Charo was supposed to play at Katie Belle’s on Thursday but due to a family tragedy – the suicide of her husband on Monday – she canceled the shows.
Kjell Rasten, 78, was found dead Monday afternoon at the Beverly Hills home he shared with Charo, 68. The couple had been together four decades.
“It’s a tragedy and all our sympathy goes out to Charo,” said Villager “DJ” Al Brady, who was scheduled to appear with Charo and host the two dinner shows on Thursday at Katie Belle’s.
Charo became popular in America during the 1970s. She was married to famed bandleader Xavier Cugat and appeared on television variety shows.
Charo, who came from Spain, offered comedy and song, in addition to playing classic guitar.
TMZ reported that after police and paramedics responded to the scene, Rasten was transported to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Charo issued a statement on his death on Tuesday to USA Today: “Yesterday, Kjell, my husband of 40 years and the love of my life, killed himself. There are no words to describe what we are feeling now. He was an amazing man, a great husband and the best father I could imagine to our son. He dedicated his life to loving and supporting his family.”
Charo told USA Today that Rasten’s physical and mental health had declined in recent years due to bullous pemphigoid, an autoimmune disorder which causes chronic blistering of the skin, and the medications (including steroids) he was prescribed to treat it.
“As a result, she said, Rasten, 78, became “very depressed.” That, along with the many medications he needed to take, became too much for him.
Using her family’s own grief as a teachable moment, Charo urged fans to make an extra effort to remind friends or relatives suffering from depression or other illnesses that they are loved, USA Today reported.
“Please, if anyone you know and love is suffering from depression or illness, hold them close, tell them you love them with all your heart and that the world is better because they are in it,” urged Charo, whose real name is María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza. “Get any help you can. Suicide is not the answer.”
Tony Violanti is a journalist and writes for Villages-News.com.