Birth Date: December 31, 1936
Birth Place: Madrid, Castile, Spain
Date of Death: September 6, 1963 / Age: 26
Location of Death: Hollywood, California, USA
Cause of Death: Complications from heart surgery
Biography: Margarita Sierra was only 26 when she died, yet she was a veteran performer.
Born in Spain, Margarita's father was a set designer for plays. When a child in a play was unable to make a performance, Margarita got the job at the tender age of 4. At age 8 she appeared in her first film. By 12 she stopped performing to concentrate on school.
She returned to performing after school at age 17. Instead of acting, she was now concentrating on singing. She began singing in clubs in her hometown of Madrid and quickly found success and began touring throughout Spanish-speaking nations before coming to the United States to perform in clubs in Florida.
William Orr, the executive producer of a number of hit ABC television series (including 77 Sunset Strip), saw Margarita singing in a club in New York City. He was impressed with her performance and approached her to join the cast of one of his new series creations, a series about three young detectives working from a houseboat in Miami Beach. Margarita, unfamiliar with American producers, turned down the offer; however, after much persistence from Orr, she finally agreed and joined the cast of SurfSide 6.
Margarita became Cha Cha O'Brien, the featured singer in the "Boom Boom Room" located in the Fontainebleau Hotel across the street from the SurfSide houseboat. Although she sang in Spanish in the first episode ("Country Gentleman"), she was soon performing in English, something she had never previously done. Although most of her performances were in English, she still occasionally performed a traditional Spanish number on the show. One song from the series, "The Cha Cha Twist" (from the second season episode "Who is Sylvia?") was released as a 45 by Warner Brothers records in hopes of capitalizing on the success of the show. The song, however, never made Billboard magazine's "Top 100" pop chart. SurfSide 6 lasted for two seasons on ABC before being cancelled in 1962.
Margarita, sadly, never had another success. Plagued with heart problems, she died in 1963 after heart surgery. She never married.