Mostly Credited As: Charo
Sometimes Credited As: Charo Cugat
Birth Name: María Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza
Date Of Birth: January 15, 1945 (Age 71)
Country Of Birth: Spain
Birth Place: Murcia
Height: 5' 4" (1.62 m)
Charo was born in Murcia, Spain. Her full name is María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza de Rasten. Her father was an attorney. As a young adult, she became a television comedienne and flamenco guitar star, popular on talk-shows for her flamboyant personality.
At the age of nine, Charo became a student of the world’s foremost classical and flamenco guitar teacher, Andrés Segovia. Because of her high level of skills on the guitar, she eventually met the famous bandleader Xavier Cugat. She married him in August of 1966. Charo was headlining Las Vegas shows by 1971.
Charo, an extraordinarily talented performer, has been named as the "Best Flamenco Guitarist" in Guitar Player Magazine’s Readers' Poll twice.
Throughout the 1970s, Charo was in demand on American television, appearing 21 times on The Love Boat alone, as well as on other TV programs such as Tony Orlando and Dawn, The Captain and Tenille, Donny and Marie, and The Mike Douglas Show, on which she was once a guest-host.
Charo had her own dinner theater in Hawaii during the 1990s, where she and her husband/manager, Kjell Rasten, moved with their son. They had married in 1978 after Charo’s divorce from bandleader Xavier Cugat was finalized.
After the year 2000, Charo returned to performing in Las Vegas. She also acted in some TV commercials for top American corporations. Charo now goes on tour with her show, and is a regular on Jerry Lewis’ Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon. Besides being a stellar Spanish guitarist, she is noted for her sunny personality and signature phrase, "¡Cuchi-cuchi!".