Charo’s husband of 40 years, Kjell Rasten, died on Monday, February 18, from an apparent suicide, according to multiple reports. He was 79.
TMZ reported that Rasten shot himself in the couple’s Beverly Hills house at approximately 2 p.m. Charo, 68, was reportedly home at the time. According to the website, police and paramedics responded to the residence after receiving a 911 call. The first responders transported Rasten to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Blast reported that the unidentified 911 caller initially thought Rasten had fallen and hit his head. An eyewitness told the site that an inconsolable Charo ran out of the house screaming. She reportedly rode in the ambulance with her husband as he was brought to the hospital.
According to The Blast, Rasten used a semi-automatic pistol. He did not appear to leave behind a note.
Charo and Rasten married in August 1978 in a civil ceremony in South Lake Tahoe, California. She was previously wed to musician Xavier Cugat from 1966 to 1978. The TV star and Rasten, who worked as a movie producer and later as Charo’s manager, shared one child, a 37-year-old son named Shel.
Charo (real name María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza) is best known for her appearances on The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Laugh-In, Thumbelina and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. She has also released several albums since the mid-1970s.
Charo, Rasten and their son, Shel, appeared in a 2015 episode of Celebrity Wife Swap alongside the actress’ former Love Boat costar Jill Whelan.
Us Weekly has reached out to the Beverly Hills Police Department and Charo’s rep for comment.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!