Rita Moreno Reveals Marlon Brando's Mistreatment Led Her to Attempt Suicide

Reflecting on her near-decade relationship with the late actor, the 'West Side Story' actress says her former longtime boyfriend 'was extraordinary in many, many ways, but… he was a bad guy when it came to women.'

AceShowbiz - Rita Moreno said she was mistreated by Marlon Brando during their long-term on-again, off-again relationship and it led her to try to take her own life. The acting vet shared a personal insight into her near-decade romance with the late actor during a conversation with Jessica Chastain as part of Variety's "Actors on Actors" series.

"He and I had had a relationship for almost eight years. Ultimately, it was exciting to be with Marlon. Oh, my God, it was exciting," Rita told Jessica during the chat. While describing her former boyfriend as "extraordinary in many, many ways," she added, "but he was a bad guy."

"He was a bad guy when it came to women," the 90-year-old explained, as she admitted, "I was such a different person then. I had all the makings of a doormat." She went on recalling, "So whenever he lied, I would look at him and I'd say, 'Marlon, look at me.' And he'd start to grin this kind of - I don't want to use the bad word - that poop-eating grin. I could read him like a book and that's why he loved me, and that's why he mistreated me in so many ways."

Rita then revealed, "I tried to end [her] life with pills in his house. That's how I tried to do it." She further divulged, "I didn't understand that if I was going to kill this pathetic, sad, trod-upon Rita, the rest of Rita was also going to go with me. I really didn't seem to understand that. But that's what the attempt was. It was an attempt."

When Jessica asked if there was "a rebirth in a positive way" following the suicide attempt, Rita said that Marlon wanted to get back together romantically, but she was already married to cardiologist-turned-manager Leonard Gordon.

"After that, a few years later, was the movie we made together. What's interesting is that he wanted to renew," she elaborated. "I was now married. I had a beautiful child, Fernanda. He was ready to have a go again. I didn't want that. But he did. He lost a big part of himself, I think. The good part of him, the good Marlon that Rita loved. It was very complicated. Really, really complicated."

Rita first dated Marlon after meeting on the set of "A Streetcar Named Desiree" in 1954 when she was just 22 years old. They split for good in 1961, but reunited onscreen for "Night of the Following Day" in 1969.

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