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Xavier Cugat was a composer, writer, actor from the 1930s to 1970s. He was born in Spain, but he was 3 when his family moved to Cuba. As a teen, he moved to Los Angeles and worked as a newspaper cartoonist. But his first love was music, and after years of playing small clubs, he got a job at the Coconut Grove in 1928. That started a Latin music craze. He was later nicknamed "The Rhumba King". He had cameo appearances in movies as himself. But he is also well remembered for his succession of "young beautiful proteges", including Lita Baron, Abbe Lane, and Charo (he married the last two of them). In the 1950s, he drew some illustration art for MGM, resurrecting his earlier cartoonist career. He passed away in 1990 at the age of 90.
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