Just four months after she lost her husband of over 40 years, actress Charo is opening up about moving on from tragedy. The Love Boat star — who gave her first interview since husband Kjell Rasten died by suicide at age 78 in February — revealed that in order to find joy again, you have to focus on one thing.
“You must live! And you must watch out for the people you love!” she shared with The New York Times. “I have a plan. I want to change the world. I know what I want, what I want is what people want.”
On February 18, the 68-year-old beauty found her husband’s body after searching around their home for him while singing, “Good morning, good morning.” The Thumbelina actress recalled the horrific tragedy. “My husband put a bullet in his head. I have an invisible bullet in my heart,” she said.
Following the devastating loss of her husband, Charo — whose real name is Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza — admitted that she spent 30 days isolated in her bedroom feeling “empty” before coming to the realization that her time “as a woman has ended,” meaning she will never find love with another man. “I love life. I will continue entertaining, and I will continue praying,” she gushed.
In a statement issued the day after his passing, Charo opened up about her husband’s shocking death. “Yesterday, Kjell, my husband of forty years and the love of my life killed himself. There are no words to describe what we are feeling now,” she said at the time. “He was an amazing man, a great husband and the best father I could imagine to our son [Shel Rasten]. He dedicated his life to loving and supporting his family.”
Also in the initial statement, the comedian revealed that her husband developed a “rare and horrible skin disease” called bullous pemphigoid as well as depression. Charo explained that the medication Kjell was taking for his skin condition “became too much for him” to handle along with mental health issues. “He ended his suffering.”
Even though Charo’s longtime love was struggling, she told the newspaper that he never spoke of suicide. “One day, if I behave good and I go up [to Heavan], I’m going to look for him and I’m going to say, ‘I’m still looking for that note,'” she playfully teased.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.