Raquel Welch


Actor
Raquel Welch

About

Also Known As
Jo-Raquel Tejada
Birth Place
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Born
September 05, 1940

Biography

The last of the Hollywood sex symbols, Raquel Welch began appearing in films in the mid-1960s and enjoyed a run as pin-up girl after capturing the public's imagination clad in a well-tailored fur bikini in the prehistoric fantasy "One Million Years BC" (1966). Who would have known she was a single mother of two? Her packagers never let on. They just continued to push the fantasy, creatin...

Photos & Videos

One Million Years B. C. - Color Still Set
The Biggest Bundle of Them All - Raquel Welch Publicity Stills

Family & Companions

James Westly Welch
Husband
Married on May 8, 1959; separated in 1961; divorced in 1965; father of two of her children.
Patrick Curtis
Husband
Press agent, actor. Born c. 1938; married in 1967; divorced in 1971; reportedly appeared as an infant in scenes in "Gone With the Wind" (1939).
Andre Weinfeld
Husband
Photographer, screenwriter. Married on July 5, 1980; divorced in September 1990; French photographer; seven years Welch's junior; appeared in "Pacific Palisades" (1990).
Richard Palmer
Husband
Restaurateur. Born c. 1955; owned and managed Mulberry Street Cafe; formerly involved with Cathy Moriarty; divorced with one son; met in 1997; announced engagement in July 1998; married on July 17, 1999; seperated as of August 2003.

Bibliography

"Raquel: The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program"
Raquel Welch (1986)
"The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program"
Raquel Welch (1984)

Notes

" ...I made decisions based on, What will my kids think of this? I tried not to trash myself. I felt I owed them that, because there were sacrifices of time away, and they had enough difficulty dealing with the fact that I was there mother. The compromise of being a career woman and having children is ... My failings as a mother weren't intentional--and my kids grew up to be good people--but the failings were there. And I look at things now, and I go, Hmmm, maybe that was too high a price to pay for what I got out of it." --Raquel Welch to TV Guide, June 8, 1996

About "Myra Breckinridge" co-star Mae West: "She was a genius of sorts, but I was seeing her at a very sad moment in her life. She was frightened to be on camera with me. I thought, 'You never want to get to the point in your life when you're hanging onto this kind of thing. It's too painful.' And do you know that she never dropped her persona while on the set? It was all 'Come up and see me sometime.'" --Welch quoted in USA Today, June 26, 1997.

Biography

The last of the Hollywood sex symbols, Raquel Welch began appearing in films in the mid-1960s and enjoyed a run as pin-up girl after capturing the public's imagination clad in a well-tailored fur bikini in the prehistoric fantasy "One Million Years BC" (1966). Who would have known she was a single mother of two? Her packagers never let on. They just continued to push the fantasy, creating an uphill battle for her to earn any respect as a serious actor. Welch ornamented a number of lightweight vehicles before bombing in the title role of "Myra Breckinridge" (1970--Mae West walked off with most of the publicity), then took a measure of control over her screen persona, producing and starring in "Hannie Calder" (1971), the first of her macho femme Western roles. She altered the image further with "Kansas City Bomber" (1972), insisting on doing her own stunts as good-hearted roller derby star Diane 'KC' Carr.

Welch had one of her finest hours displaying her comic timing as Constance in Richard Lester's version of the "The Three Musketeers" (1973), winning a Golden Globe for her efforts. She appeared again as Constance in Lester's follow-up "The Four Musketeers" (1975) and shone as the Jugs of Peter Yates' "Mother, Jugs, and Speed" (1976), the easygoing camaraderie of the three principles (with Bill Cosby and Harvey Keitel) providing a refreshingly strong role for her. Hollywood, however, cast her body more than anything (she was a sex symbol after all) and refused to see an actress of any depth. In order to branch out into more dramatic fare, Welch moved to the small screen during the 80s earning plaudits for her work in NBC TV-movies like "The Legend of Walks Far Woman" (1982), "Right to Die" (1987, in which she was convincing as a woman stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease) and "Scandal in a Small Town" (1988).

