Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

Rita Moreno to receive Peabody Career Award

Rita Moreno

The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors has selected Rita Moreno as the recipient of the Peabody Career Achievement Award, presented by Mercedes-Benz. The honor is reserved for individuals whose work and commitment to electronic media has left an indelible mark on the field. The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

“Rita Moreno is a unique talent who has not only broken barriers, but whose career continues to thrive six-plus decades after her acting debut,” said Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody. “We are delighted to celebrate her many contributions to entertainment and media, as well as her passion for children’s programming and important social issues.”

With the addition of the Peabody Career Achievement Award, Moreno has won all of the most prestigious awards in show business: the Oscar, the Tony, two Emmys and a Grammy. Her countless credits span more than six decades, beginning with her Broadway debut at age 13. Moreno has starred on Broadway; in London’s West End; appeared in more than 40 feature films, and on countless television shows. She has performed in numerous regional theaters including her one-woman show, “Life Without Makeup, at the Berkeley Rep. For three seasons, Moreno starred in the widely popular Latino remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, “One Day at a Time,on Netflix, which was nominated for a 2017 Peabody Award. Just recently, she signed on as an executive producer in the Steven Spielberg remake of “West Side Story,” a film in which she is also co-starring. When she is not shooting a TV show or film, she can be found on the road, performing concerts with her band.

Moreno received The Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American culture and was honored by her peers as the 50th recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. In 2015, she served as the grand marshal of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade. That same year she released her “first ever” all Spanish language album, “Una Vez Más,” produced by good friend, Emilio Estefan. She also added New York Times bestselling author to her list of accomplishments with her first book, “Rita Moreno: A Memoir,” published by Celebra Books. Moreno was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

The Peabody Career Achievement Award is presented by Mercedes-Benz, the presenting sponsor and official automobile of the 78th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony.

“Mercedes-Benz is honored to partner with Peabody to present the second annual Career Achievement Award to Rita Moreno, a true pioneer who continues to inspire all of us with her inimitable artistic gifts,” said Monique Harrison, head of brand experience marketing at Mercedes-Benz USA. “We are proud to support the 78th Annual Peabody Awards and to show our deep appreciation for the importance of trailblazing storytelling in the media. We are very much looking forward to celebrating with all of the honorees.”

Moreno will be celebrated with fellow Peabody Award winners on Saturday, May 18, at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. Mercedes-Benz will provide transportation to top talent attending the gala event. Supporting sponsor is The Coca-Cola Co. Variety is the exclusive media partner.

Nominees for the 78th Peabody Awards will be announced Tuesday, April 9. Winners will be announced by category on April 16 (Documentary), April 18 (Entertainment/Children’s), and April 23 (News/Radio/Web/Public Service). For more information, visit

About Peabody Awards

The Peabody Awards honor the most powerful, enlightening and invigorating stories in television, radio and digital media. Each year, Peabody Awards are bestowed upon a curated collection of 30 stories that capture society’s most important issues—known as the Peabody 30. Honorees must be unanimously chosen by the Peabody Board of Jurors, a diverse assembly of industry professionals, media scholars, critics and journalists who each bring a unique perspective of what constitutes a story that matters. From major Hollywood productions to local journalism, the network of Peabody Awards winners is a definitive collection of society’s most important stories and storytellers, including winners that have ranged from Edward R. Murrow, Carol Burnett, and David Letterman to “The Sopranos,” “Sesame Street,” “Breaking Bad,” and “Serial.” The Peabody Awards were founded in 1940 at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and are still based in Athens today. For more information, visit to sign up for our newsletter or follow @PeabodyAwards on Twitter.