Rita Moreno is best known for being a pioneering Hispanic actress. She is one of the first Hispanics to become a major actor and to win various awards connected to acting. Her accomplishments were important enough to win her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and the National Medal of Arts in 2009.
In her acting career, Moreno became the first Hispanic and one of only 10 performers overall to win an Emmy, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Oscar. The Emmy Award is for performance on television, the Grammy for audio recordings, the Tony for performance on stage, and the Oscar for performance in a movie. Moreno's most famous performance was the one in "West Side Story" that won her her Oscar in 1961.
By accomplishing all of these things, Rita Moreno has become an important figure in the Hispanic community and in the US as a whole.