Are you ever curious about the real lives of politicians, celebrities, local newsmakers and athletes? Who are their mentors and who would they really like to meet?
Each Tuesday, ABC Action News asks 10 questions of a Bay area leader or celebrity. They're fun questions that let you get to know the person.
This week we are excited to hear from legendary Broadway star Chita Rivera! She is a two-time Tony Award-winner, a nine time Tony Award-nominee as well as a 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Rivera was among 16 recipients honored by President Barack Obama for their contributions to U.S. national interests including world peace, cultural endeavors, and various public and private endeavors.
Rivera performed and starred in numerous musicals including West Side Story, Chicago, Can-Can, Guys and Dolls and Kiss of the Spider Woman.
Recently, Rivera wowed a crowd in the bay area at The Club at Treasure Island.
Rivera was born in Washington, D.C. Her parents were from Puerto Rico. She inherited some of her musical talent from her father who played clarinet and saxophone for the Navy Band. Sadly he died when she was only seven. Her mother, now deceased, went to work at the Pentagon.
Rivera as a child was described as a tomboy. Her mother decided to enroll her in a ballet school and soon her talent thrived. Rivera was one of two students picked to audition in New York for an enrollment in a prestigious school.
When Rivera was 17-year-old she accompanied a friend to the auditions for the national tour of "Call me Madam." She meant only to be there for support but ended up landing the part herself. Her career took off.
Rivera married a fellow dancer member from her West Side Story cast- and said about her husband Tony Mordente:
"The day our daughter, "Lisa," was born was the happiest day of my life; the day we split, the saddest."
The couple divorced in 1966.
And while, Rivera has had many highlights in her life, Rivera maintains her greatest treasure is the couple's child, Lisa. Who followed in her mother's footsteps. She is singer, dancer, and choreographer.
10 questions for legendary star Chita Rivera
1. What is your all time favorite movie or song?
What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.
2. Do you have a Smartphone and if so, what is your favorite App?
I have an I Phone, but don't do apps.
3. Who do you count as your mentors?
My Parents, Katherine and Julio del Rivero.
4. What was your very first job?
"Call Me Madam" A Broadway Show I landed when I was 17 years old.
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My Address to Positano Italy!
6. What do you consider your greatest success?
My Daughter Lisa Mordente, and My Medal Of Freedom.
7. Tell us something about you most people don't know?
8. If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?
Mother Theresa, Pope John the 23rd, Charlie Chaplin.
9. What is in your fridge right now?
Fruit, Dog Food, Milk, Bread, Eggs, Carrot's and Champagne.
10. If you could have a different career, other than what you're doing now, what would it be?
A Painter and Sculptor.
The people I profile each week are based on your suggestions. Please let me know who you would like to hear from!
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I look forward to hearing from you!
News Anchor/Multimedia Journalist