Welch sued MGM in 1980 for firing her from "Cannery Row" (1982), eventually pocketing $14 million. In 1981, she made her Broadway debut succeeding Lauren Bacall in "Woman of the Year" and upped her credibility immensely. She made her series debut as a regular in the revamped version of Darren Star's "CPW" (CBS, 1996) before replacing Julie Andrews on the Great White Way the following year in "Victor/Victoria." Perhaps it strained credulity (not to mention challenging costumers) to present her as a woman passing for a man, but her presence could not keep the show from closing. Despite the setback, Welch has remained committed to developing her craft, appeared onstage in a revival of George Bernard Shaw's "The Millionairess" in 1998 (having previously played the role in a British tour). She also returned to features that year playing Grace Kosik the nemesis of comedian Carrot Top in the uneven comedy "Chairman of the Board."

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

How to Be a Latin Lover (2017)
The Ultimate Legacy (2015)
House of Versace (2013)
Forget About It (2008)
Jim Brown: All American (2002)
Herself
Legally Blonde (2001)
Mrs Windham Vandermark
Tortilla Soup (2001)
Get Bruce (1999)
Herself
Chairman of the Board (1998)
What I Did For Love (1998)
Jacqueline
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)
Herself
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)
Self
Judith Krantz's "Torch Song" (1993)
Tainted Blood (1993)
Trouble in Paradise (1989)
Scandal in a Small Town (1988)
Right to Die (1987)
Emily Bauer
The Legend of Walks Far Woman (1982)
Crossed Swords (1978)
Edith
L' Animal (1977)
Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976)
The Wild Party (1975)
Queenie
The Last Of Sheila (1973)
Alice
The Three Musketeers (1973)
Kansas City Bomber (1972)
K.C. Carr
Hannie Caulder (1972)
Hannie Caulder
Fuzz (1972)
Det. Eileen McHenry
Bluebeard (1972)
Magdelena
The Beloved (1971)
The Magic Christian (1970)
Slave driver
Myra Breckinridge (1970)
Myra
Myra Breckinridge (1970)
Myra
Flareup (1969)
Michele
100 Rifles (1969)
Sarita
The Oldest Profession (1968)
Nini
The Queens (1968)
Elena
Lady in Cement (1968)
Kit Forrest
Bandolero! (1968)
Maria
The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968)
Juliana
Fathom (1967)
Fathom Harvill
One Million Years B. C. (1967)
Loana
Bedazzled (1967)
Lilian Lust
Shoot Loud, Louder ... I Don't Understand (1966)
Tania Mottini
Fantastic Voyage (1966)
Cora Peterson
A Swingin' Summer (1965)
Jeri
A House Is Not a Home (1964)
Roustabout (1964)

Producer (Feature Film)

Hannie Caulder (1972)
Executive Producer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Jim Brown: All American (2002)
Other
Get Bruce (1999)
Other
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)
Other

Cast (Special)

100 Years of Hope and Humor (2003)
Playboy's 50th Anniversary Special (2003)
Intimate Portrait: Raquel Welch (2002)
2001 ALMA Awards (2001)
Presenter
20th Century Fox: The Blockbuster Years (2000)
Hispanic Heritage Awards (2000)
Host
Hollywood at Your Feet: The Story of the Chinese Theatre Footprints (2000)
Narrator
The 4th Annual Celebrity Weddings: In Style (2000)
Dudley Moore: The E! True Hollywood Story (1999)
Raquel Welch (1999)
Hollywood Glamour Girls (1998)
The 51st Annual Tony Awards (1997)
Presenter
The Funniest of the World's Funniest Outtakes (1997)
Oops! The World's Funniest Outtakes 4 (1996)
The 49th Annual Tony Awards (1995)
Presenter
The World of Jim Henson (1994)
The 14th Annual CableACE Awards (1993)
Presenter
Bob Hope: The First Ninety Years (1993)
49th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1992)
Performer
The 5th Annual American Comedy Awards (1991)
Performer
Night of 100 Stars III (1990)
The 16th Annual People's Choice Awards (1990)
Performer
The 61st Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1989)
Performer
Secrets Women Never Share (1987)
The 39th Annual Emmy Awards (1987)
Performer
The Crystal Light National Aerobic Championships (1987)
The Night of 100 Stars II (1985)
The Bob Hope Christmas Show (1985)
The 38th Annual Tony Awards (1984)
Performer
Broadway Plays Washington! (1982)
Mac Davis 10th Anniversary Special: I Still Believe in Music (1980)
Raquel (1980)
Host; The Star
Bob Hope Special: The Bob Hope Special From Palm Springs (1978)
Mac Davis Christmas Special... When I Grow Up (1976)
The Bob Hope Comedy Special (1976)
The McLean Stevenson Show (1975)
Really Raquel (1974)
Host
Funny Papers (1972)
Little Orphan Annie/Brenda Starr/Dragon Lady

