rita Moreno is in a tub while chatting with Marlon Brando during the filming of "The Night of the Following Day" in Lettouquet, France on December 5, 1967 | Source: Getty Images


Unfortunately, they could not publish it, as Brando posed, sticking his middle finger in front of his face. The next day, Moreno was shocked to see the picture in the newspaper. 

Innocent as she was, the actress said she was distraught at the press and the gossip. However, the gossip ended in due time, and the duo continued with their secret romance.

A portrait of Marlon Brando, circa 1951. | Source: Getty Images.


Although Moreno had found love, her social life was suffering. During an interview, the Grammy award-winning icon confessed that she had very few friends. However, Brando was by her side, and he encouraged her to go to therapy, which eventually helped.


Rita Moreno and Marlon Brando during the filming of "The Night of the Following Day" in Lettouquet, France on circa 1968 | Source: Getty Images


The early stages of Moreno and Brando's relationship were filled with bliss. The pair became so close that the actress would spend a lot of time in her boyfriend's house. It allowed her to experience how caring the actor was. Moreno said Brando took good care of her body and her soul.

In addition, he taught her important life lessons. According to the "One Day At a Time" star, Brando introduced her to new ideas and educated her about the world. 

Portrait of actress Rita Moreno reclining backwards, as she appears in the movie 'Cattle Town', circa 1952 | Source: Getty Images


The actor gave his girlfriend books to read and taught her manners and grooming, eventually becoming her mentor and helping in Moreno's overall growth.

The actress considered her boyfriend one of the smartest and most lively men she had ever met. Although Brando seemed like a bully and would sometimes get angry quickly, Moreno said he was one of the most sensitive men she knew.

Unfortunately, Moreno and Brando's romance started turning for the worst due to the latter's insatiable sexual needs. Yet, the actress was so tied to her boyfriend that she could turn him down when he came around, no matter what he did or what she heard.


.Portrait of actress Rita Moreno | Source: Getty Images

At some point, Moreno confessed that the challenge of winning Brando over slowly became an addiction. Yet, her plans to keep him to herself only remained unsuccessful. Then, an incident that would drastically affect their relationship happened.


One day, while Brando was at work, Moreno found someone else's lingerie in her boyfriend's house, and she was devastated. "I just went home, weeping and crying," she recalled.


Portrait of American rock and roll singer Elvis Presley, dressed in an orange open-neck shirt and in front of a brick wall, mid 1960s | Source: Getty Images


The following day, Moreno received a call from Elvis Presley's manager, who explained that the "King of Rock and Roll" had spotted her at the Fox Commissionary and would love to go on a date with her. 

With the thought of lingerie she had spotted the previous day fresh in her mind, Moreno was hell-bent on making Brando jealous.

Singer Elvis Presley poses for a studio portrait, circa 1965 | Source: Getty Images


So, she accepted Presley's offer, and the pair went out on a date. Not long after, Brando heard about it, and the actress recalled that he was furious, but she liked it. She said:

"He threw chairs; it was it was wonderful." 

Despite Brando's reaction, Moreno proceeded to date Presley. She admitted that the singer was pretty, shy, and a mama's boy. However, things were not quite right in their relationship. The actress revealed that their sexual activity fell short of her expectations in her memoir.

Singer Elvis Presley poses for a studio portrait, circa 1965 | Source: Getty Images


Eventually, Moreno was fed up and could not fake it anymore. She said Presley was boring and was like a little brother who could not hold exciting conversations. Moreno later discovered that she and the singer's romance was typical. 

One day, while watching Presley eating a sandwich, Moreno realized that her boyfriend was more interested in the sandwich than her. Also, the "Singin' In The Rain" actress admitted she was still head over heels in love with Brando.

American singer and actor Elvis Presley sitting on a bench eating a sandwich on March 25, 1958, in Memphis, Tennessee | Source: Getty Images


She could not get over his sexual appetite, intellectual curiosity, and chameleon-like changes. So, Moreno kissed Presley goodbye forever and returned to Brando.


Rita Moreno attends the AFI Awards Luncheon at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on March 11, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images


Unfortunately, after Moreno returned to Brando, the actor did not get any better. He was still a "bad guy" whose insatiable desire for women had not quenched. At some point, it became too challenging for Moreno to cope. 

She became depressed and tried to end her life with pills but was unsuccessful. Still, Moreno did not leave the actor. She said he was still kind to her, and they also had some happy moments.

Rita Moreno speaks during the Rita Moreno Puerto Rican Day Parade Celebration during the 2021 Tribeca Festival on June 13, 2021 in New York City | Source: Getty Images


However, Moreno and Brando's relationship would eventually end after either year. Then, the actress found love again and tied the knot with Leonard Gordon in 1965. 

A few years later, Moreno relayed that she and Brando made a movie together. By that time, he seemed to be trying to be better and wanted her back. But, Moreno was already married with a child and could not accept him again.

Picture of singer Elvis Presley's grave | Source: Flickr


Later, the singer made it known that Brando was the one she wanted to please and get married to, but it did not work out. Nevertheless, she had no regrets about her relationship with Brando. During a 2017 interview, Moreno mentioned that she kept a picture of Brando in her bedroom.

On the other hand, regarding her relationship with Presley, the actress made it known that she was heartbroken after the icon passed away, 20 years after their dating.