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Rita Moreno reveals “tempestuous” relationship with Marlon Brando led to suicide attempt

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ABC/Eric McCandless

(NOTE CONTENT) EGOT-winner Rita Moreno looked back at her “tempestuous sexual” relationship with another acting legend, the late Marlon Brando, during a new installment of Variety‘s Actors on Actors series. 

Their coupling was so intense, in fact, the West Side Story actress revealed to Jessica Chastain that Moreno revealed she tried to kill herself. 

“I tried to end my life with pills in his house,” Moreno explained, noting, “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.”

Moreno, now 90, met Brando on the set of the 1954 film Désirée, when she was 22 — and the sparks flew. “Ultimately, it was exciting to be with Marlon,” she recalled, “Oh, my God, it was exciting.”

Moreno added, “He was extraordinary in many, many ways, but he was a bad guy,” explaining, “He was a bad guy when it came to women. I was such a different person then. I had all the makings of a doormat.”

Moreno explained how Brando lied to her throughout their eight-year relationship, but he wasn’t fooling anybody. “He was afraid of me,” she explained. “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.”

Brando passed away in 2004 at 80 years old. “I only found out after he died that I was the love of his life, not just the lust of his life,” Moreno expressed, sharing that in spite of Brando’s many relationships, the father of 11 had in his home only one picture of himself with a woman — and it was Moreno.

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.

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