Charo's Husband Kjell Rasten Reportedly Dead by Suicide at 79

Charo's husband of more than 40 years died Monday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to TMZ. He was 79.

The news outlet reports that Kjell Rasten died by suicide Monday around 2 p.m. in his and Charo's Beverly Hills home, according to law enforcement sources. Charo, 68, was reportedly home at the time.

Police and paramedics responded after someone inside the house called 911. Rasten was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

charo-kjell-rasten_getty-Ron Galella : Contributor
(Photo: Ron Galella / Contributor, Getty)

Rasten and Charo were married for more than 40 years following their 1978 marriage. He and the 1970s icon shared one child, Shel Rasten, the drummer for the heavy metal band Treazen.

Charo's representative told Entertainment Tonight that she has no comment and asks for respect for the family's privacy at this time.

Rasten began his career as a TV producer in the '70s and '80s, marrying Charo in 1978 and becoming her manager soon after. The couple welcomed son Shel in 1981.

Charo, whose real name is María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza, appeared with Rasten and Shel on a 2015 episode of Celebrity Wife Swap with Charo's former Love Boat co-star, Jill Whelan. Charo appeared on Dancing With the Stars in 2017.

Charo rose to fame in the 1970s, although she started appearing on TV in the United States, like The Today Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, in the mid to late 1960s. The Spanish-born singer and dancer became known for her almost complete lack of fluency in the English language and for her catchphrase "cuchi-cuchi."

By 1971 she was headlining shows in Las Vegas and by 1977 became a naturalized citizen of the United States. She appeared on The Love Boat eight times as well as variety and talk shows like Donny & Marie, Tony Orlando and Dawn, The Captain and Tennille and the short-lived Brady Bunch variety spinout.

In the late 1980s and 1990s, Charo and Rasten moved to Hawaii and opened their own dinner theater.

She returned to TV in the 2000s, appearing in Sprint and GEICO commercials as well as appearing on Hollywood Squares, The Surreal Life and even That '70s Show.


During her appearance on season 24 of Dancing With the Stars in 2017, she was paired with pro dancer Keo Motsepe; they were the second couple eliminated and finished in 11th place.

If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.