Chita Rivera painted the town red on Sunday…and all that jazz. The 85-year-old Broadway star stepped out in her signature scarlet color wearing a striking one-shoulder gown to the 72nd annual Tony Awards in New York City, where she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Chatting with HOLA! USA on the red carpet about the honor, Chita said, “[I’m] excited. Over the moon and humbled.”
VIEW GALLERY Chita was honored at the 2018 Tony Awards in New York City Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions
Over the course of her career that spans over six decades, the Hispanic actress has gone on to star in a number of iconic roles like Anita in West Side Story and Chicago’s Velma Kelly. Reflecting on her success and time in the theater, Chita noted that it’s hard to pick one standout moment.
“There are so many. There are so many I mean, when you’ve done West Side [Story] and Chicago and shows like that. There are so many exciting moments that it’s very, very difficult to bring it down to one,” she shared. “I think maybe one of them is the first time we did West Side [Story] in front of an audience to hear that response. But there’s so many amazing things. I’m pretty lucky.”
VIEW GALLERY The Broadway star has played several iconic roles during her deacdes-long career Photo: Ted Streshinsky/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Chita has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received an eight additional nominations since 1961. In 2002, she became the first Latino American to receive a Kennedy Center Honors Award. As for whether there is any advice she would give her younger self, Chita shared, “Do exactly what you did. Exactly what you did.”
While accepting her Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement on Sunday, June 10, Chita told the star-studded audience at Radio City Music Hall, “I am truly proud to be a part of a community, which strives to be diverse, generous and kind. I wouldn't trade my life in the theatre for anything, as the theatre is life.” She added, “There's still a lot of salt left in this shaker.”
WATCH CHITA RIVERA’S SPEECH BELOW