Charo’s Husband, Kjell Rasten, Commits Suicide In Their Beverly Hills Home

Charo attends the official 2018 Streamys After Party at SkyBar
Randy Shropshire / Getty Images

Charo’s longtime husband, Kjell Rasten, 79, died on Monday at his Beverly Hills home from an apparent suicide.

According to TMZ, Rasten allegedly shot himself around 2 p.m. in the couple’s home, and Charo was home at the time of his death. First responders were called to the scene, and transported Rasten to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Blast reports that the 911 caller initially believed that Kjell had fallen and hit his head. Meanwhile, Charo was absolutely devastated by her husband’s death. The singer reportedly ran out of the house screaming and covered in blood. She also rode in the ambulance with Rasten as he was transported to the hospital.

Kjell reportedly did not leave behind a suicide note to say any final goodbyes to his family, or give any reason about why he would end his own life.

Us Weekly reports that Charo, whose real name is Maria del Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza, shot to fame due to TV appearances on shows such as The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Laugh-In, Thumbelina, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Charo has released several albums since the 1970s, and is also known for her guitar playing and lively onstage personality and performances. The singer’s official website reveals that she’s a talented actress, comedian, and flamenco guitarist, having started playing the instrument at the age of 9, and trained under famed musician Andres Segovia.

Charo was first married to Xavier Cugat from 1966 to 1978, before spending 40 years of marriage with Kjell Rasten. The couple tied the knot during a civil ceremony in South Lake Tahoe in August 1978. Kjell worked as a movie producer and later became Charo’s manager.

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The couple share one child together, a 37-year-old son named Shel, who appeared with both his mother and father during a 2015 episode of Celebrity Wife Swap with the singer’s former Love Boat co-star, Jill Whelan.

Charo has also appeared on other reality shows, including The Surreal Life, where she lived with many other seemingly forgotten celebrities and participated in challenges along the way. She also had a stint on Dancing With the Stars, where she brought some fun and flair into the ballroom during her time on the show. In addition, the singer/actress also also appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Charo and her family have yet to release an official statement about the death of her husband, Kjell Rasten, or his funeral arrangements.


If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.