Best Known For
Charo is a singer, musician and actress best known for her Latin sassiness, sexy outfits and signature phrase during the 1970s, "Cuchi-cuchi."
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Charo is a singer, musician and actress who was born on January 15, 1951 (though some sources report her birth date as March 13, 1941), in Murcia, Spain. She emerged as a star in America in the 1970s with her Latin sassiness, sexy outfits and signature phrase, "Cuchi-cuchi." She appeared on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, The Carol Burnett Show, The Hollywood Squares,
The Tonight Show and The Love Boat. In the 1980s she scaled back her career to focus on her family. The next two decades saw her release several albums featuring her singing and guitar skills. Charo's appearance on the reality show The Surreal Life gained her a new legion of fans.
Latin singer, musician and actress Charo was born Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza on January 15, 1951 (though some sources report that she was born on March 13, 1941), in Murcia, Spain.
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. At the age of 16, Charo was discovered by bandleader 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 appeared with him and alone on The Ed Sullivan Show several times in the late 1960s. In Las Vegas, Charo initially performed with her husband and later developed her own popular nightclub act. She made her film debut in Tiger by the Tail (1968) with Tippi Hedren. By the early 1970s, she had begun to break out on her own and continued to make guest appearances on such shows as Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, The Carol Burnett Show and The Hollywood Squares. Charo was also a regular guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Although she was a versatile performer, she became best known for the sassy Latina with the bubbly personality and bombshell looks. Charo could often be heard uttering her famous catchphrase, "Cuchi-cuchi," which was usually accompanied by a wiggle of the hips. The phrase came from a childhood pet, a dog named Cuchillo.
Near the end of the decade, Charo seemed to be everywhere. On television, she had her own special in 1976 and appeared on the comedy Chico and the Man with comedian Freddie Prinze for a season and had recurring role on The Love Boat. In addition to acting, Charo also performed a nightclub act and released several records, including La Salsa (1976) and Dance a Little Bit Closer (1978).
This time also meant big changes in her personal life. Charo divorced Cugat in 1978 and married Kjell Rasten that same year. Not long after the birth of their son, Shel Joseph, in 1982, they moved to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Focused on her family, she scaled back on performing.
profile name: Charo profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Originally called Toast of the Town, The Ed Sullivan Show ran from 1948-1971 on CBS and was an American staple in the 50s and 60s. The American variety show featured the Who's Who of celebritydom over the decades, including Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Tony Bennett, Carol Channing, Lucille Ball, The Jackson 5, and The Doors.
The Ed Sullivan Show Guests 215 people in this group
Famous Capricorns 515 people in this group
They make music with instruments they were born with - their voices. Gifted vocalists have entertained audiences across musical genres from the tour de force arias of Luciano Pavarotti to the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the soulful vocals of artists like Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. With their powerful lyricism, singers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen became poet laureates of American music while artists including Joan Baez and Joe Strummer used their voices to prompt social change while they entertained. Rockers from Elvis Presley to The Beatles to Kurt Cobain helped define their generations through their songs while icons like Michael Jackson, Cher and Whitney Houston shaped pop culture with their larger-than-life voices and personas. See these and more famous singers who have struck a chord in musical history.
Famous Singers 774 people in this group