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 and '70s, Raquel epitomized careless joy and abandon.
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 trying out for a spot on "Gilligan's Island" in 1963.|
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. Unfortunately, she did not get the part.
|Raquel as a space girl in ABC's "Mork and Mindy" (1979).|
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.
|Raquel as a Necroton on Mork And Mindy.|
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 dancing during a 1970s special.|
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 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. Raquel 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. Spank her, that is. She can be a handful.
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.
Raquel also was married to Patrick Curtis in 1967. They divorced in 1972.
Raquel 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.
Raquel also was in Bill Cosby's "Mother, Jugs & Speed" (26-May-1976). Raquel did not play Mother or Speed.
Raquel's most notorious role was in Myra Breckinridge (24-Jun-1970). It is difficult to explain her role in that film, which involved some... unique characters. Myra Breckinridge put Raquel into a stars and stripe one-piece swimming suit, though, so it's all good.
Raquel 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. Some sources say they divorced in 2008.
Raquel gets married a lot.
Raquel Welch is the classic Hollywood sexpot. Look the word up in the dictionary, there's her picture.
Raquel, as noted, is an outstanding dancer. She did not come by her skills 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.
Raquel 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.
In 1978, Raquel appeared in the three episodes of the "The Muppet Show." You'd be surprised at the people who appeared on "The Muppet Show." Buddy Rich appeared on "The Muppet Show." For real. No joke. Oh, and Bob Hope appeared in one of their movies. If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'.
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 has her own line of wigs.|
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.
Americans have always had sex symbols. It'a time-honored tradition and I'm flattered to have been one. But it's hard to have a long, fruitful career once you've been stereotyped that way. That's why I'm proud to say I've endured.
Raquel auditioned for the role of Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island" and failed to get it. How she could ever have been overlooked is hard to figure out, but eventually she got the recognition she deserved.
Many people don't realize that Raquel traces her roots back to the Mayflower on her mother's side. On her father's side, she is of Bolivian/Spanish descent. Based on known genealogy, Raquel's entire heritage is European, though most people have other influences as well and she most likely does, too. Raquel is her real first name, and Welch the name of her first husband - the one she says was the best.
Once you get rid of the idea that you must please other people before you please yourself, and you begin to follow your own instincts - only then can you be successful. You become more satisfied, and when you are, other people will tend to be satisfied by what you do.
Herewith, a look at Raquel's iconic outfits over the years, which invariably involved leather in some way.
One Million Years B.C.Raquel Welch shot to fame in "One Million Years B.C.," a 1966 film which she carried by prancing about in a leather bikini. Raquel didn't really want to do it, pleading "Please, please don't make me do the dinosaur movie," but the studio insisted, and it made her a star.
There wasn't much, if any, dialog. It was all about Raqueland her iconic leather look. Most teenage boys in the late '60s to early '70s had a picture of Raquel from this film on their walls or in their basement or out in the garage or, well, somewhere. Not a great film, but great shots of Raquel, who apparently spent days shooting promo stills for it.
|"One Million Years B.C." received a lot publicity|
|This is the famous poster shot that became a sensation in the 1960s.|
The Magic Christian"The Magic Christian" was based on the Terry Southern novel. Southern was the writer who penned "Dr. Strangelove," so there were high hopes for this film. Like many films of the period, though, it tried to do too much and lost its way.
The one standout, though, was Raquel Welch in a cameo as a whip-wielding dominatrix in charge of rowers of a pleasure barge. Nobody really remembers the film anymore, which starred Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr, but lots of viewers remember Raquel and her sexy leather outfit.
Myra Breckinridge"Myra Breckinridge" was a disaster. The studio, Twentieth Century Fox, was facing a generational shift and lost its footing. Seeking to capture the youthful audience that was more interested in rock concerts and protests than standard films, it hired a young, inexperienced director in the hope he could infuse a swingin' 60s vibe to the hit Gore Vidal novel. Unfortunately, it didn't work, the film turned out to be an incoherent mess, and the film only managed to ruin the comeback of Mae West and the attempted breakout of Farrah Fawcett. Mae never really came back, Farrah had to wait long years until Charlie's Angels rescued her career from oblivion, and Raquel, well, she just marched on to her next film.
|Nice chaps, posing during the filming of "Myra Breckinridge" in front of poster of John Wayne's "True Grit" (1969).|
A Few Random ShotsWhile "One Million Years B.C." opened a lot of doors for Raquel Welch, "Myra Breckinridge" closed many of them again. Still, she persevered and did some fine work in the early '70s, including lead roles in outstanding films such as "Hannie Caulder," "The Three Musketeers" and "Mother, Jugs and Speed."
By the middle of the 1970s, though, the leading roles had dried up and Raquel turned to television movies. More recently, she has been a semi-regular on a string of television series, with the occasional movie role such as in the "Legally Blonde." It is a classic career arc, and Raquel has played it perfectly. Below are various shots, all from her heyday in the 1970s.
|"Fantastic Voyage" (1966).|
Raquel never did become a Bond girl, unfortunately. However, she was in "Fathom" (1967), one of innumerable '60s spy films riding the coattails of the Bond franchise. Raquel played Fathom, a kind of international playgirl. It probably was projected to become a film series like Bond, but never did.
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." However, aside from a couple of efforts in the 1970s such as "The Three Musketeers" which spawned a sequel, Raquel never managed to hop on the series train like so many actresses do today.
If you have physical attractiveness, you don't have to act.