Writer (Special)

Raquel (1980)
Writer

Special Thanks (Special)

Raquel (1980)
Writer

Life Events

1943

Moved with family to La Jolla, California (date approximate)

1947

First taste of the stage at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre as member of a children's theater group (date approximate)

1955

Won La Jolla beauty competition at age 15 (date approximate)

1964

Broke into show business as billboard girl on the "Hollywood Palace" TV show

1964

First film appearance (as walk-on) in Elvis Presely vehicle "Roustabout"

1965

Film acting and singing debut ("introducing Raquel Welch") in "A Swingin' Summer"

1966

Indelibly entered the public's consciousness as the bikini-clad cave woman of "One Million Years B.C."

1968

First (of many) appearance on a Bob Hope TV special

1970

Hosted first variety special, "Raquel" (CBS)

1970

Played title role in "Myra Breckinridge"

1971

Produced and starred in "Hannie Caulder"

1972

Portrayed Diane 'KC' Carr in "Kansas City Bomber"

1973

Acted the part of Constance in Richard Lester's "The Three Musketeers"

1975

Reprised role in Lester's "The Four Musketeers"; films were shot simultaneously

1976

Contributed her Jugs to "Mother, Jugs, and Speed"

1980

Sued MGM over dismissal from the film "Cannery Row"; eventually won a $14 million judgment in her favor

1981

Broadway debut in "Woman of the Year"; succeeded Lauren Bacall in role of Tess Harding; songwriters John Jander and Fred Ebb added new material for her to sing

1982

TV-movie debut in title role as "The Legend of Walks Far Woman" (NBC)

1987

Offered a convincing turn as stricken Emily Bauer in NBC-movie, "Right to Die"

1988

Starred as Leda Beth Vincent in NBC-movie, "Scandal in a Small Town"

1993

Headlined TV-movie "Tainted Blood" (USA Network)

1993

Made frequent guest appearances on sitcoms, including "Evening Shade", "Seinfeld" "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" and "Spin City"

1994

Was TV spokesperson for Equal sweetner

1995

British stage debut touring in George Bernard Shaw's "The Millionairess"; production's London booking canceled

1996

Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

1996

TV series debut as regular on the primetime CBS soap opera "CPW", a revamping of "Central Park West"; played the bitchy, wealthy ex-wife of a businessman

1997

Returned to Broadway, replacing Julie Andrews in "Victor/Victoria"

1998

Portrayed Grace Kosik in "Chairman of the Board"

1998

Starred in Foxborough, Massachusetts stage production of "The Millionairess"

2000

Had featured role in the TV pilot "An American Family", written and directed by Gregory Nava; series picked up for airing by PBS in 2001-2002

2001

Co-starred with Hector Elizondo in "Tortilla Soup", a remake of "Eat Drink Man Woman" set in L.A.'s Latino community

2001

Had supporting role in "Legally Blonde"

2002

Played Aunt Dora on the television series "American Family," also starred Edward James Olmos and Sonia Braga

2006

Plyayed an ex-Las Vegas showgirl opposite Burt Reynolds in the madcap comedy "Forget About It"

2008

Appeared in the CBS comedy "Welcome to the Captain"

Photo Collections

One Million Years B. C. - Color Still Set
Here is a set of color stills from the Hammer production One Million Years B. C. (1966), starring Raquel Welch and featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen. For certain prestigious color productions, studios would send out sets of color stills as promotional material.
The Biggest Bundle of Them All - Raquel Welch Publicity Stills
Here are several Publicity Stills of Raquel Welch taken during production of The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.

