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Rita Moreno 'Probably Would Have Left' Her 'Controlling' Late Husband If Not for Their Daughter (Exclusive)

The EGOT winner says she learned "a big, deep lesson" in her marriage with Leonard Gordon

Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Rita Moreno and daughter Fernanda Luisa Gordon, April 2021
Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Rita Moreno and daughter Fernanda Luisa Gordon, April 2021

Rita Moreno is reflecting on past relationships and the lessons she learned.

Before speaking at a live panel held at the Dotdash Meredith offices in New York City Wednesday, Moreno, 92, told PEOPLE she "probably" would've left her "very controlling" late husband, Leonard Gordon.

Moreno and Gordon were married from 1965 until his death in 2010, and she hasn't remarried since.

“Things began to get very tense. And if it were not for my daughter, I probably would have left,” Moreno says. However, she adds she wasn't sure if divorce was an option “because I had no plans to have a life with anybody else.”

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Gordon was a cardiologist and internist before he retired from the medical field to become Moreno's manager. They shared daughter Fernanda Luisa Gordon.

Related: Rita Moreno Says Marlon Brando 'Mistreated Me in So Many Ways': 'I Tried to End My Life'

<p>Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> Rita Moreno, Lenny Gordon and Fernanda Luisa; 1982

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Rita Moreno, Lenny Gordon and Fernanda Luisa; 1982

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Moreno explains that marriage can be “very hard.” She also says most spouses make a “deal” that is “never spoken."

“In my case, it was, ‘You'll be the daddy and take care of me. And I'll be your little girl and I'll make you very happy.’ There came a time when I didn't want that anymore,” Moreno says. “And that's when the marriage got into trouble.”

<p>Silver Screen Collection/Getty</p> Rita Moreno as 'Anita' in West Side Story, 1961

Silver Screen Collection/Getty

Rita Moreno as 'Anita' in West Side Story, 1961

Related: Rita Moreno Says She Feels Most Beautiful Looking into Her Grandsons' Eyes: 'I'm Just So Proud'

While referring to her late husband as someone with “a fabulous sense of humor” and “a wonderful grandfather,” she shared her takeaways from their time together as well.

“This marriage taught me something about relationships that I didn't like, and that is having to be with somebody forever and ever is not necessarily a fabulous thing. Sometimes it is. But more often than not, it's not. That's something I learned — a big, deep lesson.”

Moreno also talked about her recent birthday bash in London, and shared why she dabbled with the idea of throwing a second and third party for turning 92.

Rita Moreno Instagram Rita Moreno and Fernanda Luisa Gordon with friends
Rita Moreno Instagram Rita Moreno and Fernanda Luisa Gordon with friends

“The last [birthday] was Cuba, and we had Cuban food, and we always have a chocolate fountain. But I can't do that anymore because I'm in a condo. I mean, I used to have about 80 people. That's a lot,” she said of not being able to fit all of her guests.

"It was a white party with beautiful white decorations and white fairy lights to complement her fresh white condo," Gordon, 57, told PEOPLE about her mother’s 91st birthday at the time.

She added that her mom "was absolutely surprised" at the gathering, because "she thought that she was coming upstairs just to see a new light fixture — she didn't realize that the place would be full of friends."

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Read the original article on People.