Natalie Wood and “lovely” Richard Beymer, to the mercurial Jerome Robbins and “passionate” Rita Moreno, with whom Chakiris remains friends. “I know exactly where my gratitude belongs,” Chakiris writes, “and I still marvel at how, unbeknownst to me at the time, the joyful path of my life was paved one night in 1949 when Jerome Robbins sat Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Laurents down in his apartment and announced, ‘I have an idea.’"
George Chakiris started his acting/dancing career appearing in musicals such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), White Christmas (1954), and There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954). After appearing in the London stage production of West Side Story for two years, he was selected by Jerome Robbins to co-star in the eponymous film. Since that time he appeared in dozens of plays, films, and TV shows before retiring in 1996. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.