Each of these Latina women are famous, smart, and ambitious. They have had tons of adoring fans, and they have put on powerful performances. These Latina women have been leaders in their own right. They are not only known in the United States but also internationally. They are well respected for their contribution not only to Latin Culture but to American Culture. Their legacy will live on in our American history.
Born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero on January 23, 1933 in Washington D.C. She is the daughter of Katherine Anderson a government clerk and Pedro Julio Figueroa del Rivero, a clarinetist and saxophonist for the United States Navy Band. Her father was Puerto Rican and her mother was of Scottish and Italian decent.
In 1944, her mother enrolled her in the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet. At 15, she won a scholarship to study dance at the School of American Ballet. She later went on to become an actress, dancer, and singer best known for her roles in musical theatre. Her Broadway shows include Call Me Madam which she made her Broadway debut in 1951, then Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, she was cast as Anita in West Side Story, Chicago, Bye Bye Birdie and in 1984 she starred in the musical The Rink in which she won her first Tony Award for her role as Anna. A restaurant on 42nd Street was named Chita’s after her. In 1981, she was in the television musical Pippin. In 1993, she received a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical as Aurora in Kiss of the Spider Woman. On television, Rivera was a guest on The Judy Garland Show. In 2005, she appeared as guest on Will and Grace, and starred in Chita a retrospective on her Broadway career. In December 2002, she was the first Hispanic woman and first Latina American to receive a Kennedy Center Honors Award. In 2009, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She is definitely a living legend.