Videos

Movie Clip

Myra Breckinridge (1970) - You Gotta S-M-I-L-E To Be H-A-P-P-Y Following the opening in which Rex Reed, as critic “Myron” Breckinridge got a sex-change operation, Shirley Temple’s song (from Stowaway, 1937, by Harry Revel and Mack Gordon) accompanies the introduction of Raquel Welch as the title character (we’re supposed to understand that Rex Reed now exists only as her alter-ego), with a creditable dance routine on Hollywood then Sunset Blvd., in Myra Breckinridge, 1970, from the Gore Vidal novel.
Myra Breckinridge (1970) - The Notorious Buck Loner Raquel Welch as the newly trans-gendered title character narrates, roughly from the Gore Vidal novel, Michael Sarne directing, entering the bogus acting school owned by her uncle-in-law, the ex-cowboy actor Buck Loner (John Huston), the acting-instructor is not credited, beginning her outrageous ploy, in Myra Breckinridge, 1970.
Fantastic Voyage (1966) - There Should Be A Tremendous Surge Knocked off course by an undetected medical condition, supervised by military brass Arthur O’Connell and Edmond O’Brien, the crew of the miniaturized submarine (Arthur Kennedy, Stephen Boyd, Donald Pleasence, Raquel Welch, William Redfield) attempt to shoot through the temporarily stopped heart of their Cold War defector patient in Fantastic Voyage, 1966.
Fantastic Voyage (1966) - Opening, Benes After a dramatic jet landing, joining director Richard Fleischer’s artful opening, briefly introducing Stephen Boyd, and Jean Del Val as the defector Benes, from Fantastic Voyage, 1966, also starring Raquel Welch, Edmond O’Brien, Arthur Kennedy and Donald Pleasence.
Fantastic Voyage (1966) - An Ocean Of Life The big moment as the miniaturized submarine is injected into the bloodstream of the ailing Cold War defector, William Redfield the pilot, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Pleasence and Raquel Welch the medical crew, Stephen Boyd the CIA man along for security reasons, in director Richard Fleischer’s Fantastic Voyage, 1966.
Fantastic Voyage (1966) - About The Size Of A Microbe Colonel Arthur O’Connell tangles with doctors Arthur Kennedy and Donald Pleasence, as General Edmond O’Brien introduces spy Grant (Stephen Boyd), to the crew, including Raquel Welch and William Redfield, all planning to miniaturize a submarine to perform emergency surgery on a valuable defector, in Fantastic Voyage, 1966.
Fantastic Voyage (1966) - Combined Miniature Deterrent Forces We have the general impression that Stephen Boyd is a CIA man, summoned unexpectedly to a giant underground facility where General Carter (Edmond O’Brien) explains the problem, indirectly introducing Arthur Kennedy, Raquel Welch and Donald Pleasence, early in Fantastic Voyage, 1966.
Four Musketeers, The (1975) - To Your Knees, Little Man! King Louis (Jean-Pierre Cassel) counseled by Richelieu (Charlton Heston) who sends spy Rochefort (Christopher Lee) to kidnap Constance (Raquel Welch) while about domestic business with D’Artagnan (Michael York), Milady (Faye Dunaway) conspiring, in the sequel, The Four Musketeers, 1975.
Four Musketeers, The (1975) - Let Us Rescue Your Mistress! Rochefort (Christopher Lee) speaks of his imprisonment of Constance (Raquel Welch), while D’Artagnan (Michael York) plots with his fellows (Richard Chamberlain, Oliver Reed, Frank Finlay) of how to break her out, comedy ensuing, in Richard Lester’s hit sequel The Four Musketeers, 1975.
One Million Years B.C. (1967) - Spearfishing Tumak (John Richardson), now welcomed among the kind "Shell People," gets spearfishing tips from infatuated Loana (Raquel Welch), then gets heroic when a carnivorous Ray Harryhausen dinosaur appears, in One Million Years B.C., 1967.
Three Musketeers, The (1973) - Whenever It's Offered Lodger and musketeer-in-waiting D'Artagnan (Michael York) acquires a servant (Roy Kinnear) then lodging from Bonacieux (Spike Milligan), whose wife Constance (Raquel Welch), turns his head, in Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers, 1973.
One Million Years B.C. (1967) - Loana Nearly half an hour in, Hammer Films reveals the star, Raquel Welch as Loana, with all the gals from the "Shell People," discovering wanderer Tumak (John Richardson), of the "Rock Tribe," and a big turtle, in One Million Years B.C., 1967.

