Raquel Rocks As a Cave Girl or a Space Girl
Raquel Welch shot to fame in "One Million Years B.C.," a film which she carried by prancing about in a leather bikini. During the '60s, Raquel was in a series of films showcasing her fine physique in leather and latex, such as "Fantastic Voyage," "100 Rifles," "Bandolero," "Hannie Caulder" and (best of all) "The Magic Christian."
|"Fantastic Voyage" - OK, I know it's not leather, but still....|
Raquel was born Jo Raquel Tejada on September 5, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois.
She was always a beautiful girl, and entered beauty contests before snagging a job as a weather girl. Basically, she was a cocktail waitress trying to break into show biz. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. For her, it did.
|With Ringo Starr in "The Magic Christian." Several slightly different versions of this follow|
She made her film debut in 1964, playing a call girl in the film "A House Is Not a Home." She also was briefly in an Elvis film, "Roustabout," that same year.
Raquel was just trying to break into showbiz and she hustled like anyone else. One of Welch's casting call interviews (even before her first film role) didn't lead to a job, unfortunately, but it has entered the annals of Hollywood lore anyway: Raquel auditioned for the role of Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island." It might have given a lot of the "Mary Ann or Ginger" debates a whole new spin.
|As a space girl in "Mork and Mindy"|
Raquel's breakthrough role was in "One Million Years B.C." (1966). She had no lines, just strutted about in a leather bikini. That was enough to create a sensation. Her posters adorned many a lad's bedroom in the late '60s.
Rarely recognized as a great actress, Raquel actually has a lot of raw talent. She won a Golden Globe Award for best actress for her role in "The Three Musketeers" (1973).
Raquel also is a very good dancer. She was doing dance moves to hot tracks decades before Britney Spears.
Raquel does some acting on the stage, too. She was in the Broadway musical "Woman of the Year" (1982).
Raquel is the author of "Total Beauty and Fitness Programme" (1984).
Raquel was a well-known party girl in Hollywood in the late '70s. She calmed down later ... a little.
|Most of these cave girl pictures are from "One Million Years B.C."|
Raquel attended San Diego State University.
Not everybody is a fan. She can be a bit of a diva.
"Raquel Welch is the rudest, most unprofessional actress I've ever had the displeasure of working with, and if I could, I would spank her from here to Aswan." -- James Mason.Well, James, all I can say about that is... so would a lot of other men.
She married James Welch in 1959, then divorced him in 1964 just as her career began taking off. The marriage produced a daughter, Tahnee Welch (b. 26-Dec-1961) and a son, Damon Welch. Tahnee did some acting of her own, most notably in the "Cocoon" films. Tahnee basically disappeared from show biz around 2000 and many rumors swirl about her. Raquel, though, just keeps on keeping on.
After her daughter had had a full career, Raquel resurrected a comeback in "Legally Blonde" and its sequel. She remains a very beautiful woman in her '70s.
Raquel has quite a pedigree. Her father is a Bolivian rocket scientist, and her mother is a Mayflower descendant.
She also was married to Patrick Curtis in 1967, divorced in 1972.
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
Another marriage was to Andre Weinfeld, on 5-Jul-1980. They separated in 1989, divorced in 1990.
Raquel starred on "Spin City" as Abby Lassiter from 1997-2000.
Raquel starred in both "The Three Musketeers" (11-Dec-1973) and sequel "The Four Musketeers" (25-Dec-1974) as Constance.
She also was in "Mother, Jugs & Speed" (26-May-1976). She did not play Mother.
Her most notorious role was in Myra Breckinridge (24-Jun-1970). It is difficult to explain her role, but it involved her wearing a stars and stripe one-piece, so it's all good.
She was married to Richard Palmer, a restaurateur, on 17-Jul-1999. It's unclear where that marriage stands, but they aren't together any longer.
Raquel gets married a lot.
Raquel Welch is the classic Hollywood sexpot. Look it up, there's her picture.
Raquel did not come by her very fine dancing by accident. She studied ballet for ten years. The ironic thing is that dancing is perhaps her greatest trained skill, and yet she very rarely did it in films.
