Iris Chacón (born March 7, 1950 in Puerto Rico) is a dancer, singer, and entertainer. She enjoys great popularity in Puerto Rico (where she had a weekly variety show for more than a decade) and in other Latin American countries, as well as such U.S. locales as New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.
Chacon has been known by various nicknames, such as “La Bomba de Puerto Rico” (The Puerto Rican Bombshell), and “La Vedette de America” (America’s Showgirl). During her heyday in the 1970s and early 1980s, she toured most of Latin America, the USA, Europe and Japan. She also starred in two movies and many telenovelas, such as Yo Se Que Mentia.
Iris Chacón was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At an early age she demonstrated her inclination for the arts when she began studies in ballet and jazz. She continued her education and attended the University of Puerto Rico. As a young college student, she launched her professional career in television as a model and dancer. She continued her voice and dancing lessons and after a careful preparation, was launched as a “vedette”, a term used in Europe to define a multi-talented performer. She was the first Hispanic entertainer to ever appear on the front page of the well-known newspaper “The Wall Street Journal”. With her own television show, The Iris Chacón Show, she conquered not only her native Puerto Rico television audience, but the top ratings during prime time television for over fifteen years in such markets as New York, Miami and Chicago.
Amalie Oil commercial
In 1982, AMCAR, Inc. hired her for a television commercial about Amalie Oil’s automobile coolant products, which became one of the most famous television commercials in Puerto Rico’s history. The publicity surrounding the commercial landed her in a front page article in The Wall Street Journal in June 1983 entitled A Onetime Choirgirl Rules as Sex Goddess On Puerto Rican TV. The ad employed a play on words between the English word coolant and Spanish culon which means large derrière.
Mid-1980s to present
From 1984 through the early 1990s, Iris Chacón appeared on such American TV shows as “America Onstage”, “The Merv Griffin Show”, “Geraldo Rivera Show, and “David Letterman”.” Letterman described her as the Dolly Parton and Loni Anderson of Puerto Rico and joked about proposing to her. Merv Griffin said of her that “she was the answer to ‘Where’s the beef?’”, a reference to the Wendy’s commercial of that time period. However, by 1984, Chacón reached her peak, and not being able to reach an “Anglo” market, ended her show in Puerto Rico by mid-1985 at the age of 35. Her show aired in syndication until the end of the 1980s.
Her singing talent as well as very peculiar style, gave her two “Gold Record Awards” out of her eight LP’s “La Chacón”, as her fans call her, was the first Latin act ever presented in the famous “Radio City Music Hall” in New York, with sold-out performances for three years in a row. She has also performed at such venues as Madison Square Garden in New York and the Resorts International Hotel in Atlantic City. Throughout her careers she has been invited to many mainstream Anerican talk shows such as the David Letterman Show, The Merv Griffin Show and ‘Geraldo’ (qv. She has also been the issue for many articles in important publications like The Daily News, The Face, Interview, and cover articles for GQ, Cosmopolitan, The Village Voice, The New York Times, Latina Magazine and People en Español, among others.
Since 1998 she has hosted her own radio program, “Iris Chacón Live”, in Orlando, Florida, a program geared towards beauty, health, fitness and nutrition. As a public speaker on fitness and nutrition, Iris has traveled all over the states and Latin America. She finished her third season with Gullah Gullah Island , a children television series on the Nickelodeon television network.. Being involved with several non-profit organizations, Iris travels extensively supporting charitable events.
Recently, she starred a ten episode mini-series in Puerto Rico La Señorita Ana, a musical drama where she portrays a rich performer, retired after her husband’s sudden death, and now founder of a special school of arts and music.Chacón starred in a few motion pictures such as ‘What is This Man Doing in Your Bed Eva’ and “East Side Story”. Some of her television program footage was featured in the film ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’, starring Madonna.
Outside of the U.S., Chacon appeared on various Spanish-language programs, including Anabel, Siempre en Domingo, Mala Noche No, and Al Ritmo de la Noche which were all Televisa productions.