Only one of the Puerto Rican characters in the movie West Side Story were actually Puerto Ricans, Rita Moreno, who played the fiery Anita in the 1961 movie.
Natalie Wood, who played the ill-fated lover Maria, was an American of Russian-French descent. George Chakiris, who played Maria’s gang-leading brother Bernardo, was a Greek American.
The work of Puerto Rican artists such as John Sanchez is showcased at El Museo del Barrio, a New York City art museum devoted to Latino art.
Sanchez treats the theme of Puerto Rican independence in mixed-media works.