She’s bringing “Cuchi, Cuchi” to the Dancing with the Stars ballroom!
Here are five things to know about the actress/flamenco guitarist.
1. Her real name isn’t Charo.
Although audiences know her as Charo, the actress was born as María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baez. Though it’s unknown how she came up with her stage name, we like it.
2. She was born in Spain, where she learned to play guitar.
Charo was born in Murcia, Region of Murcia, Spain. When she was a girl, Charo was a student at Andres Segovia’s school for underprivileged children, where she studied guitar.
“Before him, people associated classical guitar with the tablao, gypsy flamenco, but it never was of the category like piano, viola, cello,” she previously told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Segovia said, ‘Excuse me, if you play that way, then you’ve got to belong to the symphony.’ The institution had great young teachers and students. Everything was a charity. Mr. Segovia, between concerts that’s when he’d come, and if you’d been there a year and you weren’t good, you’d go out and they would give your place to another young kid.”
3. Her real age has been a bit of a secret for years.
Though most media outlets report that she is 65 years old, the date of her birth is unknown. When Charo first got married in 1978, news outlets had reported that she was 20 years old, which means she had to have been born in 1951. However, Charo has claimed on different accounts that she was born in 1947 and 1949.
4. She is married and has one son.
In 1978, Charo married her second husband, Kjell Rasten, a producer who later became her manager. Three years later, the couple had their only son together, Shel Rasten, who is the drummer for the heavy metal band Treazen.
“She’s the best mom I can imagine,” Rasten previously told OWN. “She’s my mom. She is what she is. She’s honest and fierce and very protective and supportive to an incredible extent.”
And although he admitted that she can be “slightly embarrassing,” he is extremely proud of her: “I couldn’t imagine being more fortunate that to have her as my mother.”
5. The meaning behind her infamous phrase “Cuchi, Cuchi” may have a completely different meaning than what you think.
Despite her forward thrusts and provocative (but playful!) dance moves, “Cuchi, Cuchi” has a slightly different meaning than what you might think.
“Cuchillo [knife in Spanish], that was the name of my dog,” Charo previously told OWN. “He was a mix between a St. Bernard and a pit bull. I make a joke about that. First he bites you and then he runs for help. But I call him ‘cuchi cuchi.’ ”
Season 24 0f Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday at 8 p.m ET on ABC.