She would try, usually in vain, to get her actors to read an oversized cue card which had their lines written, held by her frazzled assistant, Marcello (Morgan Freeman), and when they failed to get their lines correct, she would whack the cue card harshly with her riding crop, scaring Marcello even more. Despite her temperamental outbursts, he was truly loyal to Otto, and although she didn't show it often, she knew that he was loyal to her. Her famous quotes were what directors traditionally said, "Roll 'em!"; "Action!", but most used frequently, was "Cut!"
She had far less trouble with the people who held the slate (most notably played by Luis Avalos, Hattie Winston who played the slate lady with most frequency; and Judy Graubart. Even Morgan Freeman played one of the slate holders before he became Marcello); but mainly it was the actors who sent her into an inevitable fury. At the end, she usually gave up in varying degrees of frustration; fury and sometimes tears; and she would look to exact revenge on the actors who have bungled their lines. Often it seemed they would never work again as she may have had them blacklisted.
One of Otto's first appearances was an actor named Steve (Bill Cosby) who played a musketeer who kept ruining the famous line "All for one, and one for all", which had been done all day. This drove Otto to tears and stomped off, muttering "I don't deserve this!" (Judy Graubart played the cue card person, Suzie; and Morgan Freeman played the slate person, before he became better known as Marcello.)
A trio of three dwarves (Boyd); (Avalos); (Skip Hinnant) of whom, the latter, named Happy, kept forgetting his name; bungling his lines three times, and drove Otto into absolute rage, screaming, "I'm Happy! I'm Happy! I'm Happy, I'm Happy, I'm Happy!". He replied, "Funny, she doesn't look happy, I could have sworn you were angry!" At that, she threw her megaphone down in disgust.
Yet her most frustrating actor was one Fred Baxter (Boyd), an obvious parody on Ted Baxter of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, who messed up his line ("And Now the News") a total of four times (his notable flub was "And Now the Knuckles") before Otto threatened him with a knuckle sandwich and then fired him in a total fit of rage, forcing her to read the television news herself.
In an interview she gave in 2000, Rita Moreno revealed that Otto, as well as her other famous character, Pandora, the often naughty little girl, were her favorite characters. She also explained that she was the one who gave Otto's assistant the name of Marcello.