Mar. 13th, 1941
Charo's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Charo was born on March 13, 1941 in Murcia, Spain as María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza. She is an actress, known for Perry Como's Easter in Guadalajara (1982), Christmas at Pee Wee's Playhouse (1988) and Paul Lynde Goes MA-A-A-AD (1979). She has been married to Kjell Rasten since August 11, 1978. They have one child. She was previously married to Xavier Cugat.
Known for her long blonde hair, sexy clothes and trademark phrase, "Cuchi-cuchi," Charo first made a big impression on American audiences in the 1970s. She started out, however, as a serious musician. As a child, she studied classical guitar and was mentored by one of that field's great performers, Andres Segovia. As a teenager, Charo was discovered by Latin bandleader and 'Rumba King,' Xavier Cugat, and soon joined his orchestra as a singer and dancer. Despite a more than 40-year age difference, Charo and Cugat wed in 1966.
- She attended the Catholic convent of the Sacred Heart, where she began playing guitar at age 9.
- Became a U.S. citizen in 1977.
- Her trademark "cuchi, cuchi" comes from her nickname for her dog, Cuchillo (Spanish for "knife"): "When Cuchillo was happy he wiggled. I copied him and I used to say 'como Cuchi, como Cuchi'. Everybody thought that it was very cute when I wiggled and say cuchi-cuchi, and they give me cookies and candy. Now, every time I say cuchi-cuchi, people give me money."
- Her mother was a homemaker.
- Charo long maintained that her stated date of birth was incorrect due to a "clerical error." Official documents in Spain and the United States maintained she was born in 1941, but Charo argued she was actually younger. In 1977 she went to court, and was able to successfully convince the judge to rule that she was born in 1951. This would have made her 15 at the time of her marriage, and the legitimacy of this date is widely questioned.
- Received the Distinguished Career Award from Hispanic Exhibitor and Distributor.
- Cugat brought the then 16 year old Charo and her mother and sister to America on a student visa after he discovered her, but she had to return to Spain and wait two years to come back because she was a minor.
- Married 'Xavier Cugat' (qv) at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.