She was employed for years as the spokesperson for Foster Grant glasses.
|I highly doubt that girls in the Olde West actually dressed like that.|
Raquel did several cheesy Westerns in the early '70s, such as "Hannie Caulder" and "100 Rifles." Basically, she always played a spicy hot girl in the Old West who gets even. With whom she gets even isn't really the point - she just gets even. And she does it with style.
She worked with Burt Reynolds in "100 Rifles," and she killed the Ernest Borgnine character in "Hannie Caulder." Okay, they're not Laurence Olivier, but she's worked with a lot of top names.
|This is odd, no idea of the significance. She did a lot of funny shots in her dressing room and such during filming of "One Million Years B.C.," she probably saw a Cross for another film and jumped on up.|
There were problems at home during her childhood. Her father, she claims, was abusive to her mother. At one point, Raquel picked up a poker from the fireplace and told her daddy to back the hell down.
|Having a little fun in the late '70s. I'd bet big money that those are bell bottoms. There are many rumors about Raquel's adventures in those days. Come to think of it, there are always a lot of rumors swirling around Raquel.|
In junior high school, aged 13, Raquel got her braids cut into a shorter style 'with curls and all pretty and girly.' Her father, with some justification, worried that this was too sexy a look for a 13-year-old and forced her to cut the curls off, which left her with very short hair for a while.
|Nice chaps, around the time of "Myra Breckinridge." She's just fitting right into that whole John Wayne "True Grit" western theme, right?|
Raquel still occasionally makes red carpet appearances. She very obviously puts a lot of time and thought into making herself look good, and it pays off every single time.
|Raquel wears jade very nicely|
While Raquel was often cast as native American girls and wears jade and leather vests and feathers and such, she has absolutely no connection to the Native American community whatsoever. Nada, zero, zilch. Her father, the Bolivian, was of Spanish descent.
Oh, I just found out that she and Palmer were divorced in 2008. So she's available, fellas!
Raquel, as I mentioned above, was in "Roustabout" in 1964, one of her first roles. Think hard, you remember "Roustabout." Yes you do. Believe me. One word: Elvis. She was in a bar scene early in the film, before it got all weird with Barbara Stanwyck and the circus and all that. Personally I think it was one of Elvis' best films, though nobody else thinks that. Lots of turmoil and deep thoughts and pretty ladies and motorcycles and.... Oh wait, this page is about Raquel, sorry, I drifted.
Raquel is still acting as I type this. She makes appearances on shows like CSI:Miami, and makes television films and stuff. Believe me, acting in anything after you've been at it all these years is quite an accomplishment.
Going back to the beginning, Raquel was a weather forecaster at KFMB, a local San Diego television station, while in college. She was kind of drifting at that point, wound up in Dallas (don't know if she was there in November 1963, probably not since she auditioned for "Gilligan's Island" that that pilot was filmed in November, but that would have been cool, oh wait, I drifted again). Later, Raquel moved to LA.
The role that landed her a contract with 20th Century Fox was "A Swingin' Summer." In those days, they gave young actors seven-year contracts, and they were strict contracts - you did what they said. Actually, that practice never really died out. I knew a guy offered such a contract after he got a good role in a Bill Murray film. He turned it down, felt it was too limiting. To my knowledge, he never worked again. Generally, you signed the contract if it was offered. Lots of big stars became big that way.
Raquel is a true veteran of TV movies. She was in some classics like "The Legend of Walks Far Woman" and "Right to Die." Remember what I said earlier about her not being connected to the Native American community? Well, that sure didn't prevent her from walking far.
|You can see the dance training in this shot|
Back when Playboy was still (reasonably) cool, it named her as Most Desired Woman of the 1970s.
Yes, we love Raquel! Below is an absolutely shameless clip from "Hannie Caulder."
And below is a scene from a film that is extremely reminiscent of a Bond film, right down to the speedboat, the snappy patter and the secret weapons. Raquel, though, never did become a Bond girl, unfortunately. It is from "Fathom" (1967), one of innumerable '60s spy films riding the coattails of the Bond franchise. Raquel played Fathom, a kind of international playgirl. This was probably intended to lead to a series just like the Bond films, but it never did. The script played around with her name and where it came from, not unlike Chevy Chase a decade later in... oh, sorry, drifted again. Anyway, this is a memorable scene due to a certain lime-green bikini and the lady inside it.