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Charo Biography

María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza Rasten (born March 13, 1951, though other sources state 1941), better known as Charo, is a Spanish and American singer, dancer, comedian, actress and classical guitarist. She is known for her flamboyant stage presence, provocative outfits, and her trademark phrase ("cuchi-cuchi").

Charo was born in Murcia, Spain. Official documents in Spain and the United States indicate she was born in 1941, but Charo insists she actually was born in 1951, a claim that has been upheld in court. Read Full Bio >>

Charo Trivia

  • Her father was a lawyer who was exiled to Casablanca during the Franco dictatorship, returning only when Franco died.
  • Her mother was a homemaker.
  • She attended the Catholic convent of the Sacred Heart, where she began playing guitar at age 9.
  • Charo received the Distinguished Career Award from Hispanic Exhibitor and Distributor.
  • She is fluent in Spanish (native language), English, French, Italian, and Japanese.
  • She was winner of 'Guitar magazine''s Readers Poll as Best Flamenco Guitarist two years in a row.
  • 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."
  • When she was 14, she won a scholarship to study classical guitar with Andrés Segovia.
  • Her son, Shel Rasten, is a philosophy major at the University of Southern California.
  • Became a U.S. citizen in 1977.
  • 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 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
  • 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.
  • She was being  considered for the role of Eva Perón in Evita (1996).

Charo Photos

  • Charo

    24th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala - Arrivals

  • Charo Cantrell

    Independent Hollywood's "90's Nostalgia Film & Music Tour" - Arrivals

  • Anneisha McLaughlin (JAM), Charonda Williams (USA)

    2012 Track and Field - 2012 Aviva London Grand Prix - July 13, 2012

  • Charonda Williams

    2012 Track and Field - U.S. Olympic Team Trials - June 22, 2012

  • Shane Warren Jones, Matt Mullins, Kevin Tancharoen, Jeri Ryan, Michael Jai White, Ian Anthony Dale and Maurissa Tancharoen

    "Mortal Kombat: Legacy" TV Series Hollywood Premiere Celebration - Arrivals

  • Charo

    Los Angeles Dream Center Hosts a Special Day for Underprivileged Families on July 24, 2010

  • more

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