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Charo, The Singer Well-Known For ‘The Love Boat’ Is Alive And Well At 70

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You may never have heard of María Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza but you’ve likely heard of her stage name, Charo. Charo is an actress, singer, and flamenco guitarist. You may remember her from the iconic series The Love Boat as well as her appearances on Laugh-In and Fantasy Island. Now, Charo is 70 and still very much alive and well!

She was born in Spain. Her birth date and year were up for dispute but it was finally ruled that she was born on January 15, 1951. Charo grew up going to a convent when she was a child until around 15 years old. There, she learned the guitar and later studied classical and flamenco guitar.

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Whatever happened to singing and acting sensation Charo?

Charo, ca. 1970s / Everett Collection

She was discovered by Xavier Cugat and they got married in 1966. Charo later claimed that getting married to Xavier was a business contract and a way for her to come to the United States legally and begin a career in New York. In the late ’60s, her music career began to take off and she appeared on several television shows including The Today Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, and Laugh-In. It was around this time she began using her catchphrase “cuchi-cuchi.”

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RELATED: The Cast Of ‘The Love Boat’ Then And Now 2021

THE LOVE BOAT, Gavin MacLeod, Charo, (as April Lopez), 1977-1984. (c)Aaron Spelling Productions/Everett Collection

Charo became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1977 and divorced Xavier a year later. The same year she married producer Kjell Rasten and they have one child together. They were married until his death in 2019. Charo revealed that he died by suicide after a battle with a rare and horrible skin disease called bullous pemphigoid. Her career blossomed in the ’70s and she appeared on The Love Boat, Donny & Marie, and The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

WORN STORIES, Charo, (Season 1, aired April 1, 2021). photo: Ali Goldstein / ©Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Throughout the ’80s and 2000s, she continued to release albums and appear on television. Charo toured across the country and even became an entertainer on many cruise ships. In 2017, she appeared on Dancing with the Stars. She has often appeared on reality television shows as herself including The Surreal Life and Hollywood Squares. Her latest project is a movie called The Bitch Who Stole Christmas.

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