Trailer

Promo

Family

Armand Tejada
Father
Engineer. Bolivian.
Josephine Esterly
Mother
Died on October 17, 2000 at age 91.
Castillo Tejada
Brother
Gayle Pate
Sister
Damon Welch
Son
Born in 1960, computer consultant and aspiring actor.
La Tahn Welch
Daughter
Actor. Born on December 26, 1961 in San Diego, California.
Richard Palmer Jr
Step-Son
Born c. 1989; father, Richard Palmer.

Companions

James Westly Welch
Husband
Married on May 8, 1959; separated in 1961; divorced in 1965; father of two of her children.
Patrick Curtis
Husband
Press agent, actor. Born c. 1938; married in 1967; divorced in 1971; reportedly appeared as an infant in scenes in "Gone With the Wind" (1939).
Andre Weinfeld
Husband
Photographer, screenwriter. Married on July 5, 1980; divorced in September 1990; French photographer; seven years Welch's junior; appeared in "Pacific Palisades" (1990).
Richard Palmer
Husband
Restaurateur. Born c. 1955; owned and managed Mulberry Street Cafe; formerly involved with Cathy Moriarty; divorced with one son; met in 1997; announced engagement in July 1998; married on July 17, 1999; seperated as of August 2003.

Bibliography

"Raquel: The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program"
Raquel Welch (1986)
"The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program"
Raquel Welch (1984)

Notes

" ...I made decisions based on, What will my kids think of this? I tried not to trash myself. I felt I owed them that, because there were sacrifices of time away, and they had enough difficulty dealing with the fact that I was there mother. The compromise of being a career woman and having children is ... My failings as a mother weren't intentional--and my kids grew up to be good people--but the failings were there. And I look at things now, and I go, Hmmm, maybe that was too high a price to pay for what I got out of it." --Raquel Welch to TV Guide, June 8, 1996

About "Myra Breckinridge" co-star Mae West: "She was a genius of sorts, but I was seeing her at a very sad moment in her life. She was frightened to be on camera with me. I thought, 'You never want to get to the point in your life when you're hanging onto this kind of thing. It's too painful.' And do you know that she never dropped her persona while on the set? It was all 'Come up and see me sometime.'" --Welch quoted in USA Today, June 26, 1997.

"I remember a long, long time ago, George C. Scott said you can't teach acting. You know, you either have it or you don't. Well, I think that's great for him. He definitely had it. He's fabulous; he's one of my idols. But for the loads of us on the planet who are not as gifted as Mr. Scott, there are tried and true techniques that are available. Most of the time, an actor is left pretty much on his own with a script in his bedroom or hotel room to struggle it out and try to find the character. Some people do it easliy, but I'm personally not one of them. I mean, I can fake it easily enough when all I have to say is, 'Hello, goodbye.'" ... But with theater, you have to make a commitment of 2 1/2 hours of doing more than saying 'Hi.'"It's like swimming along in the deep end and you don't see the shore in sight. You just keep swimming anyway in some kind of blind faith that soon there will be land, you know?" --Welch quoted in The Boston Globe, May 24, 1998.

Welch is president of her own production company, RWP Inc, and is currently developing projects, including her own feature-length screenplay.

Welch has her own wig and beauty product lines.

"Americans have always had sex symbols. It's 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 sterotyped that way. That's why I'm proud to say I've endured."-- Welch Biography Magazine July 2002

In 1994, Raquel Welch received a star on the Walk of Fame