Actresses of the 50s and 60s

Raquel Welch

In 1940, American on August 11, 2017 at 9:40 am

Born Raquel Tejada, Chicago, September 5th, 1940, Bolivian father, American mother. Grew up in La Jolla, California. Homecoming queen, winner of local beauty contests.

Married Jim Welch upon high school graduation. Two children – daughter Tahnee, son Damon. TV weather girl, drama classes. Divorced Welch after three years. Brief career in Dallas as Neiman-Marcus model days, cocktail waitress nights. Back in Hollywood met Pat Curtis, former child actor (Olivia de Havilland’s infant in Gone with the Wind, Buzz in Leave It to Beaver). Curtis became her lover and manager. His promotion of a poster of Raquel in a chamois bikini propelled her to the covers of 80 European magazines; American star billing followed. Married Curtis 1967. Ranked in Reuters poll among world’s Top Ten box office stars 1969. Divorced Curtis 1972. She told a friend Curtis’s conversations with her had come to be dominated by the single phrase, ”Shut up, Raquel.”

Films (excluding early bit parts such as walk-ons in an Elvis Presley movie and an appearance in a beach blanket epic): Fantastic Voyage, One Million Years B.C., Fathom, The Biggest Bundle of Them All, The Lovely Ladies, Shoot Loud, Louder . . . I Don’t Understand, Bedazzled, The Queens, One Hundred Rifles, The Beloved, Lady in Cement, The Oldest Profession in the World, Bandolero!, Flare-up, The Magic Christian, Myra Breckinridge, Hannie Caulder, Fuzz, Kansas City Bomber, The Last of Sheila, The Three Musketeers, The Wild Party (to be released winter 1974). Note that with a few exceptions you might never have heard of most of these films, not even here, but for the fact that Raquel Welch was in them. As it happens most of them made money. Only about four or five American actresses draw the public sufficiently that almost any film with one of them in it, even a turkey, will make money. This quality is known as ”bankability,” and Raquel has it. Rolling Stone 1973.

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