Raquel Welch just turned 82 years old and she’s still gorgeous.
She was a Hollywood icon and a sex symbol of her time in the ‘6. Raquel Welch is 82. On September 5, 1940, Jo Raquel Tejada became Raquel Welch. Her father was a Bolivian engineer and her mother English. Welch’s grandpa was a famous architect, and her cousin, Lidia Guelier Tejada, was Bolivia’s first female president from 1979 to 1980.
Welch studied ballet as a child, but her coach told her she didn’t have the “proper physique” to succeed.
Welch won many beauty contests. She earned Miss San Diego after becoming a beauty queen at 14.
“I was happiest in fantasy,” she told Rolling Stone in 1974.
I struggled with reality. I desired a fairytale existence, like Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, who were rescued by handsome men on large white horses. That’s typical for kids. I decided it would happen.
She married high school boyfriend James Welch at 18. They divorced in 1961 with two children.
After the breakup, Welch went to Texas with her two small children, Damon (born 1959) and Tahnee (born 1961).
She was disappointed with life there. Welch persevered despite financial hardship.
In 1963, she moved to Hollywood to pursue her movie star dream. She fell for press agent Patrick Curtis there. He managed and married her.
Meeting Curtis changed Welch’s life. He first took his wife on a European publicity trip to showcase her curvaceous body and sexy looks.
Welch became a star without making a movie. Curtis then obtained his wife tiny roles in various films, including Elvis Presley’s Roustabout (1964).
Two years later, Welch broke through in Fantastic Voyage, an American science fiction picture (1966).
Welch had impressed audiences a year earlier as a cave lady in One Million Years B.C.
In a 2018 Sunday Post interview, she noted, “I had made another movie which was a great step forward for me (Fantastic Voyage). “I was the dinosaur lady first and the science person second,” Welch added.
Welch had three lines in One Million Years B.C., but few remember them.
Her fur bikini became a pop culture icon.
“I had no acting experience beyond that one stupid line: ‘Me Loana… Tumak It felt like a trap. “A picture says a thousand words,” Welch added.
Welch performed in several 1970s movies and had her own television show, Raquel!, with song and dance sequences and guest appearances by Bob Hope, John Wayne, and Tom Jones.
She wrote and made yoga and exercise DVDs in the 1980s.
She also made successful wigs.
Welch’s most enduring image was as a stunning bombshell.
Men’s Health named her the second-hottest woman ever in 2013. Aniston edged Welch.
She married four guys.
Her partnerships were short-lived. She told Piers Morgan:
“I loved all those men.”
“I thought I was truly in love and that we might have a fantastic life together, but it was not in the cards.”
Last decade, Welch inspired younger Hollywood divas.
Kim Kardashian once wore a Welch-inspired bikini. On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, model Emily Ratajowski channeled Welch with a cavewoman appearance.