María de la Concepción Macedo Guzmán was born in Mexico City, Mexico on April 21, 1925 to Miguel Macedo and Julia Guzmán, a celebrated writer. Her childhood was difficult, having grown up away from her parents attending boarding schools. When they divorced, she became estranged from her father.
She initially used the stage name Conchita, but later changed it to Rita. Macedo began her career at age 15 under film director Mauricio de la Serna, in a film starring Mapy Cortés and Domingo Soler, which was entitled "Las Cinco Noches de Adan" ("The Five Nights of Adam"). The film was very popular and eventually led to appearances in more than 60 movies. Though, Macedo acknowledged that poor reviews on other early films forced her to work hard at her craft and do live theater. She traveled to New York City and Paris and bought scripts like “Réquiem para una monja” (Requiem for a Nun) and “Santuario” (Sanctuary) by Faulkner and brought them to Mexico with successful performances.
Macedo's films included "Rosenda" (1948), "Felipe de Jesús" (1949), "El rencor de la Tierra" (1949), "Joya perdida", "Manos de seda" (1951), "Las infieles" (1953), "El enmascarado de plata" (1954), "Los bandidos de Río Frío" (1956), "Pies de gato" (1957), "El hombre de papel" (1963) and "La maldición de la llorona" (1963). She was nominated for an Ariel Award as Best Co-Starring Actress for "Ensayo de un crimen" in 1956. and "Nazarin," which was directed by the Spanish director Luis Bunuel in 1958 was well received. In 1972, she won the Best Actress Ariel Award for "Tu, Yo y Nosotros" and completed the film "El castillo de la pureza".
Increasingly she performed more on stage and in television. She brought "Las Criadas" a play by Jean Genet to Mexican audiences, as well as "La mala semilla" (The Bad Seed), which was later successfully acted in by Angélica María and María Rojo. She also premiered in the play "El tuerto es rey" by her husband, Carlos Fuentes, in Barcelona, under the direction of Ricard Salvat. Her performance in Terence Rattigan's "Mesas separadas" (Separate Tables) with Salvador Novo was noted.
Her first husband was radio, television and theater producer Luis de Llano Palmer (October 1918-23 October 2012) with whom she had two children: actress Julissa, one of Mexico's first rock stars. and the producer Luis de Llano Macedo. She was then briefly married to Pablo Palomino, and after their divorce married the writer Carlos Fuentes (11 November 1928 - 15 May 2012), with whom she had a daughter Cecilia Fuentes Macedo.