Is there a baby boomer that doesn’t know who I am? Cuchi-Cuchi!
My real name is Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Moquiere de Les Esperades Ana Romanguera y de la Nojosa Rasten, but I shortened it for my show business career.
Lets clear up my real age. My Spanish birth certificate records 1941, but when I married 66 year-old bandleader Xavier Cugat (in 1966) I was listed as 1951. Reporters at the time said I was 20. At my divorce from Xavier, the court upheld the 1951 birth year. So take your pick. At any age, I was one hot Latin mama.
My combination of sex, singing and satire was so popular I was headlining Las Vegas shows by the early 1970s and getting as much money as Frank Sinatra. A baby boomer could hardly turn on the television without seeing my cuchi-cuchi. Eight Love Boat appearances, which must be a record, plus the variety show circuit: Donny & Marie, Captain and Tennille, Mike Douglas.
I had a pop culture recognition quotient of 80%, the same as Clint Eastwood. However, research at the time showed that the more people knew who I was, the less popular I became. It’s called “overexposure.” I may have been a “one-trick philly,” but oh, what a philly! Time to go to pasture.
During the late 80s, I retreated to Hawaii, where I performed at my own dinner theatre. Of course, I couldn’t stay completely out of the Hollywood limelight, so I guested on Hollywood Squares, did Sprint commercials, a few stints on the celebrity-reality series The Surreal Life, and headlined I Love the 70s retrospectives.
Today, at age ? I still do shows in Las Vegas and the Las Vegas of the Midwest: Branson, Missouri. I’m also the Celebrity Showtime Entertainer aboard Royal Caribbean Sea cruises, where the only things that have more moves than me are the waves.
By the way, I’m most proud of the music talent you probably know nothing about. I’m a classically trained guitarist who studied under Andres Segovia and has been named “Best Flamenco Guitarist” in Guitar Player Magazine twice.
Baby Boomer Trivia Questions
►You know cuchi-cuchi. Connect the phrase to the show or star:
Ya ba da ba do
Schmel, Smazel, Hasensffer, Incorporated
Homer Pyle / Laverne and Shirely / Flintstones / Good Times
►Charo never made the cover of the Rolling Stone. One of these 1970s singers did:
Answers at end of post
►Connect the phrase to the show or star:
Ya ba da ba do→ Flintstones
Shazaam→ Homer Pyle
Schmel, Smazel, Hasensffer, Incorporated→ Laverne and Shirely
Dy-no-mite!→ Good Times